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Dive Review of Djibouti Diver 1 in

December, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Michael Joest, x, Germany
Sr. Contributor   (21 reports, with 4 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4582 has 1 Helpful vote
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
nearly everywhere besides Cocos, Galapagos and Baja
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
26   to 27    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
5   to 25    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
max. 1 h + 40 m  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
5 stars    
Having only seen one whale shark in my 24 years of diving so far, for
Christmas I decided to try a new destination with guaranty for these huge
animals. Last year a picture of 5 whale sharks was running around on the
internet and in dive magazines. Djibouti was the new promising destination.
Now where the hell is D. ? It´s at the horn of Africa, to the north
is Eritrea, west Ethopia. Too hot in summer, the ideal time to go diving
there is Okt.  Febr. Booked a flight out of Paris CDG on Daallo Airlines.
Daallo never turned up, it was jet, a British Charter Airline which
brought us to D. however with lots of delay due to technical problems. No
PA on that by Daallo at all. We had to overnight in Paris, lost one day of
diving. A 6:45 h flight got us into D. Immigration and customs, like I feel
nearly everywhere in Africa was slow and awful. It took the group 2 hours
to get through. On one booth passports were collected, at an office they
stamped in visas for 25 EUR, so you had to stand in a long queue two
times., No fun in hot and humid climate at 1:30 in the morning. Our
liveaboard was the Djibouti Diver 1, a typical Red Sea Safari boat, where
she comes from then called Nemo. 32 m long, 12 cabins with AC and bathroom
each, half of the cabins down below, half on the upper deck. All the
amenities regular Red Sea boats have plus a Jacuzzi, which however never
was filled. The boat is nice, you can´t call it luxurious being used
to Agressor, etc. She rolled heavy on our way to the first place,
stabilizers could help there. My itinerary said 6 nights on board, diving
and looking for whale sharks in Tadjoura Bay. Normally they offer two type
of trips, the one with the w s, and one to the Sept Frere (Seven Brothers)
group of islands, depending on the season. Last night is spend at Sheraton
or Kempinski  Hotel with a choice of sightseeing tours.

We were lucky , the captain and dive instructor choose to give us both
places, maybe to calm us down after so much delay and problems with luggage
on the way to D.  Sept Frere is everything you wish for, a mixture between
Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Beautiful reefs, hard and soft coral, plenty of
reef fish were greeting us. I was surprised to find big families of Angel
Fish ( Yellow + Arabian)  together in one spot. You saw them everywhere on
the reef. Huge fields of purple soft coral, one whole area covered with
anemones , most had their own Nemo, which you often  don´t find
elsewhere anymore. Fusselliers, blue spotted sting rays, good sized jacks,
lots of leopard moray eels, sweetlips, surgeon fish, some turtles and even
dolphins made us enjoy the area. Water was 26 C, vis anything between 5 and
25 m, often changing quickly. Dive conditions often swells with more or
less strong currents, sometimes washing machine like thrown in for good
measure, so not exactly the ideal thing for beginners. You could dive your
own profile, max. 1 h and 40 m. Next we were heading into  T. Bay. Dive
sites different here, smooth sea, mostly volcanic boulders with a bit of
coral in between. The main attraction are the wale sharks. Went into one
smaller bay looking for these guys. It took only minutes and we met the
first animals right on the surface, swimming in slow motion, gulping down
huge amounts of water to filter the plankton from. Most were young adults
or juveniles from 4  9 m. It was awesome to find the first, later we were
snorkelling sometimes with 4 animals all around you, sometimes so close,
you nearly bumped into them. Several times we spent 2 hours in the water
with these friendly guys, how many there were is hard to tell.

The last day  we looked at Djibouti town, local markets, a big harbour,
French Navy,  visited  Lake Assal, a huge salt lake, saw some volcanic area
and a small version of the Grand Canyon. For Geologists Djibouti must be
interesting, 3 plates meet here and form huge faults. There still is
volcanic activity and movement to register in the earth. The countryside is
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Subscriber's Comments

By john strasswimmer in FL, US at Oct 18, 2015 08:12 EST  
Thank you fro this post.  Djibouti sounds interesting
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