Djibouti surges into spotlight as one-to-watch on Lonely Planet list

If you had mentioned Djibouti to someone planning an African holiday before this month, they may not even had heard of it before.

Now, though, Djibouti has been thrust into the limelight by the annual Lonely Planet Best In Travel list for 2018. The African country curled around the Gulf of Tadjoura, which is in a key trading location between Africa and the Middle East and has been both an Arabic and French colony in the past, has placed fourth in the top 10 list and now looks set to attract many more tourists to the area.

Djibouti is an almost otherworldly landscape, a playground for adventurers and lovers of extreme sports, and a place where nature has shaped the terrain in truly unique ways.

Lonely Planet explained just what is so special about it in their 2018 guide.

“This petite nation is in the process of being ripped in three by diverging tectonic plates. Magma seethes beneath ever-thinning crust; Martian-like deserts spew steam from fumaroles; and sunken lake shores glisten with huge salt crystals,” it said.

The coast along Djibouti is also surely one of the world’s wildest and most true-to-nature of Whale Shark swimming experiences. Often you can feel wrapped in cotton wool on some trips which allow you to swim with animals, but here you dive into a deep blue from a wooden boat and glide around with the gentle giants in the great open water – a truly transformative experience.

Djibouti City, the capital, feels like a metropolis from an ancient time, with stallholders who peddle their wares and buildings with design influences which come from Africa, France and the Arab world.

Djibouti placed behind Chile, South Korea and Portugal in the Lonely Planet Top 10 list, with Mauritius and South Africa being the other African countries who made the rankings.