Dive at Marsa Alam
Marsa Alam, has a true tropical feeling, with its mangroves and palm trees, and its long beaches with fringing and barrier coral reefs. The awesome Wadi el Gemal National Park is in its outskirts, with 100km of pure Red Sea beach bliss and desert landscapes. Remote, tranquil, of breathtaking simplicity, Marsa Alam is the place to get away from it all. Popular among diver due to the untouched and numerous diving sites along the coast and offshore, with quite rare features in the Red Sea as the Poseidon bay where the dugongs live, or the coral reef home to the spinner dolphins.
Elphinstone: Is a 375m long, off-shore reef with drop-offs descending to over 100m. Elphinstone is ranked among the top ten dive sites in the world. The site features an abundance of soft corals and almost every kind of sea life can be seen here. The reef is angled slightly to the north, which causes a constant current over the northern and southern plateaus. These plateaus are an ideal location to catch a glimpse of different shark species like Oceanic White Tip, Scalloped Hammerhead, Whit Tip Reef, Grey Reef, Silver Tip and Thresher Sharks. Elphinstone features Oceanic White Tip from Sept till Nov, Scalloped Hammerhead from June till Aug and Mantas during March and April.
Marsa Abu Dabbab: A short swim into the bay takes you to large patch of sea grass where Giant Green Turtles and Guitar Ray Sharks can be seen and, if you are lucky, the beautiful Dugong.The South Reef leads you directly along the reef to a maximum depth of 20m.
Marsa Samadai: This site is a large sandy bay offering easy access to the reef. The bay slowly slopes down and has a small seagrass bed in the north. Besides the nice coral formations you can find bottom dwellers like the blue spotted stingray. Towards the north there are some beautiful table corals. This site is also suitable for snorkelling.
Marsa Nakari House Reef: The house reef of Nakari Village offers a very interesting landscape in the bay and beautiful coral formation on the outside fringing reef. It’s an excellent site to dive with the zodiac, and drift back to the shore. On the north side there is usually a large school of small barracuda swimming in circles. The shallow part is the most interesting. There is a good change of encounter a turtle or giant moray at night. On the south the landscape is chaotic and very interesting with many canyon and pillars shelter of species such as lion fish and groupers. From the corners to the south or north part of the fringing reef are stunning coral gardens and nice drop off with a chance to see pelagic cruising by and sometimes dolphins.
Marsa Shagra House Reef: Marsa Shagra is one of the richest and most pristine house reefs in the south and has been declared a protected area for the last 20 years. Many pictures of species in Red Sea reef guides like Debelius and Collins where taken here. According to Robert Meyer’s author of Collins claims that there are at least 5 species of endemic species living in this protected bay. The bay is occasionally frequented by pelagic species such as dolphins and manta rays.
Marsa Shuni: This dive leads you along the reef to a maximum depth of 25 m. The site is rich in marine life and wonderful to explore.
Marsa Egla:This site is a large sandy bay offering easy access to the reef. The site is rich in marine life and wonderful to explore.
Ras Samadai: Ras is the Egyptian word for ‘head’, a small and narrow piece of land sticking out in the sea. The fringing reef opens up to a pool that is surrounded by many small and beautiful pinnacles covered with hard corals. There is a good chance to see black stingrays, reef sharks, moray eels or a tuna in the blue on the East side. The area is so rich in coral formation that you can enjoy different dive profiles at this site. The inside of the pool is a common resting place for bottlenose dolphins. Booties are highly recommended at this site.
Marsa Mourain: This site is a large sandy bay and offers a batch of sea grass where the beautiful Dugong and Giant Green Turtles can be seen.
Nemo City: Drop over a small plateau at 22m and you will find a large colony of anemones and clownfish. Following the reef wall you slowly ascend to 15m where you can find nice formation of fingers and stag horn corals. There is a beautiful patch of green salad coral at about 6m depth.
Shaab el Nabaa (Nelson Reef), Shaab Samadai: This site is a local Marine Park Area which is under protection of the government. Permits are required to dive this site and certain rules are strictly enforced by HEPCA. Life jackets are obligatory for all snorkelling activities and violations of the rules results in a penalty and temporary suspension of boat license.
Shaab Marsa Alam: The first dive features stunning hard coral formation. It is common here to see yellow goatfish, black snapper, giant tuna and sometimes white tip reef sharks. The second dive leads you to the south side where at about 12 m is a wreck that sank over 20 years ago. Lots of fish are roaming around the wreck including barracuda and crocodile fish. It is not uncommon to find dolphins sheltering at this reef.
Sharm Abu Dabab:"Sharm" means the V shape in the fringing reef pits, canyons, pools and caves system, looking like the lips of a camel. "Abu Dabab" literally means the father of the Echo (or of the sound of the desert). Sharm Abu Dabab offers a tunnel system with three interconnected pools. Current can be strong in the tunnels and an attached rope system provides assistance. As you exit the canyons you will witness one of the most beautiful coral gardens of the southern Red Sea. This site can also be done as a drift dive from north to south to fully enjoy the coral garden.
