Gulf of Tadjoura

Gulf of Tadjoura
الخليج للدمار
Basin countries  Djibouti  Somalia
Max. length 36 mi (58 km)
Max. width 15 mi (24 km)
Average depth −860 m (−2,820 ft)
Islands Moucha Island, Maskali Islands
Settlements Djibouti Djibouti city, Tadjoura, Sagallo, Obock and Loyada, Somalia Lawyacado

The Gulf of Tadjoura (Arabic: خليج تدجورا), (Somali: Badda Tajuura) is a gulf or basin of the Indian Ocean in the Horn of Africa. It lies south of the straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, or the entrance to the Red Sea, at 11°42′N 43°00′E / 11.7°N 43.0°E / 11.7; 43.0. Most of its coastline is the territory of Djibouti, except for a short stretch on the southern shore, which is part of the territory of Somalia.


The area of the gulf is 347 km2 (900 sq mi). The length (from the Sagallo to Obock) is 58 km (36 mi) and the width varies from 24 km (15 mi).The gulf is relatively shallow with the depth decreasing from the entrance to the gulf to the continent. The coast is mostly sloping; there are abundant sandy dunes, with occasional palm trees.The southern shores are smooth and shallow.

At the entrance of the Gulf is the group of small islands of Moucha and Maskali. At the bottom of the Gulf, separated only by a narrow neck of land, lakes are Ghoubet and Assal (54 km ²). Geologically, formerly covered the Gulf to Lake Assal, which is now about 155 meters below sea level.

Towns and cities

The main towns and cities on the Gulf of Tadjoura coast are:


The Gulf of Tadjoura is one of the major tourist attractions for Djibouti, believed to be a perfect place for snorkelling with whale sharks, diving and underwater photography. There are two important towns on the gulf: Obock, where Afar sultans had sold settlement rights to the French, and Tadjoura, which houses seven important mosques and offers magnificent views from the sea.

Tadjoura is beautifully surrounded by the green Goda Mountains. The hills of this mountain are 1300 meters. Due to coral reefs, the Gulf of Tadjoura is a heaven for divers and snorkelers. It attracts 30% of foreign tourists visiting Djibouti.


Passenger transport on the gulf includes a number of ferry lines which connect the following ports: Djibouti City, Tadjoura and Obock.


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