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Information about the country

In general...

The Republic of Djibouti covers a a total area of 23.200 km² and has a 520km long border shared with Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia; as well as 372 km of coasts along the Detroit of Bab-el-Mandeb, the Gulf of Tadjourah and the gulf of Aden between the 11º00' et 12º41' northern parallels and longitudes and the 41º45' et 43º15' east longitude.

Djibouti from the sky

Independent since the 27th June of 1977, the Republic of Djibouti covers a a total area of 23.200 km² and has a 520km long border shared with Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, as well as 372 km of coasts along the Detroit of Bab-el-Mandeb, the Gulf of Tadjourah and the gulf of Aden between the 11º00' et 12º41' northern parallels and longitudes and the 41º45' et 43º15' east longitude.

Located in the Horn of Africa, at the intersection of the red Sea and the Indian Ocean, The Republic of Djibouti benefits from a geostrategic position over a world main shipping road. It’s the natural outlet for the Landlocked countries in the region.

The country is cut in five regions (Ali Sabieh, Arta, Dikhil, Obock, Tadjourah). The main town Djibouti concentrates almost the totality of the economic and commercial life.The city is cut in three departments ( Ras Dika, Boulaos and Balbala) and accommodates a little bit more than 65% of the total population.

The territory is organized around the section of the Gulf of Tadjourah that is 45 kilometers wide. The relief is very contrasted, altitude varies from 2020 meters at Mont Moussa Ali to -153 meters at the bottom of Lake Assal.

All the watercourses are constituted by Wadis that drain into the sea or the western plains. The only permanent aquatic bodies are Lake Assal and Abbé, with 370h of salt per water liter. The Island environment is represented by the Musha and Maskali island, and the volcanic archipelago of the Seven-Brothers in thr Detroit of Bab-el-Mandeb.

The climate is tropical arid with two distinct seasons. From October to april it’s the fresh season with Mediterranean temperatures and damps winds coming from the eastern. June to August is the hottest part of the year with high temperature where the wind is dry and burning. May and September are transitions months in which winds are turning, causing humidity.

The rainfall regime is uneven and the average precipitation varies from year to year.

The Djiboutian littoral is untouched and the fish stock is relatively good preserved. The diving and underwater life specialists since Commander Cousteau consider some locations like real botanical gardens. The Seven brothers is probably one of the most beautiful diving spot in the word. Furthermore, this archipelago is made of volcanic islands and is a migratory corridor for a lot of birds coming from European boreal regions an Asia. The other archipelago, that of Musha an Maskali islands has a couple of mangrove forests and fine sandy beaches.

 

Geographie

The Republic of Djibouti is at the half way of the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer. It’s situation, on the oriental African coast, at the exit of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, between Suez and the Far East, was- with the neighborhood of the rich Ethiopian provinces- the origin of its strategic importance.

Djibouti has continental and maritime frontiers : a 520 kilometers long land border limiting the territory at the North, West and South of Ethiopia, and at the south-east of Somalia. 370 km coast extends from Ras Doumeira, northern, to Loyada village, southern. It has a total Area of 23 200 km².

 

Geology

The Republic of Djibouti is located at the centre of a collapse following the Red Sea area, and stretching between the plateaus of Ethiopia, Arabia and Somalia. According to geologists, the region bounded by Lake Assal and Goubet-Al-Kharab, which belongs to the Afar depression is only a link emerged for a brief moment in the Earth history. Depression Afar, Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, narrow marine Groove, all form a future ocean: the Eritrean Ocean. “25 million of age, say the specialists, and 500 km wide, but in two hundred million years, there will be no doubt as its big brother the Atlantic ”.

This exceptional geological situation is that the territory of the Republic of Djibouti remains continuously exposed to seismic shocks of low intensity, however, which are manifestations of Africa and Arabia plates (2 cm per year, on average) very slow moving.

The Lake Assal area - Goubet, point of convergence of three portions of the rift, where the Earth's crust not exceeding five kilometers thick (compared to several dozen normally), is also an area of choice for the telluric phenomena. So formed, in November 1978, not far from Lake Assal a volcano in 40 metres of height, Haroun Tazieff, immediately arrived at the scene, was going to call “Ardoukoba”.

On this occasion, could attend a sudden gauge of one metre twenty between Africa and the Arabian peninsula, directly while opened a main fault of twelve kilometres long between Lake Assal and Cove of the Goubet.

Memory man, this phenomenon of terrestrial plate gauge had occurred only at the bottom of the oceans, where the interest passionate scientists around the world have granted, beyond the telluric extravaganza that is the formation of a volcano, to the first visible manifestation of the birth of an ocean. No doubt, the territory of Djibouti, on which the erosion of the time had very little taken, is an incomparable book of geology which reads open.

