General Information

Officially the Republic of Djibouti, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the borders formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east. 

Somali, Arabic and French are the country's three official languages. About 94% of residents adhere to Islam, which is the official religion and has been predominant in the region for more than a thousand years. The Somali (Issa clan) and Afar make up the two largest ethnic groups. Both speak Afroasiatic languages.

The country's flora and fauna live in a harsh landscape with forest accounting for less than one percent of the total area of the country. Wildlife is spread over three main regions, namely from the northern mountain region of the country to the volcanic plateaux in its southern and central part and culminating in the coastal region.

Most species of wildlife are found in the northern part of the country, in the ecosystem of the Day Forest National Park. The area includes the Goda massif, with a peak of  (5,850 ft) in the Juniperus procera forest, with many of the trees rising to (66 feet) height.  It also contains many species of woody and herbaceous plants, including boxwood and olive trees, which account for 60% of the total identified species in the country.

According to the country profile related to biodiversity of wildlife in Djibouti, the nation contains more than 820 species of plants, 493 species of invertebrates, 455 species of fish, 40 species of reptiles, 3 species of amphibians, 360 species of birds and 66 species of mammals. Wildlife of Djibouti is also listed as part of Horn of Africa biodiversity hotspot and the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coral reef hotspot.

Djibouti's two main geological marvels, Lake Abbe and Lake Assal, are the country's top tourist destinations. The two sights draw hundreds of tourists every year looking for remote places that are not visited by many.

Djiboutian attire reflects the region's hot and arid climate. When not dressed in Western clothing such as jeans and T-shirts, men typically wear the macawiis, which is a traditional sarong-like garment worn around the waist. Many nomadic people wear a loosely wrapped white cotton robe called a tobe that goes down to about the knee, with the end thrown over the shoulder (much like a Roman toga).

Women typically wear the dirac, which is a long, light, diaphanous voile dress made of cotton or polyester that is worn over a full-length half-slip and a bra. Married women tend to sport head-scarves referred to as shash and often cover their upper body with a shawl known as garbasaar. Unmarried or young women, however, do not always cover their heads.

The oud is a common instrument in traditional Djibouti music.Somalis have a rich musical heritage centered on traditional Somali folklore. Most Somali songs are pentatonic. That is, they only use five pitches per octave. 

Djiboutian cuisine is a mixture of Somali, Afar, Yemeni, and French cuisine, with some additional South Asian (especially Indian) culinary influences. Local dishes are commonly prepared using a lot of Middle Eastern spices, ranging from saffron to cinnamon. Grilled Yemeni fish, opened in half and often cooked in tandoori style ovens, are a local delicacy.

Spicy dishes come in many variations, from the traditional Fah-fah or "Soupe Djiboutienne" (spicy boiled beef soup), to the yetakelt wet (spicy mixed vegetable stew). Xalwo (pronounced "halwo") or halva is a popular confection eaten during festive occasions, such as Eid celebrations or wedding receptions. Halva is made from sugar, corn starch, cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and ghee. Peanuts are sometimes added to enhance texture and flavor. 

After meals, homes are traditionally perfumed using incense (cuunsi) or frankincense (lubaan), which is prepared inside an incense burner referred to as a dabqaad.