Djibouti Currently Hosts the United States Military Base
Djibouti is located in Eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea on the east, Eritrea to the north, Ethiopia to the north and northwest and Somalia to the southeast.
The country can be divided into three regions the coastal plain and volcanic plateaus in the central and southern parts of the country and the mountain ranges in the north.
Much of the country is vast wastelands with virtually no arable land.
The climate is generally extremely hot and dry, particular between June and August, with the cooler season being from November to April.
The country is a barren strip of land, much of it white sandy beaches. Inland is semi desert and desert, with thorn bushes, steppes and volcanic mountain ranges. Djibouti city is late 19 century and has a distinctly Arab feel.
Attractions include a lively market near the Mosque, and many good local restaurants.
Nearby are beaches at Dorale, 11km and at Kor Ambad, 14km away. Djibouti lies within a geological feature known as the Afar Triangle, one of the hottest and most desolate places on Earth, much of it located beneath sea level. Straddling the Ethiopian frontier is Lake Abbe, home to thousands of flamingos and pelicans. A large market can be found at Ali Sabieh, a major stop for the main line train between Djibouti and Addis Ababa. On the opposite side of the Gulf of Tadjoura, an excellent place for scuba diving, fishing and underwater photography, are the towns of Obock and Tadjoura. There are restaurants to suit all tastes, serving French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arab and local specialities.
The present leadership favours close ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country, but has also developed increasingly stronger ties with the United States in recent years. Djibouti currently hosts the only United States military base in sub Saharan Africa and is a frontline state in the global war on terrorism.
The economy is based on service activities connected with the countries strategic location and status as a free trade zone in northeast Africa. Two thirds of the inhabitants live in the capital city, the remainder are mostly nomadic herders.
Scanty rainfall limits crop production to fruits and vegetables, and most food must be imported.
Djibouti has few natural resources and little industry. The nation is, therefore, heavily dependent on foreign assistance to help support its balance of payments and to finance development projects.