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Any recent dive reports from Eritrea/southern Red Sea?

Discussion in 'Africa' started by charliechalk, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. charliechalk

    charliechalk Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Bath, UK
    4
    0
    0
    Hi all,

    I am planning on visiting Eritrea next February and would love to hear about recent dive reports from the area. Searching for Eritrea brings up threads last ending in 2005 so there must be some recent developments since then!

    Areas currently under consideration:

    Eritrea - Dahlak Islands
    Yemen - Hanish Islands
    Yemen - Socotra

    Cheers,
    Charlie :)
     
  2. tacky

    tacky Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oslo, Norway
    91
    0
    0
    Wpuld be kind of stupid going to Yemen as a tourist right now.
     
  3. Aleen

    Aleen Garibaldi

    2
    0
    0
    Hi
    Although the situation in the mainland Yemen might be a bit difficult these days, you can always go to Socotra. Thanks to its distance and somehow isolation from the mainland Yemen, the situation is quite peaceful there, there hasnt been any fighting or unrests...it remains as safes as usual. Since there are even less tourists as usual these days - it might be actually quite cool- well it is sooo cool even with the few usual tourists :)
    To avoid passing throught Yemen you can fly from to Socotra throught the Emirates - there is a flight Sharjah-Al Mukalla- Socotra.
    I went diving with Socotra Eco Tours, Socotra Eco-tours - Tourist guide on Socotra specialised in eco-tourism, which seems to offer the best deal on diving, since the diving center is somehow part of it. They are a registered local socotri tour operator and can also take care of your visa and flight tickets, transportation, food..anything you might need. There is an update on the Socotra diving in another thread of this forum.
    cheers
     
  4. nipi

    nipi Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Grand Cayman
    572
    24
    18
    Yemen Update - Trip Report Sanaa/Socotra 10-19 Nov 2011
    My dive buddy & I just returned from a week in Socotra with a day in Sanaa at either end of our stay. All our local arrangements were made by Abduljameel of Socotra Eco Tours (Socotra Eco-Tours - Tourist guide on Socotra specialised in eco-tourism e-mail:- holidays@socotra-eco-tours.com tel:- +967 770689762).

    We flew Egyptair from London to Sanaa changing planes in Cairo. At check in in Cairo you will need to show a copy of your Yemeni visa. Our visas were obtained by Abduljameel – we emailed him a copy of our passports & wired the fees to him & once he received the visas he emailed copies to us. On arrival at Sanaa airport we gave the copies to the visas desk & they posted the original visas in our passports. Abduljameel had arranged for us to be met at the airport by Akmed as our guide/driver & one of the officials phoned him as he waited outside to confirm that we were with his agency – arriving independently without this I believe you would not be allowed in. In Sanaa we stayed at the Arabia Felix (Arabia Felix Hotel, Sana'a) one of the few if not the only hotel still open in the old town. We walked around the souk with Akmed & ate at the Al Shaibani restaurant. The traffic in Sanaa is terrible – worse now that there are so many army check points. Parts of the city around University Square & Tahrir Square are blocked off to all traffic. The power goes off at night but the hotel had a generator use for part of it. Akmed is a conscientious English speaking guide with a thorough knowledge of which parts of the city are ok & which to avoid. On our return through Sanaa Akmed had got us travel permits so we were able to visit Shibam/Kawkaban & Wadi Dahr.

    We flew Felix Air (tickets arranged by Abduljameel) from Sanaa to Socotra with a stop on the ground in Mukalla. Our bags were overweight but they waived the excess fee. On Socotra we stayed 5 nights at Dihamri eco lodge, 1 night at Ditwah & 1 night at Adeebs near Hadibo. Tents are provided but we slept outside. We did 6 days diving at Dihamri, Erissel, Adho, Rosh, Quisalaya & Shuub & 2 land trips to Homhil & the Dixsum plateau. We had a guide (Sammy), driver (Mohamed) & dive guide (Nassem). Food was plentiful – bread, cheese, jam, rice, pasta, beans, curried vegetables, grilled fish & goat. Plenty of tea, water & soft drinks – no alcohol. The dives were mainly on sand flats at say 60 feet covered with coral heads. Being relatively undived the coral condition is superb with an incredible amount of fish life – nurse & whitetipped sharks, skates, reys, eels, turtles & schools & schools of fish – the Shuub wreck in particular was just covered in blankets of fish. Generally, 15 minute boats rides to the sites in fishing boats. Drift dives no buoys. Visibility around 50 feet. Although a limited amount of spare equipment is available, best to bring your own. 5 mm wetsuits. Some of the best diving I have done in the Red Sea & Arabian Sea (comparing with Egypt, Eritrea, Maldives, Mauritius).

    Socotra is a wonderful place both above & below the water. Even if you do not travel through Sanaa it is possible to get there by flying from Sharjah in the U.A.E. via Mukalla. Go now – you will not regret it.

    Read more: http://www.socotra-eco-tours.com/guest-book/
     
  5. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    5,759
    4,508
    113
    Sounds awesome and I am seriously interested.

    How many other divers were there?
     
  6. nipi

    nipi Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Grand Cayman
    572
    24
    18
    None.
     
  7. Searcaigh

    Searcaigh Chromodoris gordonii Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Dubai, UAE
    5,759
    4,508
    113
    I have contacted Socotra Eco Tours and they are quoting USD400 per day per person for full board (in a tent I believe) and two dives per day, excluding flights.
     
  8. nipi

    nipi Manta Ray

    # of Dives:
    Location: Grand Cayman
    572
    24
    18
    I would need to dig out my notes to see what we paid but you get accomodation in a tent (which we never used as we just slept out on the beach - you can also stay in hotels), full board, 2 Landcruisers, driver, guide, divemaster, 2/3 dives per day & boat (fisherman's so captained by fisherman & his son).

    Separate question - can you recommend any travel agencies in Dubai which organise flights & accomodation on Kish Island? Thanks.
     
  9. rickpreve

    rickpreve Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
    26
    3
    3
    Hello everyone, I spent a lot of time in the water in Sudan in 2014 but would like to explore diving in either Eritrea or Yemen (Socotra) in 2015. Last posts in this thread were in 2012... Any trip reports since then? Anyone with questions on Suakin Islands in Sudan I can share thoughts. Thanks in advance. Rick
     
  10. barbaroonie

    barbaroonie Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicago
    11
    3
    3
    Hi Rick,
    I'm thinking of joining a 13 day sail from Port Ghaleb to the South Suaken at the end of the calendar year with some European dive buddies I met last year in Socorro. Aside from a hellish journey getting there and back from the US, how was the diving? I'm assuming fairly unspoiled as there's not much boat traffic, and most of the vimeo videos posted show nice hard corals and some pretty big schools of barracuda and jacks. I've logged around 500 dives mostly Indopacific, but am less familiar with the Red Sea. How do you think I may enjoy this trip? Planning on sailing on Royal Evolution. Thanks in advance!
    -Barb
     

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