Is Djibouti the Land of Rain Forests and Red River Hogs?

Quick link: Land of the Red River Hogs

Today EthnoTraveler has published my essay about the wildlife in Djibouti and efforts to preserve it, keep it clean, and honor it.


My favorite lines about wildlife in Djibouti come from the website “Red River Hog,” the entry reads, “is one of the animals found in Djibouti. It mainly lives in the rain forests. The fur of the animal is usually reddish in color and its mode of nutrition is omnivorous.” Djibouti’s red river hogs, in reality, are as numerous as Djibouti’s rain forests, which is to say, there aren’t any. Or at least, I’ve never seen or heard of either.

There are plenty of other indigenous species with various modes of nutrition. Baboons are a common sight on Route 1, the two-lane highway that connects Djibouti City to Ethiopia. Ostriches can also be seen from this road, a few kilometers before passing the Grand Bara desert. I have only seen them in pairs, a brown female blending in with the dusty backdrop and a male with tar-black feathers and a pink neck. Further north, Forêt de Day is one of the only places left on earth to see the elusive bird immortalized on the Djiboutian 250 franc coin, the francolin. Djibouti is not home to large land animals like in Kenya or Tanzania but wildlife does abound. Chameleons, sand snakes, wild parrots, flamingos, bee eaters, hyraxes, hyenas.

Click here to read about Djibouti’s DECAN Refuge, also known as the Cheetah Refuge and about Dr. Bertrand LaFrance’s work to promote wildlife conservation: Land of the Red River Hogs.