Eritrea - Facts

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  • The coastline of Eritrea is a sensitive area. No yacht has successfully cleared in to visit Eritrea since 2020 when Eritrea closed its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maritime borders have never really re-opened.
  • The two ports of entry, Massawa and Assab are located at either end of the country – Massawa in the south and Assab in the north. Assab is closed to sailing yachts, except in emergencies.
  • It used to be easy to clear in at one port of entry, cruise the coast and then clear out at the other, however that is no longer possible.
  • Harmil is a military outpost and should not be visited by yachts. It is recommended not to venture too close to the coast where there are military installations.
  • There is a lack of navigation aids along the Eritrean coast so night sailing close to shore is not recommended.
  • Massawa is the largest natural deepwater harbor on the Red Sea. Within it lies the Dhalak Archipelago, a group of hundreds of islands and islets, which is a protected Marine Park. This area offers beautiful winter cruising, however, unfortunately, the islands are “out of bounds” currently to foreign yachts.
  • An interesting side trip for those stopping in Massawa is to the inland capital of Asmara.
  • Repair facilities are limited, although there are small boatyards and workshops that are able to carry out simple repairs.

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Eritrea was last updated 5 months ago.

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  1. March 1, 2022 at 7:05 AM
    mascia-poma says:

    Dear Sirs, we are a Motor yacht 72m and we will like to star a cruiser in Dhalak Islands on the 14th of March. Xan you please let me know how I can apply for the permit? Thank you.

  2. February 25, 2022 at 6:12 AM
    wil97709 says:

    Correction/Errata: Assab is in the south, Massawa in the north…Schooner Seawanhaka

  3. March 22, 2020 at 6:15 PM
    sallyavery says:

    Can anyone advise how to get fuel at Massawa at present please?

  4. March 15, 2016 at 9:45 PM
    Data Entry5 says:

    From http://socotra.info/ – February 2016
    Another sailing boat had problems with the Eritrean authorities. The yacht was kept in the port of Massawa for over a month Ğ°fter an emergency stop near the Eritrean coast.