The tiny east African country of Djibouti has several outlets to explore for swimming, snorkeling, windsurfing, diving and mountain climbing. In addition visitors can go on a four-wheel-drive expedition and relax in quiet resorts.
Djibouti gained independence from France in 1977. After that two political parties based on ethnicity were established. Later the parties merged but tensions erupted between the Afars and Issas, leading to civil war in the 1990s. A peace accord was reached in 2001. President Ismael Omar Guelleh was first elected in 1999 and again in 2005 under a multiparty system.
Djibouti's population numbers little more than 700,000 people, almost all of whom practice Islam. The common language is French, but Arabic, Somali and Afar are also spoken. People are largely divided between the Issa, who are traditionally Somali, and the Afar, who have an Ethiopian and Arab heritage.
Several airlines make their way to Djibouti, including Ethiopian Airlines, Air Tanzania, and Air France. Getting around Djibouti can be done by using shared taxis. Although the bus network is slow it is reliable and cheap. Trains are also available and normally go to Ali Sabieh, a hot spot for the true explorer.
Among the country's resorts is the Sheraton Djibouti Hotel, which is conveniently located near the market, the golf club and sightseeing boats. It has a restaurant, bar, car rental service and many other amenities.