Fire and rescue services
Call 18 or go to the nearest hospital.
Call 18, or go to the nearest police station.
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise a high degree of caution in Djibouti overall.
Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
A terrorist attack could happen anywhere and at any time. Travellers could be targeted.
Djibouti participated in the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia. As a result, the militant group Al-Shabaab has said it intends to target Djibouti.
Terrorists may attack Djiboutian or Western targets.
Terrorist methods could include:
There is a high threat of kidnapping within 10 kilometres of Djibouti's border with Somalia (Somaliland).
Possible terrorist targets include:
Check the level of security if you're visiting a known target. To reduce your risk:
Report any suspicious activity or items to local police.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
The security situation on the Djibouti and Eritrea border is unstable.
Civil unrest and armed conflict in Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea could impact your safety in Djibouti.
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Pickpocketing and other petty crimes can happen.
There have also been reports of bandit groups outside the capital in areas where the law has broken down.
Crime risks increase at night and in isolated locations such as Dorale and Khor Ambado beaches.
To protect yourself from crime:
Kidnapping is a threat, especially within 10kms of Djibouti's border with Somalia (Somaliland).
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
If you're travelling to an area where there is a threat of kidnapping:
Pirates have attacked vessels in and around Djibouti's waters and the Gulf of Aden.
Somali pirates have attacked vessels more than 1000 nautical miles (1850km) from the coast of Somalia.
Attractive targets for Somali pirates include:
Read piracy reports issued by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
If you need to travel by boat to Djibouti water and surrounds:
It's in an active seismic zone and can experience:
To protect yourself if a natural disaster occurs:
Djibouti is hot and dry from May to October. Daytime temperatures can be more than 50°C.
Strong dust storms happen in June.
Djibouti is in a long term drought. In some areas, the drought may affect:
Parts of Djibouti, including the capital city are prone to floods.
Earthquakes can happen.
Djibouti has one active volcano, Ardoukoba. It last erupted in 1978.
Ash from a volcanic eruption can fall over a wide area.
Volcanic ash, dust and toxic fumes are a significant health risk, especially for people with respiratory problems.
Know the safety measures at each place you stay.
To protect yourself during a volcanic eruption and avoid contact with ash:
If you need to go outside, wear a disposable face-mask and change it frequently.
Tsunamis can happen.
Register for tsunami alerts from the Global Disaster Alert and Co-ordination System.
If you're near the coast, move immediately to high ground if advised or if you:
Don't wait for official warnings, such as alarms or sirens. Once on high ground, monitor local media.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won’t pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many 1000s of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Djibouti. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Malaria occurs through the year. Other diseases spread by insects are a risk, including:
To protect yourself from disease:
Get medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.
Outbreaks of polio (poliomyelitis) have occurred in countries across the Horn of Africa.
Check your polio vaccination status with your doctor or travel clinic at least 8 weeks before you travel.
If you aren't vaccinated, complete the full course of vaccinations before you leave.
HIV/AIDS is widespread. Take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.
Foodborne, waterborne and other infectious diseases are common. These include:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To avoid illness:
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
High summer temperatures can cause dehydration and heat stroke.
The standard of medical facilities in the capital is limited.
Outside the capital, there are no medical facilities or they are basic.
Medications are sometimes unavailable in rural areas and can be expensive.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long jail sentences and heavy fines.
The narcotic khat is legal in Djibouti, but illegal in many other countries.
Illegal activities in Djibouti include:
It's also illegal to photograph infrastructure, such as buildings, ports, airports, bridges and military facilities.
If you take photos near prohibited places, you may:
If in doubt, ask for advice from local authorities.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you’re overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
More than 90% of Djiboutians are Muslim. Standards for dress and behaviour are conservative.
Same-sex relationships are not illegal in Djibouti, but may not be tolerated in local communities.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan will be from late April to late May in 2020. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
Avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public and around people who are fasting.
If in doubt, ask a local.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can’t help you.
You need a visa to visit Djibouti. Check the official e-visa portal for information.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the Embassy of Djibouti in Tokyo for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
You may need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Djibouti, especially if you're arriving from a country where yellow fever is common.
Some countries won’t let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. It can apply even if you’re just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport’s expiry date before you travel. If you’re not sure it’ll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible.
The local currency is the Djibouti Franc (DJF).
Traveller's cheques can be exchanged at major banks.
Djibouti has a cash-based economy. Credit cards aren't widely accepted.
There are a limited number of ATMs, but they often don't work.
Ask your bank if your card will work in Djibouti.
Djibouti is a 'mine-safe' country. This means landmines have been identified and marked, but haven't been removed.
For your safety, remain on paved roads, especially in:
Security is limited in remote areas, including regions bordering Ethiopia and Somalia.
You need permission from the Government of Djibouti to travel above the 12° north latitude line, which passes through Obock.
Avoid travel to remote areas, including the region bordering Ethiopia.
Djibouti is in severe drought due to below average rainfalls for the past 4 years.
In certain areas, the drought may affect:
To drive in Djibouti, you need both:
You must get your IDP before leaving Australia.
Conditions on roads are unsafe.
The standard of driving and vehicle maintenance is poor.
Police have set up wire coils as roadblocks on some major roads, which can be difficult to see at night.
In an accident, drivers must wait at the scene until police arrive.
Bandit groups are a threat outside the capital.
Before you drive:
To reduce your risks while driving:
If you're involved in an accident as a driver, wait at the scene until police arrive.
Check whether your travel insurance policy covers you when using a motorcycle, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Use registered taxis and limousines, preferably arranged through your hotel.
Public transport is limited to bus and ferry services between the capital city and the towns of Tadjoura and Obock.
Don't travel at night.
A railway between Addis Ababa and Djibouti provides freight and passenger services.
To stay safe when travelling on the water:
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Djibouti's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 18 or go to the nearest hospital.
Call 18, or go to the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter to find out what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
Australia doesn't have an embassy or consulate in Djibouti.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Turkish compound (off Cape Verde street)
Bole Subcity, Woreda 3
PO Box 3715
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Telephone: +251 11 667 2678
Facsimile: +251 11 667 2868
See the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact and embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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