Djibouti - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Djibouti, a country in the Horn of Africa, bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden has a total land area of 8958 square miles and a population of around 865,000. Djibouti, a Somali, Afar and Muslim country which regularly takes part in Islamic affairs, is a member of the Arab League, as well as the African Union. It is categorized as mainly a stony semi-desert, with scattered plateaus and highlands. As it is a free-trade zone, port related services and activity is the major commercial activity, followed by mineral water bottling, leather tanning etc. There is a small tourist industry as well.

Travel Resources:

November through mid-April is the best time to visit Djibouti. The popular tourist places are Khor Ambado Beach, Grande Pecherie, Lake Assal, Lake Abbe and Place Menelik. Antelopes, gazelles, hyenas, and jackals can be found in its animal reserves


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Ethiopia Eritrea and Djibouti978-0864422927$10Over 50 maps. Special sections on Ethiopia’s diverse bird-life, Red Sea diving, Eritrea’s architecture, and Djibouti’s geology. It is one of the only guidebooks for travelers and it is well written and illustrated.
Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti Map by Cartographia978-9633525067$101:2,500,000 scale. Includes inset maps of Abid Abea, The Local Fauna, and Awash National Park.
Djibouti Grounded Adapter Plug – GUBB001FDA89Y$8



Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Djibouti were a set of twenty one stamps released in 1977. The set (Scott #439 to #456 and C106 to C108) feature overprints on Afars and Issas issues from the period covering 1972 and 1977. The overprint read “REPUBLIQUE DE DJIBOUTI”. The set is fairly expensive and catalogs for around $125 MNH and $55 used. Djibouti was the French territory of Afars and Isaacs before 1977. Before 1967, the area was termed Somali Coast. Those entities issued their own stamps as well. Numbering for Djibouti stamps start at 439 because Scott numbering for stamps issued by these entities covers the prior numbers. The first original issues of Djibouti were a set of two stamps released on June 27, 1977 to mark the Independence Day. The set (Scott #457 to #458) catalogs for around $3 MNH and $1 for used. The designs show a map and flag of Djibouti and a map of Africa.

Other issues of Djibouti enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet released on January 27, 1985 to mark the Audubon Bicentenary. The set (Scott #590 to #593 and #593A) catalogs for around $40 MNH and $30 for used. The souvenir sheet is especially valuable and catalogs for around $25 MNH or used. It is a beautiful airmail sheet printed on wood. The designs show white-throated bee-eater (merops albicollis), chestnut-bellied sandgrouse (pterocles exustus), yellow-breasted barbet (trachyphonus margaritatus), European roller (coracias garrulous), and osprey (pandion haliaetus).
  2. A stamp released on May 30, 1997 to mark Woman’s Day. The stamp (Scott #768) is sought after and catalogs for $160 MNH. The country went through a civil war in the early 1990s (November 1991 to December 1994). The conflict was between the People’s Rally for Progress (RPP) government and the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD). Although a peace agreement was signed on December 26, 1994 armed resistance at a reduced scale continued until the radical faction of FRUD signed another peace agreement in 2001. Many stamp issues from the period were printed only in small quantities and so are sought after and valuable.
  3. A long set of nineteen stamps released on June 26, 2000 in the Ships theme. The set (Scott #814 to #818, 819a-f to 820a-f, 821 to 822) catalogs for around $35 MNH or used. The designs show Thomas W. Lawson 1902, Global Challenge 2000, Reliance and Shamrock III 1903, Archibald Russell 1905, Greek Merchantman 8th century BC, Norman warship 1066, Hanseatic cog circa 1300, Santa Maria 1492, Mary Rose 1510, Golden Hind 1577, Sovereign of the Seas 1637, HMS Endeavour 1768, USS Constitution 1797, Chasse-Maree 1800, Baltimore clipper, Lightning 1853, Bluenose 1921, HM Yacht Britannia 1893, and Herzogin Cecilie 1902.
Numismatic Profile:

The first coins of Djibouti are Zinc Tokens issued by the Chamber of Commerce in 1920. The issues denominated in Centimes catalog into the 100s for UNC. Republican era coinage started with the introduction of Aluminum Francs in 1977. The design showed National Arms within Wreath and Date below in Obverse and Giant Eland Head with Headdress facing in Reverse. The issues are inexpensive and catalog in the $5 range for UNC.

Numismatic items of Djibouti include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$3 and upCommon UNCs from the 1990s start around $3. Complete Year Sets in UNC start around $30. Silver proofs from the 1990s start around $50.
Paper Money$2 and upCommon UNCs start around $2. High Values from the 1970s onward start around $30. Large Rare Notes from the 1920s start around $100.

Related Posts:
  1. Afars and Issas.
Last Updated: 12/2015. 

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