Jah Booty

071204-N-3931M-132 DJIBOUTI, Africa (Dec. 4, 2007) Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 aircraft from the Red Rippers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 conduct bombing exercises at the Gordia bombing range off the coast of Djibouti. VFA-11 is embarked aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3. Combined Joint Task Force Ð Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) conducts operations in the region to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interests. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael R. McCormick (Released)

That’s how you pronounce it, Djibouti: Jah Booty. That tiny North Eastern African country nestled quietly between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. And that’s where we’re headed next week. Yes, that reaction you’ve just had; we’re used to it. And it’s nothing like its neighbours. Djibouti was in fact dubbed ‘Africa’s hottest new tourist destination’ a couple of years ago. More importantly, it has an interesting coastline, so fascinating in fact, that it has stolen several hours of planning time for day dreaming and wondering.

These flats are quite far north and I’m not sure if we’ll get there… But it’s worth day dreaming about!

A mad fishing friend out here, Allistair Wilson, convinced me that my Oman trip should change to a Djibouti. Although I’d never given it much thought, it didn’t really take much to convince me. He’s a total heatherware addict and probably wouldn’t know the difference between a Merkin and an Alflexo; however, he’s as mad as I am and between the two of us I’m sure we’ll find some fish (and let’s be honest here: I’ll be carrying some bucktails and topwaters too!)

Up until this past weekend, our prep has been a little on the thin side. Tickets, 4×4 rentals, accommodation and our visas have were all done early but the rest, well, the rest has left me in a state of mind panic…

Packing a fishing bag for an unknown coast is no mean feat… TAKE IT ALL, I hear my paranoid self yell at my blasé self. As always, time and weather are going to play a huge role. Luckily April in Indian ocean is a good time to be fishing: seasons are changing or trades are switching, resulting in some amazingly still and clear days. We don’t have a lot of time though, which should mean some sort of streamlining… Hmmm

The other defining gear factor should be our target species. The Fishbase ‘Fish Species in Djibouti‘ doesn’t help me much hey. There is not a lack of range but rather a glut of it! It is, after all, a section of Red Sea right on the edge of the Indian Ocean. The mugshots that jump out one as you scroll through the list include pretty much include all the members of the various gangs: you’ll recognise them…

Guess I’ll be trying to fit EVERYTHING (including camping gear) into 40kgs of baggade allowance…

A bit of EVERYTHING
Alistair tying flies and bucktails while Mac pours a rum to keep the elbows lubricated…

The plan is to get to the south facing north coast and explore, explore, explore. This is many ways is a journey into the complete unknown. We can find next to nothing about fishing , in fact, apart from a lone operator running out to the Seven Brothers Islands, there is no information. Added to that, I was told that a shore based fishing trip would be impossible; something about no roads and little infrastructure and something else I lost interest in… Clearly they’ve never been on a fishing trip with Allistair or I!

Being nestled between two of Africa’s most unstable countries does beg the safety question. And we’ve asked it. Turns out that Djibouti is actually quite safe and despite its unruly neighbours, is stable and has a small but growing tourism industry. There is a large international military presence and has a pretty low population density. The first few nights are booked into a super rustic camping spot where we’ll suss the area and decide on next steps. It appears that there will be little difference to a trip to almost any other African country!

We leave tonight… Should be interesting!

3 thoughts on “Jah Booty”

  1. Jeff says:

    Yiss. Looks very, very lekker, dude. Peace be the journey.

  2. Ray says:

    Tickets, 4×4 rentals, accommodation and our visas have were all done early but the rest, well, the rest has left me in a state of mind panic…

    Haha, And I’m trying to figure out what more do you need!?

    Safe journey, cannot wait to hear about this one!

    1. Fred Davis says:

      Tackle!!! It was all about the tackle. And hells did I need it all!

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