173 km from Djibouti, 62 km from Obock. Calm and pleasant, Tadjourah (or Tadjoura) is a city with a strong port character, and can serve as a base for exploring the surrounding area. Roads and tracks lead to the Goda, Mabla, Obock and Goubet mountains.

Tadjourah, today populated by about 45,000 inhabitants, is considered the oldest city in this nomadic country, probably thousands of years old. It had been trading with the Egyptians and Arabs for centuries. Having thus become the hub of the arms and especially slave trade (to Reunion Island, Madagascar and other Arabian Emirates), Tadjourah (or its name alone) was the fantasy of many 19th and 20th century adventurers. Today, the small town retains a certain charm. Its low, white houses stretch along the gulf to which it gave its name. Sometimes we will be crushed by the heat and humidity, caught by the torpor that freezes its population in summer. We will be fascinated by all the images that have nourished the clichés about the Red Sea port cities: a camel grazing on the muddy coastline, a sambouk pulled on a beach, dark-skinned men with piercing eyes and hips girdled with a foutah, laughing children, a visible and sickly passion for qat, women in light veils and colourful outfits, the horizontality of houses with blinding white walls, omnipresent cattle, colonial remains, palm trees...

The life that flows peacefully there may appear gentle to the visitor. Twice a day, the arrival of qat still causes a generalized adrenaline rush.

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  • Sea crossing
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