Djibouti Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: The Health tab was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Djibouti - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Djibouti due to crime.
Safety and security
Safety and security
The security situation along the border is unstable due to tensions between Djibouti and Eritrea.
The borders between Djibouti and Somalia and between Djibouti and Ethiopia are not always clearly identified. There could be unexploded landmines in these areas.
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.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and purse snatching occurs. There are also incidents of theft from vehicles.
- Be vigilant in public places and avoid walking alone after dark
- Don’t show signs of affluence
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
- Because of their isolation, avoid visiting the beaches in Doralé and Khor Ambado late in the afternoon
Demonstrations take place from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
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.
Don’t 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 reserves 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 in the south, where mines have been found.
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.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters and in some cases, further out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
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.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of Djibouti. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Djibouti.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
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)
Electronic visas - Government of Djibouti
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
- There are no updates at this time.
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 professional about which ones are right for you.
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 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.
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 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 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 (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
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.
- 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.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- 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 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 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.
Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care professional 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 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 is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
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 fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
- 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 mosquitoes. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in well-screened air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet or pre-treating travel gear with insecticides.
- 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 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.
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.
- 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
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 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 professional.
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. Medical evacuation is necessary for serious illness cases or accidents.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
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 must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Illegal or restricted activities
Hunting is prohibited by law.
Photography of military installations is prohibited.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long prison sentences and heavy fines.
Consumption of alcohol is authorized, but public displays of drunkenness could result in a two-year prison term.
Although the laws of Djibouti don’t prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex, homosexuality is not socially tolerated. LGBTQ2 travellers could face arrest under other charges. Laws that prohibit attacks on “good morals” have been used to prosecute public displays of same-sex conduct. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Djibouti.
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 2019, Ramadan is expected to begin on or around May 5.
Islamic practices and beliefs are part of Djibouti’s customs, laws and regulations. It is forbidden to produce, display publicly or sell any object, image, film or audio-visual recording considered contrary to accepted standards of behaviour.
- Exercise common sense and discretion in dress and behaviour
- Dress conservatively and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Djibouti.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Djibouti, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
You should carry an international driving permit
The currency of Djibouti is the Djiboutian franc. The economy is predominately cash based. Ensure you carry enough currency, as credit and debit cards are not widely accepted.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
The climate is very dry and hot from May to October.
Djibouti is located in a seismic zone.
Dial 18 for emergency assistance.
Djibouti - Consulate of Canada
Addis Ababa - Embassy of Canada
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. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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