One of the most fascinating areas of the African continent, The Republic of Djibouti is an ideal destination for ecotourism.
The majestic and alluring unconventionality of its land, irrigated by a sumptuous sea, its traditions of hospitality, its legendary nomadic shepherds, and now its facilities in constant development, can only entice tourists and travellers, eager for beauty and a change of scenery, to stop there for the indispensable amount of time.
Lake Assal is truly a natural point of interest providing great beauty, within a framework of volcanoes and black lava, 153 m below sea level, abutted with salt and gypsum floes of a dazzling whiteness. Several volcanoes rise up right near the lake, the most recent of which, the Ardoukoba, dates from November, 1978, in a landscape from an absolutely monumental cataclysm. Still, within a few kilometres from there, the boundless bay of Goubet-AL-Kharab, surrounded by vertical cliffs, interconnects with the sea by a narrow channel. This is the bottom of the gulf of Tadjourah, also known as «abyss of the devils».
Make sure not to miss Lake Abbé and its lunar-like landscapes. It is an unusual setting which unveils itself to the eyes of the traveller. A landscape of an eerie world with its hundreds of needle-like, limestone chimneys, from a few metres to more than fifty metres in height; here and there from perennial, warm water springs, some of which bubble, supporting the development of pastures above all others in the Republic of Djibouti.
A visit to the Day primal forest is absolutely indispensable The path meanders for approximately fifteen kilometres on the massif before reaching the forest situated at an altitude of 1 500 m: giant junipers, locust trees, feral olive trees, as well as jujube trees and other specimens of a flora lined from the earth's surface, cover a surface area of 3, 2 km2 which has been commissioned into a national park.
The enthusiasts of sand yachting can practise their favourite sport in the Grand Bara, a great twenty-five kilometre long and more than ten kilometres wide desert area, thanks to a centre located on the spot by the Tourist Office.
The coasts of the Republic of Djibouti are lined by classic, fringing type reefs. All of the richness and diversity of a fauna and a flora which is characteristic of the cliffs of the vast Indo-Pacific area and the Red Sea can be viewed there. The relative isolation of the reticule which forms the gulf of Tadjourah has remarkably favoured the creation and the development of a still vague number of species, also known as endemic (which exist nowhere else).
On the not-so-deep reef, in addition to the magnificent coral formations in the delicate and coloured arborescence, one can observe the evolution of about (at least) twenty species of chaetodons and pomacanthes (butterfly fish and angel fish) with a distinctive abundance of «duke fish» (Pygoplites diacanthus), the most beautiful of the coral fish.
The unceasing round dance of the large palette surgeon fish, linked to the unending bustle of wrasse and the beds of green and blue parrot fish, in the midst of myriads of multicoloured damselfish, all contribute to the swarming effect which can be admired by all. Sometimes a curious and daring horse mackerel, adorned with golden spots, swims right in front of a diver to gaze at him for a few moments before continuing its journey in a paradise which is its world... An invitation to follow it.
On the white sand rests the extraordinary, small golden-speckled ray, spotted with azure, under the peaceful eye of a grouper lounging in the shade of a large table of Acropora coral. The powerful and elegant swimming shark, habitually on the outside edge of the narrative, cruises the great Lord. The diver is never worried, except perhaps for the hunter, to whom the master of the expanse can seek to rob the fruit of his catch.
A big book would not suffice to describe the excitement of the teeming life within the reefs of the Republic of Djibouti, which are already classified among the most beautiful jewels of the tropical, underwater world.