Abu Ghusoun: This is a shore based wreck dive featuring a cargo vessel called the Hamaada, which hit the reef and sank nearly 15 years ago. The wreck is covered with soft coral and sits between 5-18m. This dive is done as a long day excursion departing from Shagra by bus and travelling approximately 110 km south. The excursion includes 2 dives on a wreck that is accessed from the shore.
Om Halhala: This site comprises a main reef with scattered pinnacles to the north side. As long as the current allows, divers drop at the Northern end and explore the area of the pinnacles. Morays, Napoleon Wrasse, Scorpion Fish and Nudibranches are not uncommon and baby white tip reef sharks can often be found resting on the sandy bottom, protected by the shelter of the pinnacles. Although it is possible to dive the pinnacles and the main reef, the pinnacles area is so beautiful that most divers prefer to take their time and spend the whole dive in that area.
Shaab Abu Dabab: There are a variety of different dive profiles within this large site. This site features spectacular hard coral reef formation and the opportunity to enter shallow canyons in the reef as well spectacular hard coral reef formation and a wreck. The wreck consists of a safari boat full which caught on fire and sank in 2005. Ras Tondoba:his site is a beautiful coral garden which is the northern corner of Tundoba Bay. Sightings include blue spotted stingray, schools of goat fish, and small barracudas.
Habili Nakari: This site consists of a group of pinnacles that did not yet reach the surface.Huge soft corals in many colors cover the pinnacles, which are also covered in Anthias. Many of the colorful reef fish like Picasso and Sweetlips can be seen here, but also groups of barracudas and the occasional reef shark. In Spring there is a chance to see Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.
Wadi El Gemal: This site is an extension of the Wadi el Gemal Island located on the north side. It’s a beautiful and easy dive with passages and swimthroughs. The north eastern side features a coral garden and you can expect to see eagle ray, clown fishes, napoleon, star fishes, and octopus.
Lahami North: It's the closest off-shore reef to us and is our introduction to the Fury Shoals. The dive starts at the north eastern tip. As you descend you will find a beautiful wall of mountain corals, it's best to stay around 18-20m for the first 10 mins as the dive progresses you will reach 27 - 30m on the north plateau. This dive offers an interesting change in landscape. If a current is present, it is normally from east to west over the plateau. Should you feel the current pushing to the west it's advisable to start heading towards to west side before you end up in the blue. Once you reach the west side you will find the current with you. Heading down along the west side you run into yet another garden of hard corals.
Lahami South: The dive starts on a small habili on the east side, descending to 18m you cruise across coral gardens visiting a few small pinnacles on the way. Then the landscape changes dramatically, into what we call the stairway to heaven. It's a wonderful arrangement of hard corals rising from 16m to 8m and at the end there is an archway with some of the best examples of soft corals in the South. There are also some large bushes of black coral. We're afraid this is where the dive ends, as there is nothing in comparison to what you've just seen!
Abu Galawa Big - Tug: The main feature of this dive is a tugboat that sank around 1945. How, is not really known, but it's nice to see the reef taking over the boat. We have added an extra feature, that being entering one of the pools. Afterwards we cross to the outer reef into a wonderful coral garden, keeping the reef wall to our left we venture away to pass the outer habili and visit the wreck. The bow is just under the surface and the aft is at 17m. It's wise not to venture inside as there are quite a number of sharp bits of steel sticking out everywhere and as you will see, not much room to move. After exploring around the wreck the route turns to the boat, and the chance of seeing a couple of large napoleons.
Torfa (house reef): Torfa is our house reef. The RIB will drop you at a certain point and you can either start to swim northeast and return back after 30min or go southwest and return back to the boat after 30min. The boat drops you in front of the reef in a place where you will find small pools with a sandy bottom at a depth of around 12m. This is also our night dive spot where you can find spanish dancers and many other active nocturnal fish.
Satayah (Dolphin Reef): This reef is a long, horseshoe shaped reef which is much bigger than it's sister reef Samadai further north. It stretches from east to west. We also call it Dolphin Reef and we snorkel here during the surface interval with the dolphins if they are present and awake. We have two different dives here: east or west. The east is a drop off and a classical deep dive. You have the reef wall and the deep blue (red) sea! We drop in the north-east of the reef and keep it on our right hand side drifting to the east. The reef wall has nice hard and soft corals. During the hammerhead season, you might find some in and around 30-40m. Other than that we can see tuna fish, napoleon, and other big fish. The West wall dive starts on the south-west side, starting in a shallow pool in 5m with a white sandy bottom. We keep the main reef on our right hand side, aiming to go outside the pool throught a nice hole in 9m. Once we get out, we find in front of us a nice plateau with a sandy bottom and coral patches. There are many blue-spotted stingrays here.
Egypt according to law only instructors can diving without guide therefore we give to each group a guide who helps with diving and procuring of permissions which are indispensable. Bring with yourself Present diving logbook and agency certification, Possess medical certification and accident insurance, Maximum depth limit is 30 meters for recreational scuba divers. A check out dive in the bay on the first day is required, if you have not dived for 6 months or more. Trips to Ras Mohammed, Straits of Tiran or the Thistlegorm are not available on first day of diving and require a suitable level of certification and experience.