Among the thousands of small Islands that make up the African Gulf archipelago lies the nation state of Abujati. Although the population is tiny, around 12,000, immigrant workers, brought in from Florida, USA and Kazakhstan, to upgrade its infrastructure, have tripled the population.
Abujati enjoyed relative anonymity until in 2011, when the Afrikaan Diamond Exploration Company undertook a survey of the country and found huge deposits of diamonds and other precious stones in around its capital, Qalabi City.
Qalabi City has risen to be one of the major players in the region. Its nuclear missile program was recently subject to much controversy after a packet of potato chips with Hebrew lettering was found in a shipment of components. Nevertheless, diamond wealth has ensured Qalabi City has one of the most impressive modern urban landscapes rivalled only by Birmingham, UK and N’Djamena, capital of Chad.
Central to Qalabi tourism is its organized diamond hunts. It’s advised to only join a government-sponsored tour. Non-government regulated tours are mainly run by the Kajdidi, local mafia and are there to exploit unwitting tourists to undertake dangerous and illegal diamond hunting. Diamonds are strictly regulated in Abujati. 75% of all diamonds mined are used to purchase much needed weaponry, mainly from states making up the former Soviet Union.
Government Diamond Hunts, look for the GDH sign inside a red diamond, is really great fun for all ages. Children are often encouraged to join as they have keener eyesight and don’t mind getting dirty. Occasionally, children will be chosen to be lowered into one of the numerous mining holes to look for diamonds. This takes about three or four hours, leaving parents to enjoy the rest of the day without being overly burdened.
Please be aware all participants are strip searched and may suffer some discomfort from deep anal probing. All diamonds are declared at the end of the day and collected by an official. Tourists are then bussed back to their hotels.
Please be aware, tourists looking to get rich and taking diamonds will be subject to imprisonment and in some cases, depending on carat size, execution.
We loved our diamond hunt and learned a lot about the country of Abujati and its 17 civil wars. Known as the 17. Sadly, despite the diamond wealth, 98% of the population lives in abject poverty but as the Prime Minister Eduard Parisennelle correctly pointed out, “The West have their 1%, we have 2%.”
Abujati can be reached by flying to Cairo, Egypt, then catching a connecting flight in Libreville, Gabon and finally a military plane to Qalabi City.