Tourism: Is Djibouti the most beautiful place in Africa? So thinks Lonely Planet. Shshss….It has the highest female to Male ratio?
Lonely Planet has come out with its top 10 places to visit in 2018.
New Zealand is in fifth place – a pretty good showing. Topping the list is Chile, with South Korea second, and current European hotspot Portugal third. Then it’s Djibouti.
Wait … what?
The tiny African country has beaten some tourism heavyweights, and Lonely Planet says: “This tiny speck of a country packs a big punch. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty.
“Few countries in the world, with the possible exception of Iceland, offer such weird landscapes – think salt lakes, extinct volcanoes, sunken plains, limestone chimneys belching out puffs of steam, basaltic plateaus and majestic canyons.”
SIZE ISN’T EVERYTHING
Djibouti (23,200 square km) is about a twelfth of the size of New Zealand (270,467 square km)
Djibouti was a French territory until 1977 when 98.8 per cent of people voted for independence.
I GOT THE POWER
The country is awash with military bases due to its location on the Horn of Africa. France, the US, China, Japan, and Italy have bases there.
ALL THE SINGLE LADIES
There are 0.86 men for every woman in Djibouti, giving it a higher female-to-male ratio than all but three places on Earth (Northern Mariana Islands, Estonia and Ukraine).
LOW LOW LOW LOW LOW
Lake Assal is a saline lake which lies 155 metres beneath ocean level, making it the lowest point in Africa and the third-most lowest on Earth after the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea.
MORE TEA VICAR?
They love their tea in Djibouti. In fact, they drink more than the Brits per year, guzzling 3.2kg per person.
EVERYBODY NEEDS GOOD NEIGHBOURS
Djibouti is bordered by three countries – Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia.
However, New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns there is an extreme risk to your security in the area bordering Eritrea and advise against all travel to this area. A long-running border dispute has caused tensions between Djibouti and Eritrea. They also advise that there is some risk to your security elsewhere in Djibouti due to the threat of terrorism.
HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES
They love their football in Djibouti although success has been a bit thin. Currently, they are ranked 185 in the world (out of 206 – New Zealand are 122 FYI) and picked up their first win since 2011 in March this year with a 2-0 victory over South Sudan.
Djibouti has competed in eight Summer Olympics but only have one medal to show for it. Houssein Ahmed Salah picked up bronze in the marathon in Seoul in 1988.