Djibouti’s Footsteps of the Afar
from $5070
Duration: 11 Days
Embark on an active adventure along the Horn of Africa on this 11-day Lonely Planet Experience powered by Intrepid. Experience life like an Afar nomad, float on one of the world’s saltiest lakes, snorkel in search of whale sharks and travel in a country with incredible cultures but very little tourism. Explore diverse and sometimes surreal scenery. Hike to Lac Assal, summit Ardoukoba Volcano, trek through Foret du Day National Park, relax on the beach at Plage des Sables Blancs and drift to sleep ‘belles etoiles’ (under the stars) at Allouli. Be the first person you know to come home raving about dreamy Djibouti.
  • Discover this emerging travel destination before the crowds do. Very few tourists come to Djibouti, which is sure to change as word spreads about its untouched natural wonders.
  • Strap on a snorkel and dive into the waters of Arta Beach, where (if you’re lucky) the whale sharks that fill the waters will decide to keep you company during your swim.
  • Take an epic hike over the dramatic ravine in Foret du Day National Park to the top of Ardoukoba Volcano, then spend the night camped in a dead forest.
  • Spend the night in a traditional Afar hut in the Grand Bara Desert, perched on a hill with spectacular views of the surreal landscape.
  • Watch the sunrise over the chimneys, salt flats and hot springs of Lac Abbe, which featured in the 1968 Planet of the Apes film.
  • Djibouti City - Leader Led Walking Tour
  • Arta Beach - Whale Sharks Tour
  • Lac Abbe - Cultural Dance
  • Lac Abbe - Guided sunset walk to Chimneys
  • Lac Abbe - Morning Hike to the lake
  • Ardoukoba - Volcano Hike
  • Foret du Day - Hike
  • Ras Bire - Lighthouse & Maket Visit
  • Obock - Godoria Mangrove boat trip
  • Day 1 Location: Djibouti City
    Salaam aleikum! Welcome to Djibouti! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 3 pm, followed by a walking tour of the city. See the European Quarter (home to Moorish and European architecture), L'Escale harbour walk and Hamoudi Mosque in the African Quarter. Tonight’s dinner will feature traditional Djiboutian and Ethiopian food.
    Day 2 Location: Djibouti City
    Today we’ll head to Arta Beach, one of the most reliable spots in the world for encounters with whale sharks. Jump in a small boat and head out in search of these gentle giants. Sightings of these huge creatures are most likely from November to January. Later, head back to the city where we spend the night.
    Day 3 Location: Lac Abbe
    Take a 4WD journey through the Grand Bara Desert to the otherworldly Lake Abbe, which lies on the border between Ethiopia and Djibouti. Keep your eyes peeled for mirages, as well as animals like antelopes and gazelles. After enjoying a traditional dance during dinner, you’ll sleep in an Afar hut at Campement Touristique d’Asboley. The cluster of permanent nomad-style tents is perched on a hill with views of the spectacular and surreal desert landscape.
    Day 4 Location: Lac Assal
    Wake early to catch the sunrise over the shores of Lake Abbe, which featured in the 1968 movie Planet Of The Apes. Marvel at the famous chimneys, salt flats and hot springs. Then embark on a roughly 3-hour hike to the lake, where you may be able to spot flamingos. Return and jump in a 4WD to Lake Assal, passing Dikhil, Yoboki and Gagade on the way. Lac Assal, also known as the honey lake, is a crater-lake that sits atop the Great Rift Valley. It’s one of the world’s saltiest lakes and also the lowest point on land in Africa. Take a float in the lake if you’d like, but remember you've got a night of camping ahead and no hot shower to clean off!
    Day 5 Location: Foret du Day National Park
    Rise and shine for an early morning departure for our hike to Ardoukoba Volcano, which erupted in 1978 after lying dormant for around 3000 years. Take a 4WD across extremely rugged terrain and then hike a moderately strenuous trail to the top of the volcano. Continue walking to the scenic bay of Ghoubbet at the Gulf of Tadjoura and the entrance of the Red Sea for lunch (approximately 5 hours hiking total). In the afternoon drive to Foret du Day National Park (approximately 2.5 hours) where tonight’s camp is within a dead forest.
    Day 6 Location: Foret du Day National Park
    Shake off the sleep this morning with a four-kilometre hike through the peaceful forest surrounding camp. Afterwards, pay a visit to a nearby village to get a feel for local life and grab some refreshment in a teahouse.
    Day 7 Location: Obock
    Depart for Obock after breakfast, stopping en route in Tadjoura. Arrive in Obock, a colonial port town and visit the market and the lighthouse at Ras Bire. Spend the evening in a beach hut.
    Day 8 Location: Plage des Sables Blancs
    This morning, take a scenic boat ride around the Godoria Mangroves. After lunch back in Obock, head to Plage des Sables Blancs, considered one of the best beaches in Djibouti. Your afternoon is free for you to splash around and enjoy the beach at your leisure.
    Day 9 Location: Plage des Sables Blancs
    Today is another free day for you to spend relaxing by the beach. You can take part in kite flying with locals, swim, snorkel or simply catch up on some sleep after an active week!
    Day 10 Location: Djibouti City
    Journey back to Djibouti City after breakfast. Hop on the 11 am ferry back to Djibouti City and arrive by around 2 pm this afternoon. The rest of your afternoon is free. Tonight, enjoy a dinner with your leader and group.
    Day 11 Location: Djibouti City
    This trip comes to an end after breakfast. There is no accommodation included for tonight, but speak to an Intrepid representative if you would like to extend your stay.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    22NOV2020
    Return Date:
    02DEC2020
    5070NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    06DEC2020
    Return Date:
    16DEC2020
    5165NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    27DEC2020
    Return Date:
    06JAN2021
    5070NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    12 Jul 2020

