A number of scuba divers travel to Egypt each year in an effort to explore the Red Sea’s famous shipwrecks and marine life. The Red Sea is one of the most well-known diving locations in the world due to its crystal-clear waters, bright coral reefs, and varied marine life. Additionally, the Red Sea offers divers of all skill levels a variety of diving opportunities. From Scalloped Hammerheads to Oceanic whitetips and whale sharks, these are just a few of the shark species that may be found in the Red Sea.
For the ultimate diving experience, here are the best places where you can go for a dive with different types of sharks.
Scalloped hammerheads are easily the most recognizable with their hammer-shaped head and long dorsal fin. According to Ali Labib, a partner at TheyCallMeDugongi, these types of sharks are commonly found at Elphinstone and Daedalus reefs. Sightings are most common when the water is warm, starting from June and ending in November. Additionally, they are sometimes spotted on the outside of Jackson Reef in Tiran, but surface conditions are often harsh and need to be perfectly flat to make the dive.
Oceanic whitetip sharks are distributed throughout the Red Sea. Specifically, they are sometimes spotted towards the reefs of Sharm El Sheikh but are spotted on an almost daily basis offshore of Brothers Islands, often waiting underneath the liveaboards and providing close encounters with divers. They are found at other offshore reefs as well such as Daedalus and Rocky, Fury Shoal. Also, they are very common on Elphinstone’s south plateau.
Gray Reef Shark
This is the one type of shark that is most commonly spotted while diving in the Red Sea. You may stumble upon it at any of Egypt’s most popular diving sites. Gray reef sharks are known to be shy reef dwellers with a stock build and they can grow up to 2 meters in length. When diving, they are easy to spot because of the dark grey band that runs along the outside edge of their tail. As they like to spend much of their time patrolling the reef, they are often encountered by beginner divers. Other popular reef sharks to look out for include the blacktip and whitetip species.
Considered one of the Red Sea’s most elusive and shy species, meeting this shark underwater can be a real treat for many divers. What’s great is that it can be encountered at several of the Red Sea’s top diving sites with Brothers Islands being the most likely spot where you’ll see it. This particular shark boasts a unique appearance as it has massive eyes for hunting as well as a long white-tip tail for stunning its prey. To boost your chances of meeting a thresher shark, aim to dive the Red Sea between September and February.
Whale sharks are most likely to be encountered at the Brothers Islands and Daedalus on liveaboards out of Hurghada. According to Dive Magazine, the best time to see them is from late spring to mid-summer. They are between 3 to 7 meters in length and are always a thrilling encounter during any dive. They are seen commonly when you are cruising on your liveaboard and they sometimes visit the reefs to surprise some lucky divers.
The Silky Shark is a beautiful fish that can grow up to 1.8 meters to 6 feet in length. It has a characteristic black band around its pectoral fins. This type of shark is usually spotted in the Red Sea from November all the way through January. Interestingly, they can grow to around 3 meters in length and are spotted off small islands and offshore reefs. Also, they usually hunt in small packs and are very curious about divers, meaning that divers should proceed with caution as they sometimes come very close.
To make the trip even easier, Labib recommended that taking liveaboards are the most common and efficient way to go to destinations such as Brothers Islands and Daedalus as you get to have more time to dive and explore the location. Also, day trips are not available for those particular two diving spots making liveaboards the perfect way to explore these magnificent reefs. Day trips are however, available for Elphinstone as it can be reached out to from the shore.
According to Labib, the most important things to remember before diving with sharks include respecting them as you are in their natural habitat, staying close to your group because sharks frequently like to look closer at divers swimming alone, and avoiding any erratic movements because you need to remain calm. Most essential, in shark-crowded spots, always stay beneath and never float on the surface.
With all that being said, sharks are truly one of the most stunning aquatic creatures in the Red Sea. Diving underwater, you get the unique opportunity to see them in their natural environment and take in their beauty as a diver.