The Djibouti Overland and car rental

Road Conditions and Safety: Although main roads in Djibouti City are well maintained, others are unpaved or in poor repair and subject to unexpected flooding. Highways are prone to frequent rockslides. Many roads wind through steep ravines and lack guardrails.

Djibouti offers a wide choice when it comes to transport means; however, you won't reach all points of interest on your map by taking a minibus or a taxi. Thus, it's worth considering renting a car, for example, at the Djibouti Airport. The best choice will be a 4x4 off-road vehicle which will guarantee you a smooth travelling experience on gravel roads. Avoid travelling at night, especially between the cities - both the roads and the vehicles belonging to native motorists aren't properly lit. An additional problem may be wild animals that often casually cross the roads.


Police occasionally set up random roadblock stops on major roads to conduct inspections of vehicle registration and insurance.

Driving in Djibouti: required documents

When driving outside Djibouti City, avoid all travel after dark and use convoys of two vehicles in case one car becomes disabled. Carry additional fuel and provisions (water, satellite phone, first aid kit). Gas stations are located at a considerable distance from one another and sell only diesel fuel in rural areas. There are few professional roadside assistance services.

Driving in Outside of Djibouti City

Outside of Djibouti City, hazards include narrow roads, insufficient lighting, poor vehicle maintenance (missing headlights) and wayward pedestrians and livestock. Police set up roadblocks on major roads which are not clearly visible at night. Other risks include excessive speeding and erratic driving habits. The widespread use of the narcotic khat by drivers contributes to speeding and unsafe driving habits.

Driving in Djibouti Landmines:

Stay on paved roads. Unmarked landmines exist in the border region with Eritrea, though most landmines have been marked or cleared from border regions.

Driving in Djibouti Accidents

Remain inside the vehicle and wait for the traffic police or gendarmes. If a hostile mob forms or you feel you are in danger, leave the scene in your vehicle if possible and proceed directly to the nearest police station to report the incident. If you are injured, drive to the nearest hospital or clinic.

Driving in Djibouti

Remember that during your trip around Djibouti, you need to carry the required documents with you - although police checks aren't too frequent, you can be asked to show your driver's licence or ID at any time. It's also worth mentioning that Djibouti follows right-hand traffic.

  • Max speed highway 92mph
  • Max speed rural 50mph
  • max speed urban 31mph
  • drink drive limit 0.5%
  • Headlights at daytime On Fire Extinguisher No
  • Tolls No
  • Seat Belt yes
Driving in Djibouti Road Quality

Road conditions are poor on the whole, and 4 wheel drive vehicles are recommended for the interior, there is a modern highway from Djibouti to Tadjoura.

Driving in Djibouti Documentation

An international driving permit is recommended, although not legally required.A temporary licence to drive is available from local authorities on presentation of a valid UK driving licence. Insurance is not required.

Stay safe!

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