Its location by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden makes Djibouti a busy shipping route to and from the Indian Ocean. Though known in the shipping industry, this African country is yet to be fully discovered by travelers, though it's one of many Indian Ocean nations worth visiting.

Located in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti aims to improve its tourism numbers by reaching half a million visitors in 2030. The nation, after all, has a diverse landscape, like beaches, volcanic areas, and salt lakes. Add to the mix its pristine diving sites and charming cultural spots, and this welcoming country is well on its way to achieving its tourism goals. That’s beautiful Djibouti.

10 Djibouti City

Djibouti City, the capital, is always ready to welcome tourists who dared to venture into this part of the world to experience Africa’s warmth.

This bustling city is home to sightseeing spots that introduce tourists to Djiboutian beauty.

Historic sites worth a peek include the Presidential Palace and the People's Palace. Shoppers, meanwhile, can be busy checking out souvenirs in Les Caisses Market, Casino Supermarket, and stores on Bender Road.

After a stroll along neighborhoods, tourists can end their day either at the cathedral or Hamoudi Mosque. Djibouti City knows how to welcome a guest.

9 Day Forest National Park

Nature lovers should not miss Djibouti’s Day Forest National Park, an area teeming with flora, fauna, and fun.

This reserve is a sight for sore eyes and a charming refuge in dry Djibouti. It is home to many tree species of towering junipers, acacias, wild olives, and jujube.

The lush forest is home to baboons, warthogs, green monkeys, panthers, and lots of birds.

Aside from the majestic Goda Mountains, the park is also proud of its palm tree forest. It’s always a good day in Day Forest National Park.

8 Beaches

Djibouti has more than 230 miles of coastline, an enticing number for lovers of beaches.

The Gulf of Tadjoura is famous not just for its shore but for its snorkeling spots where tourists can swim with whale sharks and divers can explore its rich coral reefs.

The gulf is home to the pristine beaches of the Red Sea near Obock, Siesta, Khor Ambado, Le Sable Blanc, and Heron.

Wherever sun-worshippers plan to stay, the sun and the sand of Djibouti will make their vacation one for the books.

Related: Top 10 Most Flawless Beaches To Visit In Africa

7 Islands

Three island groups in Djibouti are popular among tourists: Maskali, Moucha, and Seven Brothers.

Maskali Islands are located in Tadjoura Gulf, making them an option for beachgoers who want to island-hop.

Moucha is also located in the said gulf and is just 45 minutes away from the capital. Aside from stunning beaches, Moucha visitors can also appreciate mangroves and shore birds.

Seven Brother Islands, meanwhile, is a popular diving spot where tourists can explore Djibouti’s underwater world. The water is always fine in this part of Africa.

6 Lakes

Djibouti is home to two stunning salt lakes: Abbe and Assal. Lake Abbe is described by BBC as dystopian yet beautiful, thanks to its magnificent landscape not seen anywhere else in the world.

The area is so inhospitable, which makes it a charmer for those who want to check out places with movie-like settings.

Unlike Abbe, Lake Assal is more welcoming. It is Africa’s lowest point and the world’s largest salt reserve.

Though it’s not focused on tourism, those visiting this natural spot will have lots of stories to tell when they return home.

Related: What To Know About Lake Malawi, Africa's 3rd-Largest Lake

5 Mountains

Djibouti is proud of its majestic mountain ranges like the birdwatching paradise of Arrei; Mabla with a scenic coastal plain; and Garbi, where hikers can camp overnight if they want to enjoy stunning views of the sunrise and sunset.

What takes the cake, however, are the Goda Mountains. Its location in Day Forest National Park means it’s filled to the brim with wildlife, making it not just a scenic destination but a paradise for outdoors enthusiasts.

The mountains of Djibouti await nature lovers.

4 Godoria Mangroves

If wildlife watchers can’t get enough of Djiboutian wonders, they should ride a boat that will take them to Godoria, home of the country’s massive mangrove system.

Millions of migratory birds flock to this waterway during migration season, so birders should be ready with their binoculars and logbooks.

The area is threatened by human activities and tourism is one way to boost awareness of why protecting the mangroves is important not just for the wildlife but for the community.

The birds want to say hi to curious tourists.

3 Archaeological Sites

History buffs can drop by some of Djibouti’s archaeological sites knowing they are guaranteed to see up close pieces of the past.

The town of Balho is proud of its prehistoric rock art, while Abourma's rock engravings feature the pastoral lifestyle of ancient people.

Meanwhile, burial sites that date back to 3000 BC are present near Randa.

There are many more to discover, especially since Djibouti is an important rock art site in the region. Amateur archaeologists should be ready for an adventure.

2 Ardoukoba

The young volcano of Ardoukoba only erupted once during its birth in 1978.

Visiting this geological wonder means climbing its crater and walking on dark lava flows (that remain warm even though they have been around for thousands of years). It is near Assal, a welcome addition to the “dystopian” look of the lake.

In Ardoukoba, tourists will have the chance to check out rift lava fields while knowing that the area is still active yet safe. This is one hot destination, literally.

1 Potential World Heritage Sites

Djibouti has no UNESCO World Heritage Site yet, but they have 10 attractions that they wish to inscribe on the list.

Among these landmarks are the previously mentioned lakes, Day Forest National Park, Moucha and Maskali islands, Abourma’s rock engravings, and the burial mounds near Randa.

The country also nominated the historic cityscape of Djibouti and the natural areas of Obock, Assamo, and Djalelo.

Visiting them before their potential inscription on the prestigious UNESCO list means being among the first to appreciate their wonders.