Djibouti is a tiny African country that has a lot to offer : think salt lakes, extinct volcanoes, sunken plains, limestone chimneys belching out puffs of steam, basaltic plateaus and majestic canyons...
Divers will not only enjoy the beauty of its land, also the fantastic underwater world it belongs. In Djibouti, you can spend time with whale sharks without masses of scuba divers. So far, only a small community of experienced divers knows about it, Djibouti is indeed an insider destination!
Coral cover isn't so amazing in the southern Red Sea, but there are lots of fish: alongside Whale Sharks, divers can encounter Manta Rays, Beaked and Pilot Whales. Most species of Dolphin are represented in numbers off Djibouti’s coast. Where there are Dolphins there are invariably Sharks. Grey and Nurse Sharks are the most commonly encountered species, whilst both Tiger and Blue Sharks have occasionally been seen. You can easily encountered Bat fish, eagle ray, and manta rays duinrg any dives.
The Best time for diving is Mid-October to early February, as it's the best time for Whaleshark encounters. During these months, it is common to see many whale sharks including juveniles who stay within the safe confines of the coastline, and massive plankton blooms also attract manta rays. Outside these months, wildlife will back into deeper waters due to the high sea temperature.
Diving Areas in Djibouti
Gulf of Tadjoura
The hazy viz in the water of the Gulf of Tadjoura is rich in plankton, the microscopic organisms that feed the largest of all fish: the whale shark.
From October to early Feburary, it is 99.9% guarantee for the dotted giants of the sea to show up here. These gentle giants cruise into Djibouti's waters, stopping off on their annual migrations and feed on the high concentrations of plankton around Ras Eiro and Arta.
You can see whale sharks up to 8m (26ft) long with a mouth 1m (3ft) wide here! But never fear, despite their size whale sharks feed on the tiniest things in the sea, and their amiable and playful nature makes swimming and snorkeling with them an unforgettable experience.
Apart from the whale sharks, which can bee seen between late October and mid-February, there is a lot more to experience: Large schools of triggerfish, mantas, blue-striped snappers and sweet lips can be spotted.
The Bay of Ghoubeet
The Bay of Ghoubbet is a highlight on every Djibouti liveaboard diving itinerary! This shallow cove boasts spectacular scenery, surrounded by mountains and cliffs towering up to 600 metres.
Juvenile whale sharks often gather here in great numbers during the season. The sharks are often joined by manta rays, swooping and barrel rolling past their giant companions. The Bay of Ghoubeet is also where the Djibouti Crack can be found, a submerged fissure between two tectonic plates that divers can swim through.
The Seven Brothers Islands
The 'Seven Brothers' are an archipelago in the middle of the "Gate of Tears", the strait that leads from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. Even though Jacques Cousteau has already dived the reefs of the 'Seven Brothers', they are still an insider tip among diving enthusiasts!
The barren landscape is contrasted by the wonderful reefs full of life. There are some strong currents there - a real challenge, even for experienced divers! But the dive is worth it. The hard coral growth of the reefs is abundant. Large schools of snappers, schools of mackerel and fusiliers can be found there.
There are also reefs with almost no current. Japanese and Chinese Garden invite you to just relax in the water. Fluttering banner fish can be seen near the water surface, deep blue Arabian angelfish frolic in the colourful coral gardens. Parrotfish, anemone fish, filefish and lion fish can also be spotted. You can also meet dozens of dolphins that live between the reefs of the island...
Moucha Islands consists of a group of small islands located approximately 11-km Northwest of Djibouti City. The island to the west is called Maskali, the larger island is called Moucha. It is full of marine life, from reef fishes, sea turtles and sometimes you can meet a group of dolphins here too!