Savannah Grace

Djibouti Photo Essay

Ammon is again the only one of the family to has been to Djibouti so this is his story.  Someday I will get there too I hope.
Djibouti. It is a small Arab mostly desert country, home to a lot of foreign military bases and NGO-type organizations but not many tourists. I entered it in probably the least common way, after a ride through the Somaliland desert with a truckload of refugees who were refused entry at a heavily guarded and barb-wired border crossing. On my way in I met a young local guy who took me home to his family and let me stay for a couple days and showed me around the capital, Djibouti City. Despite being significantly more expensive than the neighboring countries, it was still poorly developed and dirty.
I didn’t have time to explore the rest of the country (mostly a little coastline and the hottest and lowest points in africa) but hitchhiked back to Ethiopia along the main road leading from the port using a series of cargo trucks it took me 2 1/2 days. Almost all of Ethiopia’s shipping is through Djibouti, which is Djibouti’s largest industry, and the main highway feels like an endless string of trucks passing though the empty landscape.
The morning I left I went down to the port to find all the trucks. I got a ride to the staging post where there were touts trying to charge you to hitch a ride so i walked up the road farther. This was on the edge of town and there was a police checkpost at the last roundabout before the highway through the desert.  Becuase of my walking and the language barrier the cops though
I was going to try and walk 200km through the desert to the border or something, so they found a truck to take me. That truck took me to a truckstop a few hours away where we had food and he was going to stop for the day, I think it was about 3pm, so he talked to another guy who was then going to take me to the border and into Ethiopia, we stopped and I slept in his truck that night because there was nowhere to stay and it was really late. The next morning he dropped me off at the next town and i kept hitching along the side of  highway that didn’t have a normal bus, as far as I can remember, and those guys broke down so I got picked up by a UN truck and they aren’t allowed to pick people up but they said they’d take me anyway haha. It all works out. I remember crossing the border in the dark but no idea what time it was. The trucks weren’t driving fast. The road to the border literally sees something like 2000 trucks a day and only a couple cars. that’s it, it’s just a string of truck along this little narrow winding highway with quite a few wrecks off the road in the sand. I remember it feeling too narrow for truck traffic but they are all crazy drivers and make it work.
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Stay tuned for more #FridayFotos. Next week is Dominican Republic

View more photos of Dijbouti here.

For more of my travel photography, find me on Instagram. See you there!

Savannah Grace

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