Djibouti

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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

Djibouti - Exercise a high degree of caution

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Djibouti. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to crime.

Djibouti-Eritrea border - Avoid non-essential travel

Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the area within 10 km of the border with Eritrea, due to tensions between the two countries.

See Safety and security for more information.

Safety and security

Safety and security

Djibouti–Eritrea border (see Advisory)

The security situation along the border is unstable due to tensions between the Djibouti and Eritrea. Military skirmishes occur from time to time.

Border areas

The borders between Djibouti and Somalia and between Djibouti and Ethiopia are not always clearly marked, and there could be unexploded landmines.

Terrorism

There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.

Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

Crime

Petty crime such as pickpocketing bag snatching and theft from vehicles occurs. Be vigilant in public places and avoid walking alone after dark. Because of their isolation, avoid visiting the beaches of Dorale and Khor Ambado late in the afternoon. Do not show signs of affluence. Ensure that your personal belongings, including passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings; follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Road safety

Streets are narrow, poorly maintained and lack adequate lighting. Local driving habits, pedestrians, roaming livestock and excessive speeds pose additional risks. Major roads are paved, but often lack guardrails. Police may set up roadblocks of wire coils, which may be difficult to see at night. Railway crossings are not well indicated. In the event of an accident, remain in the car and wait until the police arrive on the scene. Do not travel after dark.

Operational gas stations are located far from one another (mostly in the cities of Djibouti, Ali Sabieh, Dikhil, Obock and Tadjourah). Ensure you have sufficient fuel provisions in reserve before undertaking long drives.

While Djibouti has been declared a “mine safe” country, you should stay on paved roads, particularly in the northern districts of Obock and Tadjourah, as well as Ali Sabieh District in the south, where mines have been found.

Public transportation

Intercity public travel is limited to bus and ferry services between Djibouti and the cities of Obock and Tadjourah. Buses are poorly maintained and driven erratically.

Air travel

The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.

Piracy

Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.

General safety information

You should always carry photo identification, preferably a certified copy of your passport’s identification page.

Modern tourist facilities and communications networks are limited in the city of Djibouti and scarce in many outlying areas. Outside the capital, cell phone coverage is often unavailable.

Ask permission before photographing individuals.

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the authorities of Djibouti and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Djibouti for up-to-date information.

Passport

Canadians must present a passport to visit Djibouti, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.

Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.

Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.

Visas

Canadians must be in possession of a visa to visit Djibouti.

Tourist visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required (a tourist visa is issued to students)

Yellow fever

See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.

Children and travel

Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.

About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in East Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in East Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

Risk

Cholera is a risk in parts of this country.  Most travellers are at very low risk.

For protection of cholera

All travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.

Cholera vaccination

Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care provider the benefits of getting vaccinated.

Travellers at higher risk include those:

  • visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
  • visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring.

 

Travellers' diarrhea
  • Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
  • Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
  • The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher for children, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in East Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rift Valley feverWest Nile virus and yellow fever.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Zika virus infection

Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.  

Travel recommendations:

All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.   


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in East Africa, like avian influenza, ebola, and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.

Avian Influenza

There have been human cases of avian influenza in this country.

Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds. In rare cases, it can infect people.

Protect yourself: 

  • avoid high risk areas such as poultry farms and live animal markets
  • avoid areas where poultry may be slaughtered
  • avoid contact with birds (alive or dead)
  • avoid surfaces that may have bird droppings or secretions on them
  • ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs, are well cooked

Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). 

High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care provider.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.


Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are limited in the capital and almost nonexistent in many outlying areas. Medicines can be extremely expensive and are often unavailable. Medical evacuation is necessary for serious illness cases or accidents.

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

Laws and culture

Laws & culture

You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.

Illegal or restricted activities

Consumption of alcohol is authorized, but public displays of drunkenness could result in a two-year prison term.

The use of drugs is prohibited.

Hunting is prohibited by law.

Photography of military installations is prohibited.

LGBTQ2 travellers

Although the laws of Djibouti do not prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex, homosexuality is not socially tolerated. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Djibouti. Consult Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and two-spirit Canadians abroad for more information.

Culture

During the lunar month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), refrain from drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. In 2018, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 15.

Islamic practices and beliefs are part of the country’s customs, laws and regulations. Exercise common sense and discretion in dress and behaviour. Dress conservatively and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. It is forbidden to produce, display publicly or sell any object, image, film or audio-visual recording considered contrary to accepted standards of behaviour.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Djibouti. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you a Djiboutian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present a Djiboutian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.

Driving

An International Driving Permit is recommended.

Money

Islamic practices and beliefs are part of the country’s customs, laws and regulations. Exercise common sense and discretion in dress and behaviour. Dress conservatively and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. It is forbidden to produce, display publicly or sell any object, image, film or audio-visual recording considered contrary to accepted standards of behaviour.

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

The climate is very dry and hot from May to October.

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 18 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Djibouti - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressPlace Lagarde, DjiboutiPostal AddressP.O. Box 1188, DjiboutiTelephone253-21-35-59-50 / 253-77-81-58-50Fax253-21-35-00-14Emailgeorgalis@intnet.djInternetwww.canadainternational.gc.ca/ethiopia-ethiopie/index.aspx?lang=engFacebookThe Embassy of Canada to Ethiopia
Addis Ababa - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressOld Airport Area, Nefas Silk Lafto Sub City, Kebele 04, House No.122, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaPostal AddressP.O. Box 1130, Addis Ababa, EthiopiaTelephone251 (0) 11 317 0000Fax251 (0) 11 317 0040Emailaddis-cs@international.gc.caInternetwww.canadainternational.gc.ca/ethiopia-ethiopie/ServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookThe Embassy of Canada to EthiopiaOffice hoursThe consular section is open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and Friday.

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.


The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.

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