Embark on an active adventure along the Horn of Africa on this 11-day Lonely Planet Experience powered by Intrepid. Experience life like an Afar nomad, float on one of the world’s saltiest lakes, snorkel in search of whale sharks and travel in a country with incredible cultures but very little tourism. Explore diverse and sometimes surreal scenery. Hike to Lac Assal, summit Ardoukoba Volcano, trek through Foret du Day National Park, relax on the beach at Plage des Sables Blancs and drift to sleep ‘belles etoiles’ (under the stars) at Allouli. Be the first person you know to come home raving about dreamy Djibouti.
Lonely Planet Experience
Walking & Trekking
- Discover this emerging travel destination before the crowds do. Very few tourists come to Djibouti, which is sure to change as word spreads about its untouched natural wonders.
- Spend the night in a traditional Afar hut in the Grand Bara Desert, perched on a hill with spectacular views of the surreal landscape.
- Strap on a snorkel and dive into the waters of Arta Beach, where (if you’re lucky) the whale sharks that fill the waters will decide to keep you company during your swim.
- Take an epic hike over the dramatic ravine in Foret du Day National Park to the top of Ardoukoba Volcano, then spend the night camped in a dead forest.
- Watch the sunrise over the chimneys, salt flats and hot springs of Lac Abbe, which featured in the 1968 Planet of the Apes film.
10 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners
4x4 Safari Vehicle , Ferry
Hotel (3 nights), Beach Hut (1 night), Bungalow (2 nights), Nomad Camp (with basic facilities), Camping with basic facilities (2 nights), Camping with no facilities (1 night)
- Ardoukoba - Volcano Hike
- Arta Beach - Whale Sharks Tour
- Djibouti City - Leader Led Walking Tour
- Foret du Day - Hike
- Lac Abbe - Cultural Dance
- Lac Abbe - Guided sunset walk to Chimneys
- Lac Abbe - Morning Hike to the lake
- Obock - Godoria Mangrove boat trip
- Ras Bire - Lighthouse & Maket Visit
Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
- Start Date
- End Date
- Start Date:22 Nov 20
- End Date:2 Dec 20
- Availability:7+ Available
- Start Date:6 Dec 20
- End Date:16 Dec 20
- Availability:6 spaces
- Start Date:27 Dec 20
- End Date:6 Jan 21
- Availability:7+ Available
Day - 1
Location: Djibouti City - Salaam aleikum! Welcome to Djibouti! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 3 pm, followed by a walking tour of the city. See the European Quarter (home to Moorish and European architecture), L'Escale harbour walk and Hamoudi Mosque in the African Quarter. Tonight’s dinner will feature traditional Djiboutian and Ethiopian food.
Day - 2
Location: Djibouti City - Today we’ll head to Arta Beach, one of the most reliable spots in the world for encounters with whale sharks. Jump in a small boat and head out in search of these gentle giants. Sightings of these huge creatures are most likely from November to January. Later, head back to the city where we spend the night.
Day - 3
Location: Lac Abbe - Take a 4WD journey through the Grand Bara Desert to the otherworldly Lake Abbe, which lies on the border between Ethiopia and Djibouti. Keep your eyes peeled for mirages, as well as animals like antelopes and gazelles. After enjoying a traditional dance during dinner, you’ll sleep in an Afar hut at Campement Touristique d’Asboley. The cluster of permanent nomad-style tents is perched on a hill with views of the spectacular and surreal desert landscape.
Day - 4
Location: Lac Assal - Wake early to catch the sunrise over the shores of Lake Abbe, which featured in the 1968 movie Planet Of The Apes. Marvel at the famous chimneys, salt flats and hot springs. Then embark on a roughly 3-hour hike to the lake, where you may be able to spot flamingos. Return and jump in a 4WD to Lake Assal, passing Dikhil, Yoboki and Gagade on the way. Lac Assal, also known as the honey lake, is a crater-lake that sits atop the Great Rift Valley. It’s one of the world’s saltiest lakes and also the lowest point on land in Africa. Take a float in the lake if you’d like, but remember you've got a night of camping ahead and no hot shower to clean off!
Day - 5
Location: Foret du Day National Park - Rise and shine for an early morning departure for our hike to Ardoukoba Volcano, which erupted in 1978 after lying dormant for around 3000 years. Take a 4WD across extremely rugged terrain and then hike a moderately strenuous trail to the top of the volcano. Continue walking to the scenic bay of Ghoubbet at the Gulf of Tadjoura and the entrance of the Red Sea for lunch (approximately 5 hours hiking total). In the afternoon drive to Foret du Day National Park (approximately 2.5 hours) where tonight’s camp is within a dead forest.
Day - 6
Location: Foret du Day National Park - Shake off the sleep this morning with a four-kilometre hike through the peaceful forest surrounding camp. Afterwards, pay a visit to a nearby village to get a feel for local life and grab some refreshment in a teahouse.
Day - 7
Location: Obock - Depart for Obock after breakfast, stopping en route in Tadjoura. Arrive in Obock, a colonial port town and visit the market and the lighthouse at Ras Bire. Spend the evening in a beach hut.
Day - 8
Location: Plage des Sables Blancs - This morning, take a scenic boat ride around the Godoria Mangroves. After lunch back in Obock, head to Plage des Sables Blancs, considered one of the best beaches in Djibouti. Your afternoon is free for you to splash around and enjoy the beach at your leisure.
Day - 9
Location: Plage des Sables Blancs - Today is another free day for you to spend relaxing by the beach. You can take part in kite flying with locals, swim, snorkel or simply catch up on some sleep after an active week!
Day - 10
Location: Djibouti City - Journey back to Djibouti City after breakfast. Hop on the 11 am ferry back to Djibouti City and arrive by around 2 pm this afternoon. The rest of your afternoon is free. Tonight, enjoy a dinner with your leader and group.
Day - 11
Location: Djibouti City - This trip comes to an end after breakfast. There is no accommodation included for tonight, but speak to an Intrepid representative if you would like to extend your stay.