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The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice. In the event of a crisis situation that requires evacuation, the Government of Canada’s policy is to provide safe transportation to the closest safe location. The Government of Canada will assist you in leaving a country or a region as a last resort, when all means of commercial or personal transportation have been exhausted. This service is provided on a cost-recovery basis. Onward travel is at your personal expense. Situations vary from one location to another, and there may be constraints on government resources that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide assistance, particularly in countries or regions where the potential for violent conflict or political instability is high.
Regional terror groups, including those associated with al Qaeda and al-Shabaab, continue to threaten Western interests and other potential targets in Djibouti. The September 21, 2013 attack on an upscale Nairobi mall illustrates the threat of attacks on civilians in East Africa. On May 24, 2014, an explosion in a restaurant frequented by foreigners killed three people and injured dozens. Further attacks cannot be ruled out. Be vigilant in crowded places and monitor local media.
Street crime is on the rise. Be vigilant in public places frequented by foreigners, such as hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and shopping areas. Do not show signs of affluence. Ensure that personal belongings, including passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.
Political demonstrations occur frequently. Avoid all gatherings and demonstrations as they can turn violent without warning. Monitor local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities.
Drivers and pedestrians should exercise caution in the capital. Do not travel after dark. Streets are narrow, poorly maintained and lack adequate lighting. Local driving habits, pedestrians, roaming livestock and excessive speeds pose additional risks. Major roads are paved, but often lack guardrails. Police may set up roadblocks of wire coils, which may be difficult to see at night. Railway crossings are not well indicated. In the event of an accident, the driver should wait until the police arrive on the scene. You should contact the Embassy of Canada in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Consulate of Canada in Djibouti, or local authorities for the latest security information prior to overland travel.
Since the operating gas stations are located at a considerable distance from one another (mostly in the cities of Djibouti, Ali Sabieh, Dikhil, Tadjourah and Obock), you should ensure you have sufficient fuel provisions in reserve before undertaking long drives.
While Djibouti has been declared a œmine-safe country, you should stay on paved roads, particularly in the northern districts of Tadjourah and Obock as well as the Ali Sabieh district in the south, where mines have been found in the past.
Intercity public travel is limited to bus and ferry services between Djibouti and the towns of Tadjourah and Obock. Buses are poorly maintained and driven erratically. Avoid travel by road or rail to Djibouti. There have been acts of sabotage and derailment on the Djibouti-Ethiopia railway.
See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.
Pirate attacks occur in Djiboutian coastal waters, and in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. Whenever possible, transit in trafficked sea-lanes. When sailing in and around the Horn of Africa, in the southern part of the Red Sea near the coasts of Yemen and in the Gulf of Aden, vessels should convoy in groups and maintain good communications at all times. The Yemeni Coast Guard 24-hour Operations Centre can be contacted in case of emergency at 967-1562-402. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
You should always carry identification, preferably a certified copy of your passport’s identification page. Avoid walking alone after dark. Because of their isolation, avoid visiting the beaches of Dorale and Khor Ambado late in the afternoon.
Modern tourist facilities and communications networks are limited in the city of Djibouti and scarce in many outlying areas. Outside the capital, cell phone coverage is often unavailable.