• Whale shark, Djibouti | © Joshua Barton

Itinerary Summary

5 Days
Small Group Safari
Duration Price When Destination Type
5 Days £4200 Dec Djibouti Small Group Safari
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Free Diving with Whale Sharks in Djibouti

Travel to Djibouti to snorkel or free dive with whale sharks and other marine life with professional photographer Joshua Barton.

Most people wouldn’t be able to place Djibouti on a map, let alone know it is the best place in the world for swimming with whale sharks. Djibouti is a safe haven, offering incredible marine life and fascinating landscapes, from its saline lakes to extinct volcanoes. This safari focusses on getting you out to free dive with the whale sharks during the best season to see them. Whilst we never guarantee sightings, your chances are high as this is when the whale sharks are easily found swimming parallel to the shore. Guided by Joshua Barton, a wildlife photographer who knows this area better than anyone, you’ll enjoy expert photographic advice as well! Optionally, spend a day on a safari to Lac Assal, which is a saline lake 155 metres below sea level and a wonderful excursion to see more of Djibouti. 


What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Right place, right time for the best opportunity to swim and snorkel with whale sharks in the world, with great visibility.
  • Guided by professional wildlife photographer Joshua Barton.
  • Snorkelling with the world’s largest fish.
  • Stay in luxurious accommodation in Djibouti City, exploring and sampling its delicious local cuisine.

Embedded Video Overview

An epic 5-day safari to free dive with whale sharks off Djibouti, guided by wildlife photographer Joshua Barton  
from $4,914 per person sharing excluding international flights

Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Djibouti

Upon arrival into Djibouti you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. At 7pm there is a pre-safari briefing with Joshua Barton at the luxurious Kempinski Hotel with sea-view rooms, where you’ll get to know more about what lies ahead over the next few days.

Days 2-4

Free diving with whale sharks

Each day you’ll wake up early and head out by boat from the pier by your hotel. It is normally around 1 – 1.5 hours into the Gulf of Tadjoura which is where the whale sharks feed on the plankton. Depending on sightings, you’ll spend around 3 – 4 hours enjoying this incredible experience. Head off to a secluded beach for a delicious lunch. After lunch, travel to some nearby coral reefs for spectacular snorkelling; a marine location very few get to venture. In the late afternoon, head back to your hotel to freshen up before going out into town for some delicious local cuisine, be it Ethiopian, Somali or Yemeni!

Day 5

Depart Djibouti

Spend the morning browsing the local shops and markets for souvenirs before you’re driven back to the international airport for your onward flight.



This safari is run on a small group basis with possible extensions, including a day trip to Lac Assal. Guest numbers are limited to 6 people, ensuring an exclusive experience with the whale sharks.

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