Jeremy Bishop

The Best Djibouti Liveaboards | Djibouti Dive Guide

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In this guide to scuba diving in Djibouti we’ll cover:

Why scuba dive in Djibouti?

Are you the type of diver who enjoys venturing to destinations rarely visited? If so, you’ll love the remote feeling of exploring the Sudanese Sea and region that surrounds Djibouti — one of the least-dived destinations in the world.

These liveaboards service the waters between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, a safe-haven for whalesharks and other majestic pelagic creatures. The only way to reach many of the best dive sites in this area is via a liveaboard. You’ll likely have each site all to yourself, and can coexist with marine wildlife with little disturbance. Though Jacques Cousteau often spoke highly of the waters of this region, it’s still rarely ventured to today.

Average water temperature: From 25°C to 33°C (77°F to 91°F).
Visibility: Varies due to plankton and currents. Often more than 25 meters at sites like Angarosh.
Dive ability: Beginner to advanced.
Best time to dive in Djibouti: Liveaboard trips run from October to January, when whalesharks can be seen. Hammerheads are also commonly seen in January.
What you can expect to see: Expect to see gargantuan whalesharks enjoying their natural habitat. Some parts of Djibouti are volcanic, and soft corals have grown and thrived off of the nutrient-rich lava reefs. There are many species of sponges, fish, and dolphins.

The Best Djibouti Liveaboards: at a glance

MSY ELEGANTE7NoNoYes25m$$CheckCheckCheck
MY NEMO11YesNoYes31m$$CheckNACheck

The Best Djibouti Liveaboard Trips: Reviewed


Photo Credit: MY Lucy

MY Lucy is a luxury liveaboard built with divers in mind. Trips tend to center around whale-shark diving, where the crew of MY Lucy ventures to the warm waters in the Gulf of Arden that surround Djibouti in search of these stunning and massive creatures.

Most trips feature stops at the Seven Brothers, Gulf of Tadjourah, Goubet al Kharab, and rare sites of the Sudanese Sea.

MY Lucy has 12 rooms to accommodate up to 22 divers and each room comes with air conditioning, an ensuite bathroom with hot water showers, mini bar, power outlets, USB charging ports, and reading lamps.

Enjoy the main saloon that is equipped with a massive 65-inch flat-screen TV and surround-sound speaker system. You can watch movies or review camera footage with a cold beer in hand from the bar. On deck, you can enjoy listening to music, lounge in a bean bag, move between the sunny and shaded areas, and feel the wind blow through your hair on the open bow. There is a nitrox compressor onboard for divers who prefer to dive with enriched air.

Meals are served three times a day in the modern, luxury dining room. The chefs take pride in both taste and appearance, and the presentation rivals many fine dining restaurants. Dishes tend to be international or Western fare. Any allergies or dietary restrictions can be accommodated if given advanced notice.

Check prices and trip dates for MY Lucy: Padi Travel | Liveaboard | DiveBooker


Photo Credit: MSY Elegante

MSY Elegante lives up to its name as a 25-meter luxury liveaboard schooner that ventures around the Sudanese Red Sea. It was built in 2009 and is a blend of old-world and modern architecture. Most trips span for seven or 11 nights. Divers are picked up from dive sites with a rubber dinghy and brought back to the vessel after each dive. Since MSY Elegante caters to small groups, you can charter the entire vessel for yourself and your friends or join a group liveaboard.

The Djibouti liveaboard trip with MSY Elegante stops at the dive sites of Ras Eiro, Ile Du Requins, The Dom, Baie des Etoiles, Sec de la Pass, Ras Coralli and has a day trip to Lac Assal.

The liveaboard hosts 14 divers in seven cabins. Each cabin has air conditioning and an ensuite bathroom. You can also take trips to remote island for bird watching, swimming, and picnicking.

You can spend your surface intervals enjoying the shady lounge area on the top deck, or taking a break in the main saloon that’s equipped with a TV and DVD player.

The MSY Elegante also departs from Sudan.

Check prices and trip dates for MSY Elegante: PADI Travel | Liveaboard | DiveBooker

MY Nemo

Photo Credit: MY Nemo

One of the few liveaboards operating in Djibouti is the 31-meter long MY Nemo. It has 11 airconditioned cabins that can accommodate up to 22 divers. Aside from sailing to Egypt and Sudan, its itinerary includes the “Djibouti Wonders” expedition. This week-long cruise will take you to world class dive sites like the Steps, Japanese Garden, Tolka and the 7 Brothers island.

Onboard, relax on their skydeck and wait for the sun to set over the Red Sea horizon. Meals are in buffet and drinks are served round the clock, except for alcoholic drinks

Check prices and trip dates for MY Nemo: PADI Travel | DiveBooker

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