(Republic of Djibouti, Jamhuriyadda Jabuuti, Gabuuti Ummuuno)
- Location: Northeastern coast of the Horn of Africa
- Capital: Djibouti City
- Language: French, Somali, Arabic, Afar
- Population: 859,867
- Total Area: 23,200 sq km
- Currency: Djiboutian Franc
- Curious Alcohol Fact: Being a predominantly Muslim nation, alcohol is difficult to get unless you visit some of the communities dominated by Ethiopians and other foreigners. Instead of taking beer or wine, I discovered something amazing: most Djiboutians chew on qat leaves, which keeps them alert.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 2.85 liters
- Most Popular Drink: Tea
Formerly known as the French Territory of the Afars and Issas, Djibouti is located on the Horn of Africa and it is separated from the Arabian Peninsula by the Red Sea. This republic is one of the smallest in Africa –in land area and population. The capital is Djibouti City and it serves as a seaport for the nation and neighboring Ethiopia, which happens to be landlocked. Although small, the country is of immense geopolitical importance. It is close to one of the most important waterways in the world, and is also home to a military base of the United States. Majority of the Djiboutians dwell in the capital.
When compared with other African countries like Cameroon and Nigeria, which have more than 200 ethnic groups each, I discovered that the population of Djibouti is not as complex. There are just two principal ethnic groups and these are the Afars and the Somalis. The Somalis can be further split into the Ghadabusis and the Issas. There is also a sizeable portion of foreigners from the Arabian Peninsula and neighboring nations like Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia. More than 90% of the citizens are Muslims and the country has a time-honored relationship with the neighboring Arab nations like Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Upon landing in Djibouti, my mind went straight to Lake Asal, a volcanic lake in the central part of the country. This majestic lake is the lowest point on the continent as it lies at a level of over 500 feet below sea level. Apart from from being one of the lowest points on the planet, there is also another incredible feature of this water body. Lake Asal is so salty that scientists have calculated that the lake has the largest deposits of salt in the world. I had learnt all this in the geography class and more than anything, I wanted to visit Lake Asal –and I did. Although situated in the midst of a scorching desert, the beauty of the lake is so breath taking that you have to visit it to understand its raw splendor. I touched some other places but the memory of Lake Asal overwhelms all others.
Being very close to the Red Sea, you will enjoy various species of fish. I can remember consuming fish in all forms –fried, steamed, smoked, salted and dried! You can break the record, as I did not have the opportunity of eating fried fish although I was offered at an Afar village but I had to chat with some ethnic Somali nomads and I even accompanied them to the neighboring hills where their animals grazed. The scenery is just too spectacular and serene to be forgotten. To get a god grasp of my description, you need to pay a visit to Jabuuti one day and see the splendor for yourself.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).
Gallery of Shot Glasses