Djibouti, a small country located in the Horn of Africa, may not be widely known for its national parks. However, this tiny nation has a surprising number of natural wonders to offer. From breathtaking landscapes to remarkable wildlife, Djibouti’s national parks showcase the country’s unique biodiversity and cultural heritage. Here is a list of national parks that nature enthusiasts can explore in Djibouti.
1. Forêt du Day National Park:
Located in the Day Forest region, Forêt du Day is one of the most biodiverse habitats in Djibouti. This national park covers an area of about 35,000 hectares and is home to a variety of indigenous plant species, such as juniper and frankincense trees. Visitors to Forêt du Day can witness the stunning sight of monkeys, antelopes, and numerous bird species in their natural habitat.
2. Lake Assal National Park:
Nestled in the heart of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Assal is a unique national park in Djibouti. It is renowned for being the lowest point on the African continent and the saltiest lake outside of Antarctica. The park offers visitors a surreal experience with its mesmerizing deep blue waters and spectacular salt formations. Lake Assal is also home to diverse birdlife, including flamingos and pelicans.
3. Day Forest National Park:
Day Forest National Park is located in the northern part of the country, near the border with Eritrea. This park boasts a lush jungle-like environment, with towering trees and dense vegetation. Visitors can explore the park through guided walking tours to discover its rich biodiversity, which includes numerous bird species, primates, and even leopards. Day Forest is a sanctuary for nature lovers and provides an excellent opportunity for trekking and birdwatching.
4. Seven Brothers Islands National Park:
Situated off the coast of Djibouti in the Gulf of Tadjoura, Seven Brothers Islands National Park is a true hidden gem. Composed of seven uninhabited islands, this park offers visitors a unique marine experience. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can explore the vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish and other marine life. The islands are also a sanctuary for seabirds and provide nesting sites for turtles.
5. Ghoubbet-el-Kharab National Park:
Ghoubbet-el-Kharab National Park, also known as the “Desert of Ghosts,” is located near the juncture of the Gulf of Tadjoura and the Red Sea. This park is named after the mysterious phenomenon of bubbling, carbonated water that occurs in the area. Visitors can witness this surreal sight and explore the unique geology and volcanic landscapes of the region. Ghoubbet-el-Kharab is also home to marine life, including whale sharks, dolphins, and sea turtles.
From dense forests to salty lakes, Djibouti’s national parks offer a diverse range of natural landscapes and wildlife. Whether you are an adventurer seeking a unique diving experience or a nature enthusiast in search of endemic plants and animals, Djibouti’s national parks will not disappoint. With its relatively untouched and unexplored beauty, Djibouti truly deserves a spot on any nature lover’s bucket list.