Port Djibouti Updates

Published 8 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Djibouti Anchorage

After crossing the Indian Ocean from Sri Lanka to Djibouti we are currently in Port Djibouti and would like to pass on the following updates:



Most foreigners can obtain a 30-day visa on arrival. This visa costs 90 USD and must be paid in cash. If you do not have the funds at arrival, you will be issued a shore pass to pick up money at one of the many ATMs downtowns. The visa does not need to be obtained in advance.

The formerly issued transit visa is only granted to persons being able to produce a valid airline ticket with a departure date within the next four days.

Security (personal impressions):

The port of Djibouti is very safe. We left a locked boat with a clear deck unattended for the daytime without problems. The nearby Djibouti Coast Guard has a telescope trained on the anchorage and passes the boats frequently in their patrol crafts.

Visiting the typical tourist sites inland (Lac Abbe, Lac Assal) was very safe. Roads are in good condition. Be sure not to take pictures of people without permission as this may upset some individuals.

Port of Djibouti

The anchorage for pleasure crafts is close to some large local wooden boats between the commercial port to the north and close to the fishing port with the Coast Guard (Garde CôtalE). The position is approximately 11°35,965 N and 043°07,887 E. Navionics and Jeppsen charts are precise. The entry can be done both day and night.

If you ask nicely, your dinghy can be tied very safely at the coast guard dock on the north-western end of the fishing harbour. This will save a lot of “watchman fees”. Make sure to never get in the way of their frequent operations. Be careful with some of the very sharp shells on some of their floating docks and ropes.

You will find some outboard mechanics and very basic used item chandlery in the fishing port.

Telephone and internet:

There are several hotels and bars offering free Wifi service.

Prepaid SIM-Cards can be obtained at the main building of Djibouti Telecom (and only there). Bring your Passport and 2.000 Francs for the SIM. You may have to cut the SIM to size yourself.

Top-up vouchers can be bought in supermarkets, fuel stations and in the fishing port.


Fruit and vegetables can be bought in good quality and much more cheaply in the market and little stores in town. For a full provision the Casino-Supermarket is expensive, but very well stocked with both Western

and African merchandise. Fresh produce is sometimes limited. Very good selection of meat (all kinds), cheese and other dairy products.


There are some very expensive dry cleaners in town. You may approach some of the local women that are happy to do your laundry for a good price.

Diving / Fishing:

There are several diving boats in the fishing harbour. It may be best to simply approach their crews. There is a good diving store/chandlery on the Rue d’Aeroport next to the Europcar Downtown Office.

The best diving spots that can be reached by boat or your dinghy are around Île Moucha about six NM to the north. There is a supertanker wreck in 18 meters, the “Japanese Gardens” close to the Banc Maskali and the “Arabic Gardens” further out. There is quite a bit of current reported there.


A taxi ride from the fishing harbour to town should be not more than 600 Francs. A ride to the Casino supermarket, not more than 1.000 Francs. It will be cheaper to take a new taxi at Casino after doing your shopping, there are always several cars waiting.

You can rent cars without a driver from several local offices such as Pyramid Rent a Car. Europcar offers good deals, their downtown office is sometimes cheaper than the airport branch.

Be careful: Despite information on the internet, non-4WD cars are often not permitted outside of Djibouti city (although roads are perfectly suited for normal cars). Sometimes cars are only rented for at least two days. Check before on the telephone.


There are several banks in the city center. ATMs are often limited to Visa cards. East Africa Bank has an ATM that accepts MasterCard, too. Money can be changed in the banks (rather high commisions), in exchange

offices (downtown) or via some individuals (mostly female) in the streets. Ask a taxi driver or in the hotel next to the East Africa bank if you want to try this service.


S.Y. Alytes, Skipper


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