Best Diving sites in Djibouti

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If you have dived in Djibouti before, please share your experiences: Dive spots you would recommend, which Dive Center you used, Fishes & Diving, Visibility, Currents, etc. Please post your comments in the section below, by doing so you will help fellow divers to plan their next trip ;)

In the overall scale of things, Djibouti is not well known as a tourist destination nor a scuba dive destination. However, for experienced divers this might just be a perfect place for your next dive vacation. Being at the Horn of Africa and the narrow opening between the Red Sea and where the Indian Ocean currents can become more pronounced. Indeed, these currents are the highways that the larger marine species such as sharks, dolphins, manta rays and of course whale sharks will travel.

liveaboard diving djibouti

Coral reefs are healthy image by Scott Williams

Some of the dive sites are for expert divers only, still a great many are suitable for Open Water Divers as well. You will find dive sites that are reefs dives, as well as drifts, wrecks, caves, and more. There are abundant coral life and reef fish, but the superstars of the area are the pelagic.

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Djibouti.

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Many of the outstanding dive sites are visited by land based dive operators. At the peak of the whale shark season, these can be found in shallow waters close to shore. They can also be found in deeper water beyond where the daily operators can reach. Some of the furthest sites could definitely compare to the best dive sites in the world, and are only visited by liveaboards.

Take a glance at some of the top diving in the area:

  • Seven Brothers is the English name given to the Sawabi Islands (Djibouti).These remote, uninhabited islands lie in the narrow Bab El-Mandab strait, which marks the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Due to currents and depths, many of these sites are for experienced divers only. That does not mean that the open water diver will be left out with nothing to do. Indeed, the liveaboard crew will usually form a team of Open Water divers, along with a dive guide, and they will also have a great deal of sites to dive. They can not do this on all areas, but often. The sites around Seven Brothers are some of the most bio-diverse diving in the Red Sea.

  • The Ghoubet al Kharab, also known as the Devil’s Goblet is a large bay that is connected to the Gulf of Tadjourah by a narrow channel. The channel is dived by advance divers at a depth between 35 and 45 meters. The channel can have a current greater than 2 knots. There are other dive sites for open water divers and advance divers. Whale sharks are found in this area during the season.

  • The Djibouti Crack is a dive site within the Ghoubet al Kharab, however, it deserves a special mention. It is a shallow dive as shallow as 8 meters. While it is common to see a few whale sharks here in season the real draw is the underwater landscape. It is here where you can see the separation of the African tectonic plate from the Somalese plate.

How to dive Djibouti?

This is one location that the liveaboard clearly has an edge. The diving at sites beyond the day boats is clearly an advantage. Even some of the dive sites that the day boats do visit are better on a liveaboard because of the travel time. We also have to look at the night diving. Another liveaboard advantage.

There are a few good dive operators on land so if you do not want to give up your night life and want exposure to the local environment you do still have choices.

Best time to dive in Djibouti

The thing that sets this destination above most others is the whale sharks and the best time to see them is between November and February. During this time you will have clear skies, slightly lower humidity and the milder temperatures. Unless you are living in the tropics most people will find the 100 to 120 °F summer temperatures unbearable and even unhealthy.

Top liveaboards in Djibouti according to divers reviews

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Dive courses

There is not much emphasis on dive courses here, but it is a good place to pick up an Advance Open Water, deep or drift diving courses.

 

Scuba Diving conditions

The water temperature is very nice year round with just a skin guard normally being recommended.

The visibility varies during the year and between sites. Do not expect 30 meter visibility, but it will be reasonable. Currents impacts the visibility the most.

Snorkelling in Djibouti

djibouti diving review

Whale Shark and snorkeling Image by Scott Williams

Snorkeling options are limited, however, whale sharks trips are mostly with snorkels. Also some of the beaches are very suitable for snorkeling.

Fishes and Coral

The reefs around the area are healthy with about 200 species of coral. These attract a wide variety of marine life. The deep waters are the home to large pelagic who come to the shallows to feed, in addition to the whale sharks and other sharks, dolphins and rays are very common.

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Djibouti, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Djibouti is not your typical tropical dive vacation. It presents challenges you would not find in other dive destinations. However, for those up to the challenge, Djibouti offers outstanding diving and a once in a life time experience. Are you up to it?

Travel Guide

Now that you know all about the underwater world, you might want to start planning your scuba holiday! Check out our Djibouti Travel Review for information about how to get there, activities and excursions, where to stay, and more.

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