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Living in Djibouti?

Join InterNations to meet other expats where you live and read more articles like Living in Djibouti with relevant information for expats.

Brandon Le Clerk

Living in Djibouti, from South Africa

"Facing expat life in Djibouti was quite a challenge, but I'm really thankful for my new-found contacts in humanitarian circles. "

Sabine Baumeister

Living in Djibouti, from Germany

"Mingling with InterNations expats and residents of Djibouti helped me adjust the preconceptions I had about moving to Eastern Africa. "

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Djibouti at a Glance

Living in Djibouti

Djibouti is a tiny country with some marvelous landscapes, a peaceful seaside and a favorable climate. All expats planning on living in contact with nature should consider this corner of Africa, which is still not so popular despite its many treasures. Find out more in our expat guide!

Healthcare in Djibouti

Expatriates who are moving to Djibouti may find their access to healthcare is sparse. The World Health Organization noted that significant progress has been made in the country between 2008 and 2012. However, universal access to healthcare hasn't yet been achieved. The US Department of State has compiled a list of healthcare practitioners in the country, which it has selected carefully to ensure individuals using them get reliable access to medical services. Here you can find a PDF with a medical facilities list.

The majority of healthcare in Djibouti is overseen by charities and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Affairs. One of the most significant hospitals there is the Hopital Generele Peltier, which offers both primary and secondary care services. There are three private hospitals in the country, including the French Military Hospital. Expatriates seeking residency in the country can choose to pay for their medical care with cash, or they can take out a health insurance plan with a company like Pacific Prime. It is worth noting that medical care in the country is underdeveloped, even in the private sector. There is a lack of equipment and specialization, which means some expats may choose to seek care in another country.

Education in Djibouti

Education in Djibouti has been under government reform since 1999. As a former French colony, Djibouti bases much of its education on the French system. There are several stages; pre-primary, primary, middle school and secondary. Some students may choose to progress onto higher education, as Djibouti is home to a university. An ongoing teacher training program in the country is highly selective when choosing candidates, but doesn't always produce enough to meet demands in the public sector. There is a national school radio program that aims to educate those who live in rural areas, as well as people living a Nomadic lifestyle. 

While there are some international schools in Djibouti for expatriates and their families, they tend to follow a French curriculum. However, as the international baccalaureate is recognized worldwide, this isn't usually a problem. One of the most popular schools amongst expats who move to Djibouti is the Lycee d'Etat de Djibouti, which caters for children from the second to the twelfth grade.

Safety and Security in Djibouti

Both the Foreign Consulate Office in the UK and US Bureau of International Affairs have issued travel warnings regarding Djibouti. While these pertain to those who are visiting the country on a temporary basis, they are also useful for those who are moving to Djibouti as expatriates. Land mines are particularly common in northern regions on the roads, and although there is a police presence throughout, poor maintenance makes driving in the dark difficult.

InterNations Expat Magazine