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My first trip to Djibouti was in 2003. On that occasion, I had the
chance to spot 30 whale sharks, and the opportunity to swim with some
of them. In Tadjura, they're here to feed, so they can stay vertically
for quite some time. My personnal record was 15mn alone with "my"
whale-shark. The animals spotted in Tadjura are usually small
young ones, around 2/3m long. I saw once a 5m animal, the only one that
In 2005, it was an entirely different scenario. The
plancton was very late, and very few animals had been seen since the
beginning of the season (about a dozen in a month). On the afternoon of
our arrival, we saw only one ws, for about 2 seconds.
and it was the first of three nights in a row, we were surrounded by
whale sharks around the boat. I think that it was on the last night
that we had up until 8 animals at the same time. We had a powerful lamp
on one side of the boat, which lured thousands of small fishes - like
sardins - and the 10cm animals brought the 5/7m animals around us !! It
was amazing, they were almost fighting for the small fishes, and they
certainly didn't care whether or not we were in the water !!
one can see on the sequence, we were very close to the animals.
Contrary to the regular ws in Tadjura, they were bigger animals, around
5/7 meters long, with one 10m, and only one or two small 3m. We were
allowed to swim with them for a long time, in fact, each time, when we
went to bed, they were still around the boat.