Dahlak Islands

Overview

Introduction

These coral islands in the Red Sea, just offshore from Massawa, are an incredible treat. There are ancient Semitic ruins, excellent diving and snorkeling, and empty beaches. Less than a dozen of the 200 islands are inhabited; the largest is Dahlak-Kebir, which currently has the islands' only hotel. Boat tours to the islands, often on traditional fishing vessels called sambuchi, are available from Massawa, but should be arranged in advance. Your guide will arrange all the necessary paperwork. The best islands for diving are Shumma, Nora and Isratu; snorkelers prefer Madote and Dissei. Expect to see healthy reefs as well as tropical fish, lobsters, manta rays, dolphins, several types of sea turtles and dugongs (sea cows). Some bays are bioluminescent. 30 mi/50 km east of Massawa.

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