Other volcanoes occur elsewhere on the country, whose best-known are those between the gilding and Lake Assal. Volcanoes, fumaroles, hot springs, abound in this country made up of a series of closed basins, vast plains collapsed, surrounded by trays and basaltic chains: plain of Hanle, Bara Gågade, big and small. These Plains are sometimes occupied by lakes drying, whose waters have a very high salinity (Lake Assal, Lake Abbe).

 

Relief

It is in the North of the country lies mount Moussa Ali, which culminates at 2020 meters.

Along the Gulf of tadjourah, important mountain range includes the massif of the Goda (1750 m) with the primary forest of the Day and the Mablas massif (1380 m), which are the only parts of the country with permanent vegetable coverage.

North of Obock, lined with coral benches, the coast is low, Sandy, and continues by a vast plain piece: this is the shore West of the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, or door of the lamentations, junction of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean

Goubet - Al - Kharab, large Bay that communicates with the sea through a bottleneck of 750 meters wide in the middle of which stands a small islet is bordered by cliffs with the severe appearance.

The South of the country is formed of a series of parallel depression, separated by tabular trays, giving rise to regular Plains favoring the breakneck: plain Hanle, the largest (35 km long and 20 km wide), more to the South, plain of Gobaad East of Dikhil and Gågade plain, located in parallel to that of the Hanle depression, but further to the East.

Finally, to the West of this region, lies the famous Lake Abbe to the rosters of limestone chimneys and where you meet very many pink flamingos.

 

Climat and Hydrografy

The Republic of Djibouti ranks among countries with warm semi-arid climate. With the exception of mountainous regions, there is rarely less than 22 ° high heat. Temperature differences are small. The relative humidity on the coast and Djibouti in particular is very high. The year is divided into two seasons:

The cool season, from October to April (average 25 °) with a wind from the East bringing some rain, and which corresponds to a Mediterranean summer.

The hot season, from May to September (average 35 °) where two dry winds blow: the Sabo of the Southwest and the Northwest Khamsin. The months of May and September are transitional months during which are spills of winds that cause flat calm thus increasing moisture.

Le The climate of the Interior has notable differences with that of the coast.

In particular as soon as it rises, the temperature is more enjoyable: it is so in Arta, Randa, the Day. Sometimes it is even cool (10 ° temperatures have been recorded).

The rainfall regime is more irregular.

The annual precipitation amounts vary greatly from one year to the next. Generally, it rarely rains in Djibouti, more frequently and more thoroughly on the massifs of Goda and the Mablas. The sudden and brutal storms are very feared. Wadis are transformed for a few hours in furious torrents ripping off everything in their path, then their course regulates, and rain water brings its benefits everywhere where it sank.

In a semi-desert countries such as Djibouti, where there is no permanent water courses and where only groundwater ensure water supply of people and livestock, rain - same rare and grudging - are considered to be a true blessing from God.

 

Djibouti, enchantment of underwater life

The coasts of the Republic of Djibouti are lined with the classic type of fringing reefs. Can observe the richness and diversity of an unique fauna and flora to the vast indo-Pacific area and the Red Sea reefs. The relative isolation of the reticule that forms the Gulf of Tadjourah has promoted particularly the creation and development of a still unclear number of endemic species (that exist anywhere else).

On the shallow reef, can be observed in addition to the beautiful coral formations to the delicate and colorful trees the evolution of twenty (at least) of species of butterflyfish and pomacanthes (butterfly fish) and Angelfish with a particular abundance of fish "Duke" (Pygoplites Angelfish), the most beautiful coral fish.

The relentless round of troops from great surgeons, linked to the perpetual agitation of the wrasses and schools of green and blue parrots in the middle of myriads of colorful damselfish, contribute to the effect of swarming that everyone can admire.

Sometimes a trivially adorned with gold, curious and outrageous tasks comes to the front of the diver to observe a few moments before continuing his journey in this paradise that is his universe... An invitation to follow.

On the White Sands sits the extraordinary small Golden Skate of azure under the peaceful eye of a grouper basking in the shadow of a large Acropora table.

Frequently on the outer edge of the narrative marauding the Great Lord, the shark swam powerful and elegant. The diver is never worried except maybe the Hunter in which the master of the House may seek to delight the fruit of its fishing.

A book is not sufficient to describe the exuberance of life which is teeming in the breast reefs of the Republic of Djibouti, who are already classified among the most beautiful jewels of the tropical underwater world.