Routes Route A: circling the reef Duration: about 50 min. Difficulty: *
General Information Habili Omran lies just 1.6 km south of Shaab Kentkana and is also on the eastern edge of the Shaab Aluaster group. The small coral formation is largely unknown and has only lately become frequented by liveaboards. Because of its small size of only about 100 m, not more than two boats can moor here at once making it rare to find many divers underwater at the same time. As with all habilis, it is only possible to come here during calm seas.
The dive site comprises four individual arouks that rise from a depth of about 20 meters to just below the surface. All around them lie coral rocks on the sandy seabed A affording an interesting view-we once even encountered dolphins here. In some places, the arouks form small canyons A A, which add variety to the dive. The reef walls A are full of corals and provide many hiding places for groupers, lionfish and other inhabitants of the sea that avoid the light, while shoals of anthias swim about on the overgrown reef tops A.
Habili Omran usually provides easy dives and is therefore suitable for beginners: the best depth here is at about 20 m, currents rarely flow around it and the visibility underwater is usually excellent. However, with big waves at sea, the safety stop near the reef tops may be complicated by the surges.
Since the reef formation offers little shelter, no boats moor here overnight making night dives impossible. However, this site provides a welcome opportunity to make a stop with interesting dives during the long journey back to the north from St. John’s reefs.
Start directly from the liveaboard’s diving platform
and descend to the seabed at a depth of 18 to 20 m. In case of strong currents, stay close to the arouks, which provide shelter, so that you do not get swept out into the open sea.
Dive clockwise or counterclockwise around the formation along the sandy seabed A-the direction makes no difference and explore it along the way. Bluespotted stingrays, scorpionfish and sea slugs await you here. Make sure to always stay in sight of the arouks so that you do not get lost.
Afterwards, ascend to a depth of about 14 m and swim along the reef walls A to explore the canyons A A between the arouks. Then ascend e ef tops A for the safety stop at the end of this and be sure to reserve a few minutes of programme time to explore them. Finally, return to the boat 1 and end the dive.
Tips / Hazards
• Easy dive site in calm conditions • Interesting stop on your journey to the north • Always stay in sight of the reef walls • If a current is present, stay close to the arouks • Beware of the surgeon the reef tops