Djibouti is a major seaport and the capital of Djibouti. A city with Arabic and French vibes, it is possible to easily hitch to the neighbouring towns if communication with the locals permits it. Speaking French in Djibouti is a thoroughly advantageous element.
It is also possible to make the crossing to Yemen on a dwo from the port of Djibouti.
Note that the cost of life in Djibouti City is extremely high due to the absence of locally grown goods and the high level of European expats living in the city. Low-Cost accommodation is also inexistent in the city as cheap hotel starts at no 6500 DJF. 'Hotel de Djibouti' (single 6300/double 8600) with basic amenities has showed to be the cheapest option in the whole city (while having a friendly staff and being nearby the bus station to Ethiopia).
Be aware of the people offering services or to 'help you' find your ways will always expect remuneration to do so (at usually 1-2 Euros). Agree from beginning that you won't give them money, although with remaining cautious to not offend someone just approaching you for a talk.
Hitching South: Ouea, Arta
Reach the Roundabout off the Regional Bus departure corner to Ouea (further off the Supermarket, before the Stadium) can be a starting point to reach the next roundabout at the exit of the city (after the stadium). (A bus to Arta/Ouea should be fixed at about
- to the left, the road would lead to the airport as a possible option
- further on, you face the only road leading to Ouea, Arta or further south in the country along the National 1
- from this second roundabout (located after the stadium) you should not take any ride that does not leave Djibouti. The remaining urban extension of Djibouti City consists of the Industrial area, Refugee camp and Ethiopia Trucker Services which are all reputed as a dangerous corner of the city.
- accept or ask if someone either drives to:
- the National 1 Police Control Post, which is located in the desert about 10km outside of Djibouti City and controls all incoming and outgoing traffic.
- Arta Crossroad or to Ouea
Remain Careful of the 'Green' Taxi whom charges exorbitant prices as they are used to drive French Legionnaire to Ouea at any price.
Taxi tariffs are fixed, make sure you look at the board outside the airport to know the right price to pay. It is easy to just start walking off the airport to reach the major road and then start to enquire for a ride.
Djibouti Airport has flight to Hargeisa, Somaliland with Daallo Airlines for about 120$ one-way. Prices are payable cash in US$ for a 2h flight. Note that flying to Hargeysa is full of disguised tax at arrival and departure.
SPB d'Ali Sabieh (#84 66 45 / 84 66 70) offers a long and exhausting bus services through the Desert crossing to Ethiopia at Ali Sabieh/Dewele. The Djibouti bus brings you to the border, which you cross by foot for inspection (make sure to have your yellow fever vaccination certificate) and catch an Ethiopian bus that may or may not be direct to Dire Dawa (make sure to enquire). The buses leaves Djibouti City at dawn and the tickets at sold at the counter for 2500 DJF per person for the whole length until Dire Dawa (so make sure to keep your ticket for the length from the border with you). The bags are taken in for 300DJF, negotiable. This tariffs (if real) payable only on the Djibouti side. Travel time of about 8h.
4-Wheel drive do the lenghty distance through the desert to join Hargeisa in Somaliland overnight by passing through Seylac. Information can be gathered regarding using their services. Here again, a Djibouti transport brings you from the city to the Somaliland border where those 4-Wheel drive await for passengers on the other side.