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City Guide: Djibouti City, Djibouti

Downtown street scene

Downtown street scene

Djibouti in a word: Rip.

Chance of Hooking up: 4 / 5
Quality of Girls: 2.5 / 5
Nightlife: 3.5 / 5
Smoking tolerance: 3 / 5

City guide ratings explained

Costs €$£

Bachelor’s budget: $75 per day.

Beer: 1000 DJF ($5-6) for a beer.
Bed: Private rooms from $25.
Food: $6  for a meal.
Other Costs: Drop the $15 entrance fee for the Kempinski hotel- a five star paradise in slumville. Lounging by the pool bar is a great way to spend the day. The taxi ride will cost you around $5.

Currency Conversion

Overview 

Djibouti has very little going for it. It’s rough, full of hustlers, the women are covered up, and thanks to foreign military bases, everything is horrendously expensive for what you get. The only saving grace is the Kempinski hotel and the half-decent nightlife.

The Girls

If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend  you read my article Sex in Africa 101 before continuing.

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The best pic I could find.

AppearanceThe drop off in boner-inducing females coming from Ethiopia is dramatic. Like many on the horn of Africa, their skin ranges from quite dark to very light skinned, but like Somalis, Djiboutians are usually wrapping up an extra 10lbs of fat. 95% of locals wear hijabs and loose abayas… and this leaves them unaccountable for shoveling down that extra portion of goat fat. The cream of the crop are stunning, but you rarely encounter them. So why the harsh rating? Because of the standard at night. Each bar will usually only have 1-2 bangable girls— if even—and  they’re usually young bar girls. Sadly, most ladies of the night are washed up Ethiopian or Somali immigrant hookers way past their prime. To get a better idea of what Djiboutian girls look like, click here.

Demographics:   Population is 604,013. The two largest ethnic groups are the Somali (60%) and the Afar (35%), the latter of which are usually lighter and better looking.

Attitudes: As many travelers will attest, Djiboutians lack the warmth of their neighbors. This is primarily due to the presence of the French and American military bases here, which has encouraged rampant prostitution and boozing in what would otherwise be a conservative Muslim country. Almost all night girls are out to play you. Be careful.

Gaming Strategy: Logistics are a big problem, as most accommodation doesn’t allow guests. This mean goings back to their place (or a room you’ll be locked into and held prisoner in until you fork over everything you have…sigh). The only locals worth gaming are the ones who work or drink at the Kempimski hotel or at the upscale restaurants on Menelik square. And it may take you some time. This small pool of girls also get attention from military dudes, so you have little exotic capital.  The other option is to shore downtown. In both cases, you’re chances improve massively with a basic level of French. Note that bar girls are often ‘bar fined’, so get their number for a meet-up later. If you go home with a girl from  Tropicana, good luck.

The Dirt

Accommodation: If  I were rich, I’d stay at the 5 star Kempinski. However, the European quarter is where the all the action is. Stay as near to the Menelik hotel as you can. We stayed in the Horseed… a safe place that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. Security would not allow guests, however. Girls will know place where you can rent-by-the hour, but trust your gut. These  places are dodgy.

Getting High: Bring it in from Ethiopia.

Other advice: The bar scene is competitive. Most bars will give you a 2 for 1 offer on your first drink if you ask AT THE BAR. This will save you a fortune. Also, negotiate the price of drink before hand. The next bit of advise is more important…

IGNORE street hustlers. The worst thing about Djibouti is the local guys. They are as bad as Ghanaians and Gambians for hassle. This is the game: they befriend you on the street (or even in a bar), saying they work for a club or bar, offering a free drink (which you get anyway ). Then they come in with you, order some expensive drinks for themselves, and you end up paying for it. Then they will also follow you around for the whole night, AND THEN demand money for their services. During the day, you’ll also be hassled constantly for money.

The Nightlife

Djibouti nightlife is surprisingly lively – albeit expensive. Even on a Monday you can find a faint pulse. With the exception of Tropicana, most of the bars are concentrated in one area.

