Djibouti

  • © Jean-Leo Dugast - Hoa Qui
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Djibouti

Tax free port of Eastern Africa, Djibouti remains a considerable strategic position for France. Way out for Ethiopian trade, it is the only large economic zone of the country. The entire activity of the city is around the port. You will see merchant vessels, from all horizons, mooring amongst dhows and Arab sambouks and their crew that look like pirates, sailing along the coastal waters between Djibouti, Tadjoura, Obock, Hodeida and Aden. Modernity mixes with a world out of Simbad the sailor. The centre of the capital, that echoes at night with the blasting noise of bars and night-clubs, is worth a detailed tour. Two worlds that live in parallel but never mix. The western planet, for "White" people, around the yacht club, the embassies, the Sheraton hotel, the Ambouli gardens, the beaches of Dorale, the Plateau du Serpent. It is the old colonial Djibouti, that Nizan mocked, bent over in nostalgia. On the café terraces, under the fans, we talk of 4 x4 expeditions and getting stuck, big game fishing, and beautiful indigenous girls... The indigenous planet, on the other hand, is structured around the main market, Magalla, at the Harar Gate (place Rimbaud), stretched at the foot of the mosque, and where you can hear the Somali women talking in front of their saffron and pepper stalls in the morning. All around, in particular in the street of the Mouches, the stalls of the Yemeni merchants, as big as a match box, stack up Indian textiles, ostrich eggs, seashells of the Red sea, shark jaws, Ethiopian miniature, video tapes and air conditioning machines.

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