Khat is a leafy stimulant that is quite popular among the natives. The herb is flown in from Ethiopia every morning and arrives by truck in Djibouti’s Central Market about 1 p.m. Although it is reasonably priced, the quality varies considerably, so buy with care. Khat is not permitted to leave Djibouti through the airport.
The Djiboutian Franc is Djibouti’s currency (DJF). The Djiboutian Franc has a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar. Local street money changers in the Djiboutian market area may exchange dollars for francs. The women that line the street waiting to convert USD to DJF are known as street money changers. They are usually trustworthy brokers. Have your calculator handy, and be sure to inquire about the conversion rate ahead of time; if they offer you a rate less than 175 percent, look for another broker. The majority of them have a rudimentary command of the English language.
The bigger department shops accept USD for general goods and food purchases. Tourist traps will spot you coming from a mile away and whack you with absurd conversion rates and tourist pricing. Go to the disbursement office for the greatest rate if you have access to Camp Lemonnier.