    Trip title

    Djibouti's Footsteps of the Afar

    Trip code

    YGSD

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

    Introduction

    Embark on an active adventure along the Horn of Africa on this 11-day Lonely Planet Experience powered by Intrepid. Experience life like an Afar nomad, float on one of the world’s saltiest lakes, snorkel in search of whale sharks and travel in a country with incredible cultures but very little tourism. Explore diverse and sometimes surreal scenery. Hike to Lac Assal, summit Ardoukoba Volcano, trek through Foret du Day National Park, relax on the beach at Plage des Sables Blancs and drift to sleep ‘belles etoiles’ (under the stars) at Allouli. Be the first person you know to come home raving about dreamy Djibouti.

    Style

    Basix

    Themes

    Lonely Planet Experience,Walking & Trekking

    Transport

    4x4 Safari Vehicle,Ferry

    Physical Rating

    4

    Physical preparation

    This trip requires a reasonable level of fitness. There are a number of active elements included in the itinerary including a 12km trek and a snorkelling excursion. All overnight camps used on this itinerary are open air huts or bungalows with only military cot and mosquito net. Facilities are basic & limited, and conditions can be trying.

    Joining point

    Menelik Hotel

    Place 27 Juin

    Djibouti City

    DJIBOUTI

    Phone: +251 915086763

    Joining point description

    Menelik Hotel is located right in the centre of Djibouti City. Perfect for exploring the old city. The rooms are simple and clean. All rooms have ensuites with hot water, and Air-conditioning. Hotel facilities include a restaurant.

    Joining point instructions

    If you have pre-booked a transfer please look out for our representative holding an Intrepid board with your name at the arrival terminal. For transfers and accommodation issues, Intrepid's Kenya Office can be reached on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813

    Finish point

    Menelik Hotel

    Place 27 Juin

    Djibouti City

    DJIBOUTI

    Phone: +251 915086763

    Finish point description

    Menelik Hotel is located right in the centre of Djibouti City. Perfect for exploring the old city. The rooms are simple and clean. All rooms have ensuites with hot water, and Air-conditioning. Hotel facilities include a restaurant.

    Finish point instructions

    If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your departure transfer time.

    Important information

    1. A single supplement is available for the nights in Djibouti City only. 2. The standard of health facilities in Djibouti's capital is limited and very basic to non-existent in outlying regions. Medicines are sometimes unavailable in rural areas and can be expensive. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation (at considerable expense) to a destination with appropriate facilities would be necessary. 3. A thermarest mattress may be required to make the camping nights more comfortable.

    Group leader

    All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip. The amount of English spoken in Djibouti is limited. While your leader will be fluent in English, your local guide may have broken English and your drivers English will be very limited.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field: www.intrepidtravel.com/safety

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. BALCONIES Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! SEAT BELTS Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PICK POCKETING & PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking at night and encourage you to walk in groups and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. WATER SAFETY Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

    BILHARZIA Bilharzia is a parasitical disease which is usually spread by swimming in contaminated water. It can be assumed that the infection is present, to a greater or lesser extent, in almost all water sources, but most especially in shallow reedy waters in the vicinity of villages. Although the adult parasites do not themselves cause a great deal of harm, after about 4-6 weeks they start to lay eggs, which triggers an intense but usually ineffective immune response, the symptoms of which can include fever, cough, abdominal pain, and an itchy skin complaint known as safari itch. After a while the symptoms settle down and the patient is left with a sense of feeling tired all the time.

