Djibouti Liveaboard Diving
Djibouti is a small African country where you can dive between the tectonic plates in Djibouti whilst whale sharks swim around with dolphins and other shark species.
Djibouti is a small African country located on the horn of Africa. Here is where the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean blend into the white sand beaches.
A liveaboard is the choice for diving at this destination due to the lack of development. There is not the infrastructure in place as yet for resort diving and tourism in general. Although Djibouti is not as well known as a dive destination compared to its neighbours, it offers uncrowded dive sites. There are beautiful soft corals, sponges and large schools of fish. Coral coverage is not as complete as other Red Sea destinations, but the larger pelagic life does compensate for this. Whale sharks migrate through these waters for several months each year. Plus there are other big species, such as sharks, dolphins, pilot whales and dolphins.
Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.
Djibouti Liveaboard Diving - 3 LIVEABOARDS
Deli Liveaboard in Djibouti is a 26m wooden motor yacht in a traditional schooner design with two masts that cruises this remote area in the southern Red Sea with up to 12 guests on board. She has six twin cabins with a queen size lower bed and an upper single bunk and en suite bathrooms. Outdoors is a relaxation area with sun mats and shade, dining is alfresco, and there is an indoor saloon. Diving is from the two zodiacs.Book Now
Lucy Liveaboard operates in Djibouti & Sudan is a modern and luxurious 37m liveaboard. She was designed to a very high standard to offer an incredibly comfortable experience at sea. She accommodates 20 guests in 10 air-conditioned, en suite cabins. Yacht amenities include stylish indoor and outdoor lounge areas, a spacious and well laid out dive deck, a state-of-the-art home cinema system, superb cuisine and a bar. Explore the rarely visited Seven Brothers Islands of Djibouti and the best dive sites of Sudan.Book Now
Discover the untouched underwater wonders of Sudan and the whale sharks of Djibouti with a trip on Elegante. She is a traditional wooden schooner that was completely renovated in 2009. She is 25 metres long and comfortably accommodates a maximum of 14 guests in 7 air-conditioned, en suite cabins. Enjoy al fresco dining and a relaxed atmosphere on board. Elegante is under Italian management and is staffed by a crew with years of experience in the Red Sea.Book Now
Diving in Djibouti offers plankton-rich waters from October to February that attracts the migrating whale sharks and manta rays which can be found year round. The chances of sightings at this time are very high. There are over 200 species of coral here meaning that the ecosystem of the area is very diverse. The deep waters attract dolphins, rays and different sharks.
Best Places to Dive in Djibouti
There are four main areas for diving in Djibouti.
The best dive sites are in the northern area around the Seven Brothers Islands in the Bab El Mandab straits on the border of the south Red Sea. They are remote and uninhabited islands with great biodiversity, good corals, a wreck and strong currents. There are some sites that have shallow water, but mostly the area is for experienced divers.
Mocha Island is close to the shoreline and has many dive sites ranging from easy to expert. Usually used for the first day of the liveaboard experience there is clear water and some shipwrecks here.
The Gulf of Tadjourah is at the start of the Red Sea and is an excellent area for snorkelling as well as diving. Here there are reefs and walls with some caves. Many shark species are found here among the reefs.
Ghoubet al Kharab which is also called Devils Goblet and is a diverse area. There are deep drop-offs to over 200m and high mountain pinnacles and underwater volcanic islands. This is where the tectonic plates of Africa and Arabia meet, and there are strong currents here attracting many sharks.
Best Dive Sites in Djibouti
Seven Brothers are remote uninhabited islands in the southern border of the Red Sea that offer the most biodiversity in Djibouti. Here are drop-offs descending to deep water that attracts the larger pelagic life. The water here is cold and greenish as it is plankton-rich, with soft corals and rocky plateaus. The reefs all vary greatly here. The Indian Ocean marine life has a significant presence here with honeycomb morays and Oceanic triggerfish.
An area that is good for all level of divers with shallow water complementing the drop off drown to 95m. This is connected to the Devils Goblet area so sharks can be seen occasionally here. Sites include the White Sands, The Red Sands, The Little Channel, Obock’s Step and La Falaise.
The Ghoubet al Kharab,
The area is also called the Devil’s Goblet or Cauldron and is a channel with strong currents at 35 to 45m of depth. The large bay has deep water, and shark and fish come in via the gulf currents
The area is renowned for the whale sharks that come to mate and give birth from November to January each year. There can be up to ten whale sharks in any one dive or snorkel providing close encounters for guests on the liveaboard cruises.
Le Faon -is a huge wreck dive of a 120m cargo ship in 27m of water in good condition. The decks are at 15m with many fish and turtles here. Dolphins sometimes visit.
L'Arthur Rimbaud is a tugboat scuttled in 2005 in great condition.
Near Nagfa there is an Ethiopian boat at 32m
Djibouti Scuba Diving Highlights
- Common sightings - Whale sharks, dolphins, manta rays, reef sharks
- Special sightings - Pilot whales
- Topography - Walls, caves, drop-offs, reefs
- Visibility - ranges from 10 - 30m
- General information - Most of the dive sites are for advanced divers but some areas have shallower sites for divers of all levels.
Best Time to Go
The climate in Djibouti is warm and humid year-round with some small variations.
The best time to see the whale sharks here is between mid-October to Late January, but the visibility at this time is not optimal. The temperatures are more pleasant at this time.
Visibility improves during the summer months from May to September, but the whale shark sightings are less likely, and the temperatures are scorching.
The ocean temperature is between 26 and 30 C year round, so a 3mm shorty is usually sufficient for most divers.
How to Get There
The closest airport to the departure port is Djibouti Ambouli International Airport which has connections through Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Paris and Istanbul.
Local time vs GMT
What to pack
Food and drink
Djiboutian Franc (DJF)
Visa required by all nationalities except France
French, Arabic and Somali, but English is spoken widely
Djibouti Ambouli International Airport (JIB)
Beach apparel with a cover-up, sun hat
28 - 41 C daytime, 23 - 21 C evenings
Flatbread, samboussa, harira