Menelik Square

They’re are a couple of bars around this area. Menelik hotel itself is not a bad option on the weekends, as it has a very mixed crowd. Oasis and the neighbouring bar on Rue d’Ethiopia is also tolerable. Finally, there is another popular place called Scotch on Rue Cholchette.. the only place remotely buzzing on a Monday.

Kempinski club

Kempinski

I recommend the pool side bar for during the day. You’ll meet a great bunch of characters. At night, however, the hotel is dead excepts Saturdays, when the casino/club attracts a crowd… probably the only time you’ll get to meet the middle/upper classes.

Tropicana

Oh Jesus, Tropicana. This is the only bar you won’t find expats. Everybody will tell you to avoid this place. But you know what that means? Go. Basically, it’s the biggest venue in the city, and only starts filling up after 3AM, when all the other bars close. All the hookers and bar girls come here as their last chance saloon. Although it’s dodgy, it’s fun as hell. The music was excellent and the female attention is entertaining. Be very careful if you decide to go home with a girl.

My Djibouti Experience

I had one very dramatic experience in the city which involved a psycho prostitute, ambush, armed robbery, espionage and corrupt police. I don’t want to talk about it now. It gives me nightmares. You’ll have to read about it in my next book. Needless-to-say, it made me very wary the rest of my nights out there. I lost almost all my desire to chase tail. On the upside, I captured my Somali flag there… as did my friend Dan.

You can see some of the antics we got into in my UPCOMING film series in August!!!

You can watch the trailer here.

Other Resources

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11 Responses to City Guide: Djibouti City, Djibouti

  1. Lika June 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

    I love this Klapiski hotel already, so many names for one single place ^^

  2. Lika June 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Klepimpski sorry

  3. Elviento June 22, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    “popular place called Scott’s”
    It’s the “Scotch”.
    I stayed 3 years in Djibouti and I think you’re quite right (even if I didn’t had any problem with girls).
    You don’t have a lot of nice girls but the few you’ll be able to see are absolute beauties.
    I met the most beautiful girl in my life there, she was from Ethiopia but had asian like eyes very thin body but a fantastic ass and enormous boobs 🙂
    And she was a goddess in bed unlike most of the girls there who don’t know how to fuck and mostly don’t like to suck…

    • Naughty Nomad June 24, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

      Thanks, Elviento!

  4. David Klein June 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    I traveled overland from Ethiopia (Harare) to Djibouti two years ago. Since Ethiopia is landlocked (has no coastline, well it’s now called Eritreia) and we wanted to do some diving we decided to give Djibouti a chance. The bustrip was crazy since all the other passengers (especially the women) turned out to be Qat smugglers (legal in Ethiopia but illegal in Djibouti). You’d be amazed how many k’s of Qat a woman can hide underneath her hijab. The busdriver was totally high on Qat which made up for an interesting ride for people with a deathwish anyway. The border formalities between Ethiopia and Djibouti take at least 3-4 hours because of the smuggling. Custom officials are completely corrupt and are on the take to get their portion of the drug money. The country itself is terribly overpriced to African standards anyway. We stayed at the Sheraton in Djibouti city which isn’t a bad choice but they also maintain a strict ‘no guests allowed’ policy. The diving is ok though.

  5. spunky July 1, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Ur somali.flags u gamed so.u didnt have to.pay like u wouldbin asia?
    These western military bases are really messing things up for the locals as u describe…no arguement there

  6. Russ July 7, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    I lived there twice (for six months each time) right downtown in the Bellevue hotel. I was in the perfect location for nightlife but couldn’t bring myself to partake. You see, my impression was that disease was rampant and I was just as worried about contracting TB as HIV. In my opinion, you’re really playing Russian roulette there.

  7. dexter jay August 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

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  8. dexter jay September 7, 2013 at 7:55 am #

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  9. elmo jordan May 31, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

    The afars are normally the darker and less (educated), while the original djiboutian issas are more and more leaving for ethiopia (harar/dire dawa). Nowadays djibouti is becoming infested with Somalis and Ethiopians. In a few years the afars and the issas will become the minority in djibouti (if not already). I do agree with you on the prices of Djibouti. It’s ridiculous. You are one brave man playing with those ethiopian hookers. Be careful friend.

    PS My wife is djiboutian

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