EgyptTom Saccone1 9.5982142857143 out of 10 2013-01-18 11:18:38 SCUBA DIVING IN EGYPT & THE RED SEA: wonder of the Red Sea; Divers' Reviews Egypt’s main scuba diving areas (all held within the Red Sea) are Hurghada and Safaga to the north, Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula, and, to the south, Saint John´s Reef, where Brother´s Island and Rocky Island, close to the Sudan border, are among the most pristine areas. Egypt’s Red Sea coast is considered to be one of the seven wonders of the underwater world, hosting more than 1000 species of invertebrates and 200 species of soft and hard coral. The Red Sea, Egypt’s natural border to the west, holds just under 20% of endemic marine species. Egypt’s Red Sea coastline stretches more than 1500 km, providing impressive scuba dive spots with wrecks, coral reefs, walls & caves dives packed of sharks, dolphins etc... Everything to enchant any diver. CLIMATE Scuba diving in the Red Sea is possible year around. For bigger pelagic species July and August is best. The water temperature varies depending on the time of the year, in August it can reach 86°F (30°C) or more, and it can drop to 71°F (22°C) in February. Air temperature in August can reach 104°F (40°C) and drop to low 70°F in February. SCUBA DIVING IN HURGHADA & SHARM EL-SHEIK Hurghada (Egypt’s second largest city) and Sharm el-Sheik are separated by the mouth of the Gulf of Suez. Hurghada, on the east bank of the gulf, is a main tourist center from which 48 diving sites can be accessed. The reef dive at Sha’ab El Fanadir is a classic Red Sea dive, great visibility, colorful corals and fish; lionfish, bluespotted rays and stonefish can be observed here. The Sha’ab El Fanadir dive is good for beginners although it can be crowded. The Shadwan and Gubal Islands have several impressive wreck dives. Abu Nuhas boasts four different wrecks in close proximity; these wrecks are shallow enough for beginners. Safaga is a port town and a frequently visited diving area for its reefs, walls, wrecks and caves. Panorama Reef is one of the best sites, and the Salem Express wreck is a worthy deep dive, however you need several immersions due to short bottom times. Sharm el-Sheik, on the west bank of the Gulf of Suez and southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, holds 39 dive sites and is quite possibly the most visited scuba diving destination on the Red Sea. The Ras Mohammed Marine Park is a must, the sights of lavishing coral gardens and more than 1000 species of fish make for a mesmerizing dive. The Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef are a boat ride away from Sharm el-Sheik. Yolanda Reef gets its name from the sunken Yolanda, it is the larger reef, although Shark Reef has more color and, as its name suggests, sharks can be observed (blacktips sharks and even hammerhead sharks). Both have incredible wall dives with a great number of fish schools. All-Inclusive liveaboards minimize the traveling time between dive sites. HAMATA & MARSA ALAM: FEWER CROWDS, MORE SHARKS, BETTER DIVES Hamata and Marsa Alam, located in Egypt’s south-eastern coast, stand in front of the Fury Shoal Reef system and are the main diving towns. These towns, however, do not see the heavy tourist traffic of the north. In fact, many divers prefer to head straight south on liveaboards to avoid the touristy dive sites of the north. The main sites are Hamata and Marsa Alam, where silvertip, hammerhead sharks and thresher sharks among other reef sharks can be seen. Coral reefs are healthier in this part too and larger reef fish can be observed such as snapper, unicorn fish and groupers. The Southern Red Sea is exposed to offshore currents, deep dives and surface swells. The marine parks of Zabargad Island and Rocky Island offer a variety of diving environments. Zabargad Island (also St. John’s Island), was known to Egyptian pharaohs and Roman explorers but is now an uninhabited island and a breeding site for the green turtle. It corals are approximately 25 meters below the surface. Brothers Island has spectacular wall dives overgrown with soft corals and gorgonians and a World War II ship wreck. The island is accessed via liveaboard and is for experienced divers. COUNTRIES IN MIDDLE EST & RED SEA United Arab Emirates DIVE OPERATORS LISTED IN EGYPT Big Blue Dahab / Desert Rose / Emperor Divers / H2O Divers Dahab / I Dive Dahab / Mirage Divers Dahab / Pirates Dive Club / Penguin Divers /  Sharm El Naga / Sheikh Coast / Riff Villa / Rock Stardh / Sub Sinai Adventures / TekStreme Diving DIVING SPECIFICATIONS Best time to dive All year Experience level All levels Water 68-81°F / 20-27°C Wetsuit Depends on the season Current Low to Average Visibility Good to Average Wall Yes Drifting Yes Canyons Yes Cave No Coral Famous for its coral Wrecks Famous for its wrecks TRAVEL & PRICES General Country Information Traveling Capital: Cairo Currency: EGP Language: Arabic Visa: Yes (on arrival) Electricity: 220v GMT: +2 hours Flying from USA / LAUSA / MiamiUSA / NYCCanada / VancouverUK / LondonFrance / ParisItaly / RomaSpain / MadridGermany / FrankfurtSweden / StockholmRussia / MoscowJapan / TokyoChina / BeijingChina / ShanghaiAustralia / MelbourneUAE / DubaïArgentina / Buenos AiresHongKong / HongKongPanama / Panama CityBrazil / Sao PaoloIsrael / Tel AvivSouth Africa / Cape Town To Cairo, we estimate a week in standard hotel+ 10 dives to: Flight Hotel 540 10 Dives 350 Other 430 Total OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST PER MAIN DIVING AREA North Eastern Red Sea Coast (Hurghada, Safaga) From Hurghada: desert safaris, St. Anthony and St. Paul´s monasteries The Fantasia show at Alf Leila We Leila, for local traditions, food and culture Visit the Museum of Egyptian Antiques Day trips to Cairo Visit Luxor, the Valley of Kings Sinai Peninsular (Sharm el-Sheik) Nile River cruises through the Valley of the Kings Bedouin Feast for local traditions Visit Mt. Sinai and Saint Catherine´s monastery Southeastern  Red Sea Coast (Hamata) Samadai Reef and Dolphin House Emerald Mines of Marsa Alam Wadi Gimal National Park Zabargad Island and Rocky Island
Anemone fish in Red Sea, Egypt
Humphead wrasse or Napoleon fish in Egypt
eDiving Photo
OFFICIAL PICTURES

