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Getting to Know Djibouti

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Once known as French Somaliland, and later the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas, the tiny country of Djibouti on the Horn of Africa gained independence in 1977. Roughly the size of Wales, it lies at the southern entrance of the Red Sea, opposite Yemen, and is bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. Climate-wise, Djibouti can be more or less divided into two parts: the low-lying coastal plain and the higher-altitude interior. On the coast, the capital, also named Djibouti, is very hot throughout the year, with average maximum temperatures ranging from around 30C in winter to as high as 41C in summer. The highest ever recorded was a sweltering 46.1C. Inland, conditions are slightly more bearable, especially on the plateau, which is mostly above 600 metres (2,000 feet) high. The whole country is very dry, with less than 500mm (below 20 inches) of rain throughout. In the winter months, this mainly falls on the coast, but inland areas get more rain during the summer. However, as in much of this region, many parts of the country experience hardly any rain at all.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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