When we looked at an African map to plan our trip in Ethiopia, we noticed this small and barely visible country. We knew about this country only the name that we heard a few times. We got the necessary visa and we spent 10 days there.
Djibouti has only one important city that has the same name as the country. The economy of the country is based on its port where is transiting all the goods imported by Ethiopia. This country has no access to the sea and it must use the port of Djibouti.
Djibouti Town has a European and an African Quarter. You can easily imagine who was living in each area. The European side was rather rich and the houses quite big while the African side was rather chaotic. Djibouti was a French colony and to this day, it keeps its French influence partly because of the numerous expatriates that live there. There is even a Casino supermarket like in France. Products sold are typically French.
Except the rich area where several embassies are found and where expatriates live, the city is quite dirty and the people quite poor. Surprisingly, the cost of life is extremely high. After Ethiopia, where everything is very cheap, Djibouti seems to cost everything you have.
We are happy with our visit to the city and also to have seen the port where more than 1000 trucks are transiting each day. However, it is not a very pleasant destination. The rest of the country is much more interesting.
Djibouti was colonized by the French. For this reason, most people speak good French and all the bureaucracy and business is done in French.
When we were in Djibouti, Nelson Mandela passed away in South Africa. This great man has spent a big part of its life trying to end the Apartheid in South Africa and then became president of the country. Everywhere in Africa, he is considered as an exceptional man who has helped the black people to get a better life and be recognized as an equal to the white man.
It is via Djibouti that transits the goods for Ethiopia. However, in the near future, Ethiopia could start using the port of Mombasa in Kenya. Nothing is done yet, but imagines what could happen to Djibouti that has an economy almost entirely based on the business trade it has with Ethiopia.