SCUBA DIVING IN EGYPT & THE RED SEA: wonder of the Red Sea; Divers’ Reviews

Egypt’s main scuba diving areas (all held within the Red Sea) are Hurghada and Safaga to the north, Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula, and, to the south, Saint John´s Reef, where Brother´s Island and Rocky Island, close to the Sudan border, are among the most pristine areas.

Egypt’s Red Sea coast is considered to be one of the seven wonders of the underwater world, hosting more than 1000 species of invertebrates and 200 species of soft and hard coral. The Red Sea, Egypt’s natural border to the west, holds just under 20% of endemic marine species. Egypt’s Red Sea coastline stretches more than 1500 km, providing impressive scuba dive spots with wrecks, coral reefs, walls & caves dives packed of sharks, dolphins etc… Everything to enchant any diver.

CLIMATE

Scuba diving in the Red Sea is possible year around. For bigger pelagic species July and August is best. The water temperature varies depending on the time of the year, in August it can reach 86°F (30°C) or more, and it can drop to 71°F (22°C) in February. Air temperature in August can reach 104°F (40°C) and drop to low 70°F in February.

SCUBA DIVING IN HURGHADA & SHARM EL-SHEIK

Hurghada (Egypt’s second largest city) and Sharm el-Sheik are separated by the mouth of the Gulf of Suez. Hurghada, on the east bank of the gulf, is a main tourist center from which 48 diving sites can be accessed. The reef dive at Sha’ab El Fanadir is a classic Red Sea dive, great visibility, colorful corals and fish; lionfish, bluespotted rays and stonefish can be observed here.

The Sha’ab El Fanadir dive is good for beginners although it can be crowded. The Shadwan and Gubal Islands have several impressive wreck dives. Abu Nuhas boasts four different wrecks in close proximity; these wrecks are shallow enough for beginners.

Safaga is a port town and a frequently visited diving area for its reefs, walls, wrecks and caves. Panorama Reef is one of the best sites, and the Salem Express wreck is a worthy deep dive, however you need several immersions due to short bottom times.