    Visas

    PASSPORT As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. DJIBOUTI: We recommend you obtain a Djibouti E-Visa through the below website: https://www.evisa.gouv.dj/#/ You will need an invitation letter from Intrepid Travel to accompany your application. Please provide your full passport details and flight details to obtain this. Your eVisa will usually be emailed to you within 72 hours of the date you completed your application. As of May 1st 2018 visas are no longer obtainable at the border on arrival.

    Why we love it

    Discover this emerging travel destination before the crowds do. Very few tourists come to Djibouti, which is sure to change as word spreads about its untouched natural wonders.

    Strap on a snorkel and dive into the waters of Arta Beach, where (if you’re lucky) the whale sharks that fill the waters will decide to keep you company during your swim.

    Take an epic hike over the dramatic ravine in Foret du Day National Park to the top of Ardoukoba Volcano, then spend the night camped in a dead forest.

    Spend the night in a traditional Afar hut in the Grand Bara Desert, perched on a hill with spectacular views of the surreal landscape.

    Watch the sunrise over the chimneys, salt flats and hot springs of Lac Abbe, which featured in the 1968 Planet of the Apes film.

    Is this trip right for you

    Some of the best scenery in Djibouti is found on hikes. So, while this trip doesn't require an athletic level of fitness, it’s essential to be at least moderately fit if you want to partake in all activities. The hikes on this trip cover distances of 4—12 kilometres, and you can find further detail in the itinerary. Some nights will be spent sleeping “belle etoile”, which means “under the stars”. Despite the elegant name, this is camping at its most basic. You’ll be on military-style cots without a tent over your head. But hey…that’s what adventures are made of!

    Health

    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. The standard of health facilities in Djibouti's capital is limited and very basic to non-existent in outlying regions. Medicines are sometimes unavailable in rural areas and can be expensive. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation (at considerable expense) to a destination with appropriate facilities would be necessary. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. YELLOW FEVER: A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting. DRINKING WATER: As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about 3 litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies. MALARIA: Malaria occurs widely throughout the year in Djibouti. Other insect-borne diseases (including dengue fever and filariasis) are also a risk to travellers. Please speak to your Doctor about Anti-Malaria medication and take measures to avoid insect bites including using insect repellent at all times, and wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing . INFECTIOUS DISEASES: Water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS, cholera, hepatitis, schistosomiasis, meningococcal disease and tuberculosis) are prevalent with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea. High summer temperatures can lead to dehydration and sunstroke if adequate precautions are not taken. POLIO: There have been ongoing outbreaks of polio in countries across the Horn of Africa. Travellers should ensure they have completed a primary course of polio vaccination and receive a booster dose prior to travel. If you are unsure of your polio vaccination status, check with your doctor or travel clinic at least eight weeks before you depart.

    Food and dietary requirements

    Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic. Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages are not part of included meals. The variety of food in Djibouti is limited and it can be hard to obtain fresh fruit and vegetables.

