Djibouti might be one of Africa’s smaller countries, but it’s got plenty of things going for it.
Whether you’re interested in traveling to Djibouti on an upcoming vacation or just want to get to know this tiny nation a little bit better, this article is for you.
Here’s our roundup of the most interesting Djibouti facts:
1. Djibouti is about the size of New Jersey. At 9,000 mi2 (23,200 km2), it’s less than 300 mi2 larger in area than the small US state. Djibouti has less than 1 million inhabitants, far less than New Jersey’s 9 million. Either way, it’s certainly one of Africa’s, and the world’s, smallest countries.
2. The people of Djibouti are mostly from one of two tribes. Djiboutians, as the demonym goes, are usually either from the Issa clan of Somali or from the Afar ethnic group.
3. Its native, narcotic khat (qat) plant is illegal in most other countries. Khat plants contain cathinone, which is a stimulant that can cause euphoria, increase excitability, and lower appetites. Chewing the leaves of this plant is quite common in Djibouti.
4. Djibouti’s Lake Assal is one of the saltiest lakes in the world. A crater lake in the center-west portion of Djibouti, Lake Assal (“honey lake”), with an average salinity of 34.8%, is the 3rd most saline body of water in the world. It also happens to be the third lowest point in the world, as well, after the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee.
5. Djibouti is located on the Horn of Africa, the easternmost part of mainland Africa. It shares borders with Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, as well as the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
6. It was under French rule until mid-1977. After receiving its independence from France on June 27, 1977, Djibouti quickly joined the United Nations (September 20th of the same year). It also joined the Arab League and the Organization of African Unity (which is now the African Union) in its first year as a sovereign nation.
7. The only permanent US military base in Africa is located in Djibouti. Camp Lemonnier, a US Naval Expeditionary Base, is located right next to Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport (JIB) in Djibouti City, the nation’s capital. France, Japan, and Italy have military bases at this airport, as well.
Well, that’s all our Djibouti facts for now, and we hope you’ve found this post interesting and informative! Do you have any questions, feedback, or other facts about Djibouti we should include on our list? Let us know below in the comments, and thanks for reading!