Djibouti is a small country in the Horn of Africa on the Gulf of Aden and at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. It shares borders with Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. It has a strategic location near the world's busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields. The Port of Djibouti now serves as landlocked Ethiopia's primary link to the sea. Djibouti is also the terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia. It has an area of 23,200 km2 of which 20 km2 is water. The country is mainly semi-desert, with a coastal plain separated from an inland plateau by central mountains that reach just over 2000m. Lake Assal, at -155 m below sea level, is the lowest point in Africa

The economy of Djibouti is based on service activities, not least for the extractive industries, connected with the country's strategic location and status as a free trade zone, international trans-shipment and refueling center in northeast Africa.


Djibouti's geology is dominantly cenozoic; there are also some amba aradam sandstones of the mesozoic era in the far south of the country.