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pelorus eritrea bay beach

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Teeming Reefs and Idyllic Islands in Eritrea

Words by Pelorus

It’s 7 am—already surprisingly hot, in the upper 20s—and a Mitsubishi that’s seen better days arrives in our hotel car park. It takes us a short distance to the Eritrea Dive Center. After trying on buoyancy compensators and flippers, we jump into a skiff loaded with our gear and the pilot sets a north-westerly course for the remote Dhalak Archipelago.

Our first dive in these impossibly blue waters sets a fantastically high bar that is met again and again over the course of our three days here. Descending a reef surrounding a jutting guano-streaked rock we are immediately impressed by the evident health of the coral and its inhabitants. Among the 600 species found in this area of the Red Sea, it feels like we saw a lot of them including puffer fish, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, and longrakered trevally. Of course, the snorkeling is also incredible.

Eritrea Fishing Boat Pelorus pelorus caribbean fish
scuba diver with turtle in madagascar Coastline of Eritrea

Into the afternoon, we explore a reef running parallel to the island. Remarkable sightings occur, including a group of turtles that calmly rise from the sea bed, and pause to inspect us, before swiftly peeling away into the depths.

By the time we’re returning to camp, the hills are shining rose gold in the fading light of day. A ritual is taking place: an army of small crabs in temporary shells scuttle over the sand while their larger brethren emerge cautiously from burrows, only heading to the water’s edge once they’re sure of safety.

The sea is like glass. We sit on the beach drinking local Walia beers as the moon rises into the evening sky. Call off the search: we have found Paradise, and it’s pronounced ‘Eritrea’.

While in Eritrea, we met with numerous tourism ministers and senior officials to discuss the county’s scuba diving potential. We shall be using the knowledge obtained to work with superyachts passing through the Red Sea.