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Major Diving Sites Of The Dahlak Islands

 Islands Characteristics Highlights Comments
Dur Gaam

Small island populated with some acacia and conifers; ruined Italian gun installations; camping possible.

Good coral and fish species, very occasionally manta rays; blue-spotted rays quite common; crown-of-thorns starfish.

Currents around western side attract some sharks; shallow reef; good for snorkeling and diving.

Dur Ghella

Close to Dur Gaam; shallow reef ranging from around 1m to 10m.

Abundant and diverse fish species; many large bumphead parrotfish; spotted sweetlips, Arabian angelfish.

Soft corals are generally found in the north, hard corals in the south (to 10m); good for snorkeling and diving; waves and wind can limit access.


Most attractive of the islands, with vegetation, hills and good beaches; one of best islands for camping (fresh water available).

Good variety of hard and soft corals; profuse fish life; schools of jack and rays occasionally seen.

Better for diving than snorkeling; reef is slightly deeper than other areas (20m); particularly good diving off northern tip.


Good beaches and birdlife; one of best islands for camping.

Good coral and fish species including angelfish, parrotfish, surgeons and cardinals.

Good snorkelling and diving to east and west of islands.

Dahlak Kebir

Largest island, known for its archaeological ruins

Hammerhead sharks; wrecks in bay including Ethiopian cargo ship and three Russian tanks; British and Italian warships; large batfish

Look out for the giant groper inhabiting the Ras Degan wreck.

Dahlak Channel

Channel is fault crack 50-150m deep.

No coral, just fish species; also manta ray and pelagic species including various types of shark.

Excellent drift diving; August is the best month for mantas


Two villages on islands; ruins of seven Italian gun placements; seagrasses found.

Dugong seen very occasionally; good coral in southern area.

Dugong sightings increasingly rare, but still the best palace to see them.


Several islets off northern tip; ruined villages; mangroves and doum palms found; fresh water available

Quite good hard coral species including Favites, Goniopora and Porites.

Good for snorkelling.


Near Dahlak Kebir; island is completely devoid of vegetation; unsuitable for camping.

Many lined and spotted snapper.

Shallow diving (around 10m); good for snorkelling

Green Island

Lies just off Twalet island, 10 minutes by boat; consists of beach and mangrove swamp.

Quite good coral and fish species including wrasse, butterfly and parrotfish; blue-spotted ray.

The most accessible island, the cheapest to get to and good for snorkelling.