Sharm el-Sheik, on the west bank of the Gulf of Suez and southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, holds 39 dive sites and is quite possibly the most visited scuba diving destination on the Red Sea. The Ras Mohammed Marine Park is a must, the sights of lavishing coral gardens and more than 1000 species of fish make for a mesmerizing dive.

The Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef are a boat ride away from Sharm el-Sheik. Yolanda Reef gets its name from the sunken Yolanda, it is the larger reef, although Shark Reef has more color and, as its name suggests, sharks can be observed (blacktips sharks and even hammerhead sharks). Both have incredible wall dives with a great number of fish schools.

All-Inclusive liveaboards minimize the traveling time between dive sites.

HAMATA & MARSA ALAM: FEWER CROWDS, MORE SHARKS, BETTER DIVES

Hamata and Marsa Alam, located in Egypt’s south-eastern coast, stand in front of the Fury Shoal Reef system and are the main diving towns.

These towns, however, do not see the heavy tourist traffic of the north. In fact, many divers prefer to head straight south on liveaboards to avoid the touristy dive sites of the north.

The main sites are Hamata and Marsa Alam, where silvertip, hammerhead sharks and thresher sharks among other reef sharks can be seen. Coral reefs are healthier in this part too and larger reef fish can be observed such as snapper, unicorn fish and groupers. The Southern Red Sea is exposed to offshore currents, deep dives and surface swells. The marine parks of Zabargad Island and Rocky Island offer a variety of diving environments.

Zabargad Island (also St. John’s Island), was known to Egyptian pharaohs and Roman explorers but is now an uninhabited island and a breeding site for the green turtle. It corals are approximately 25 meters below the surface.

Brothers Island has spectacular wall dives overgrown with soft corals and gorgonians and a World War II ship wreck. The island is accessed via liveaboard and is for experienced divers.

COUNTRIES IN MIDDLE EST & RED SEA

United Arab Emirates

DIVE OPERATORS LISTED IN EGYPT

Big Blue Dahab / Desert Rose / Emperor DiversH2O Divers Dahab / I Dive DahabMirage Divers Dahab / Pirates Dive Club / Penguin Divers /  Sharm El NagaSheikh Coast / Riff Villa / Rock Stardh / Sub Sinai AdventuresTekStreme Diving

DIVING SPECIFICATIONS

Best time to dive All year
Experience level All levels
Water 68-81°F / 20-27°C
Wetsuit Depends on the season
Current Low to Average
Visibility Good to Average
Wall Yes
Drifting Yes
Canyons Yes
Cave No
Coral Famous for its coral
Wrecks Famous for its wrecks

TRAVEL & PRICES

General Country
Information
Traveling
Capital: Cairo
Currency: EGP
Language: Arabic
Visa: Yes (on arrival)
Electricity: 220v
GMT: +2 hours
Flying from
To Cairo, we estimate a week
in standard hotel+ 10 dives to:
Flight
Hotel 540
10 Dives 350
Other 430
Total

OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
PER MAIN DIVING AREA

North Eastern Red Sea Coast (Hurghada, Safaga)

From Hurghada: desert safaris, St. Anthony and St. Paul´s monasteries
The Fantasia show at Alf Leila We Leila, for local traditions, food and culture
Visit the Museum of Egyptian Antiques
Day trips to Cairo
Visit Luxor, the Valley of Kings

Sinai Peninsular (Sharm el-Sheik)

Nile River cruises through the Valley of the Kings
Bedouin Feast for local traditions
Visit Mt. Sinai and Saint Catherine´s monastery

Southeastern  Red Sea Coast (Hamata)

Samadai Reef and Dolphin House
Emerald Mines of Marsa Alam
Wadi Gimal National Park

Zabargad Island and Rocky Island

COMMENTS

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eDiving BookDIVING SPECS RESUME
Water : 68-81°F/20-27°C
Best time to dive: January-December
XP level: For all levels

Blacktip Shark: All Year
Thresher Shark : All Year
Napoleon Wrasse: All Year

Live aboard only: better for South Red Sea: Zabargad Island and Rocky Island
eDiving Star
#4 DIVING DESTINATION OVER 70

MAIN DIVING AREAS
*North Eastern Red Sea Coast: Hurghada, Safaga
*Sinai Peninsular : Sharm el-Sheik
*Southeastern Red Sea Coast: Hamata
*Zabargad Island and Rocky Island
*Other

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