    Money matters

    As a guide we recommend you allow approximately US$15 per day for additional meals, snacks and drinks (non-alcoholic) not included in your itinerary. Use a higher figure particularly if you are travelling during the hot season when you will require more fluids. Each and every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities and tipping. You should carry sufficient funds for extra sightseeing and optional activities. If you decide to take optional excursions which uses the services of a local guide and a private vehicle you will need to budget for more. A selection of optional activities are listed on your day to day itinerary to help you budget for your trip. If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Geckos destinations. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill. Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides. Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers. Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult. You will need to take money with you to cover any additional meals/drinks not included in your tour cost. Other costs to consider are drinking water approx. US$1-2 per 1.5 litre bottle, tips, laundry, souvenirs, additional sightseeing and possible delays. It is much better to come with more than you would expect to spend and to end the trip with a surplus, rather than being caught short. EMERGENCY FUNDS: Please make sure that you have access to at least an additional US$500. This money can be drawn upon in unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest, etc) that result in Peregrine necessitating a change to our planned route. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies that could happen en route. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the source and reimbursement will be made later by your insurance company. This is a situation where having a credit card can be useful. The best way to manage your money in Africa is a mixture of cash and an ATM card (best to have both Visa and MasterCard). CASH: Cash is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates. ***PLEASE NOTE: MANY BUSINESSES AND BANKS IN AFRICA, ESPECIALLY EAST AFRICA, DO NOT ACCEPT US DOLLAR NOTES OLDER THAN 2006. IF YOU ARE BRINGING USD, WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND LARGE BILLS IN GOOD CONDITION, 2006 SERIES ONWARDS ONLY. ANY OLD OR DAMAGED NOTES MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED.*** VISA AND MASTERCARD: With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities and even some campsites, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country. COMMISSIONS Unfortunately, commissions in exchange for recommending particular shops or restaurants are an ingrained part of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye, we’ve tried to legitimise the practise with a centralised fund. Moneys are collected from recommended and fully vetted suppliers and funnelled back into our business. This keeps the trip cost low (for us and for you) and makes sure you only get the best experiences. If you’re unhappy with any places your leader recommends, or feel the quality of the trip is being compromised in any way, please let us know in your feedback.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. ESSENTIALS: - Sleeping bag and sleep sheet. Some of the local Campements will be very basic and bedding may not be provided. Night time temperatures should not get much cooler than 15°C. - Travel pillow - Towel - Comfortable worn-in trekking shoes. - Closed in shoes for around camp. As this trip includes camping and/or bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment. - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended. - Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early mornings or evenings when it can be cool. - Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evenings. - A torch for navigating campements at night. - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses - Swimwear RECOMMENDED: - A simple plastic bag/waterproof toiletry bag (that can hang on a nail on the back of a door) will be useful to keep your clothes dry inside basic camp shower structures. - A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the campsite at night. Some campsites have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. Other sites will be completely wild so it’s a good idea to bring a headlamp to navigate the campsites and in particular going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, anti-diarrhoea, antibacterial gel, wet wipes, /plasters etc. - Insect repellent. - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. - Camera with spare batteries. You will have very limited access to charging facilities on this trip. OPTIONAL: - Thermarest. Many nights will be spent on “Belles Étoiles” meaning camping “under the stars” on military style beds. Some travellers find they like the extra comfort of a double layer. - Ear plugs to guard against a snoring fellow passenger. - A good book, journal or an IPod for the free days at the beach. CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN: In many parts of Africa women travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. Wear skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches. VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

    PLASTIC BAG BANS ACROSS AFRICA While Namibia holds people liable to a fine of N$500 or imprisonment for entering Game Parks with a plastic bag, Botswana has announced a countrywide ban on plastic bags to come into effect on 1 November 2018. The ban will make the importing, trading and commercial use of plastic bags a criminal offence. Exceptions will be made for plastics that are essential for health and hygiene. With these announcements, Botswana and Namibia join other African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Eritrea that have banned plastic bags. South Africa imposed a levy on plastic bags in 2004 but they have not yet been banned. Many countries are strictly enforcing this and have been searching luggage at border points. Camping stores are good for obtaining waterproof reusable bags, for dirty laundry etc, prior to departure.

    Climate and seasonal

    The Djibouti climate is typically hot year round especially May to September when the average daily temperature is around 40 degrees and sometimes peaking at 45 degrees. November to January are the coolest months and average temperatures of around 25 degrees making it perfect for outdoor activities. This also coincides with the annual Whale sharks visit.

    A couple of rules

    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader or local representative has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes. Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

    Feedback

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    Emergency contact

    ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP: While we always endeavor to provide you the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader/specialist guide or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader/guide to speak to their direct manager. For transfers and accommodation issues, Intrepid's Kenya Office can be reached on their 24 hour number +254 733 523 813 Intrepid's local Operator: +254 788 585 065

    Responsible travel

    Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below: - Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We've already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter. - Consider offsetting your flights when you book your trip/flights with us or your travel agent. - Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste. - Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions. - Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy. - Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone. - Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you. - Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags. - Give back by making a donation to a local project via The Intrepid Foundation. Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to responsible travel.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation set up to enable our travellers to help make a difference by supporting local communities, projects and non-government organisations in the places we travel. The smallest contribution can make an enormous difference and all donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched dollar for dollar (yes, we’ll double your donation!). We support a range of initiatives – from wildlife protection and environmental conservation to supporting vocational training for underprivileged individuals – all with the aim of helping to improve lives and empower communities across the world to make meaningful change. All administration costs are covered by us so you can be assured 100 per cent of your donation will reach your chosen project. To learn more about the projects we support, ask your trip leader for more information about projects in the region you are travelling in or visit www.theintrepidfoundation.org

    Accommodation notes

    The twin share price for this trip is based on 2 people travelling together and sharing a twin room. If you’d prefer not to share a room with your travel companion a single supplement is available. Please ask your booking agent for more information. The twin share price for this trip is based on 2 people travelling together and sharing a twin room in Djibouti City. Other nights accommodation is a mixture of camping and multishare rooms. If you’d prefer not to share a room in Djibouti City a single supplement is available for these nights. Please ask your booking agent for more information.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (3 nights),Beach Hut (1 night),Bungalow (2 nights),Nomad Camp (with basic facilities),Camping with basic facilities (2 nights),Camping with no facilities (1 night)

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