The City of Obock is the Regional capital of Obock region in the north of the Republic of Djibouti. It is located at the entrance of the Red Sea near the Strait of Mab-El-Mandeb between Africa and Arabia.

La region d’Obock

This geographical position has interested France during its colonial conquest in the 19th century dice in 1862.

Obock was the capital of the Colony of “Obock and Dependencies” until 1892.

Obock was for thirty years a deposit of coal for the French ships going back or forth from the French colonies of Asia and Madagascar.

From this period there are still some traces of our days of which:

  • The residence of the first governor of the colony, LéonceLagarde, currently serving to accommodate the distinguished guests of the actual governor of the region;
  • The Christian cemetery where the victims of malaria in Indochina are buried during the repatriation journey;
  • The house of passage of Arthur Rimbaud famous French poet reconverted in the arms trade with Ethiopia, which passed to OBOCK in March 1883 and in August 1887;
  • Several constructions with madreporal stones made by traders from Yemen;
  • A dyke that is currently out of use, a remnant of the former port of Obock.

Obock was abandoned as the capital of the French Colony in 1892.

They preferred him Djibouti harbor more accessible to boats and closer to the traditional route followed by caravans of camels that traded with Abyssinia for centuries and that linked the two ancient cities: Zeila on the Indian Ocean coast and Harrar on the Ethiopian highlands.

Obock again became a quiet little town, too far from the capital and has survived on fishing and traditional livestock in its hinterland.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a French adventurer who became a famous author took up residence there for more than two decades. This is Henry Monfreid who made the traffic of all kinds in the region (of weapons to the drug). His house occupied the present site of the Catholic mission.

Today, the population of Obock, about 10 000 inhabitants, is composed of a majority of former nomads and a minority of fishermen and traders from Yemen who are very well integrated with the local population traditionally very hospitable.

The Obock region has significant tourism potential and insufficiently exploited: its beautiful deserted beaches, wild mangrove Godoria and Khor Angar and seabed of exceptional beauty populated countless species of fish.

At 70 km north of Obockis the islands of the Seven Brothers a site of choice for all diving enthusiasts. The site consists of six small volcanic islands and a peninsula. The underwater show is beautiful and the funds are quite exceptional. The fauna is very diverse: turtles, moray eels, sharks, dolphins, manta ray ….

To the north-east of Obock is the Mablasmontains still very unknown, which is capped with the second forest of the country (at 1250m of altitude).


The site is magnificent and the game is abundant: cynocephales in large numbers, ostriches, leopards and panthers among others.

The air is fresh and invigorating, and the plant species are the same as at Day, thanks to the presence of a waterfall and several sources.

Finally, the cultural riches of the Afar people deserve to be known. Originally semi-nomadic, Afars have a highly structured social organization and rules of common life that have allowed them to survive for centuries in an environment that is becoming increasingly dry because of climate change.

With the construction of a new road linking it to Tadjourah and Djibouti, the expansion of its port and the delivery of a new ferry that connects with the capital, Obock now has the necessary tools to develop its potential.