On The Deep End: Top Red Sea Diving Activities & Destinations
The Red Sea, often known as the underwater garden of Eden, is one of the world’s most popular diving locations home to shipwrecks, sharks, colorful corals, and a plethora of kaleidoscopic fish. Egypt, currently, has some of the best diving spots in the world thanks to the Red Sea. It is abundant in life, with around 1000 fish and 150 coral species. Thankfully, due to the lack of storms in the Red Sea, the corals are intricate and gorgeous.
Now that we’re talking about diving and the Red Sea, it’s important to note that diving is a recreational activity that has become increasingly popular in the region for some individuals. There are different sorts of diving, each with its own set of goals and varying degrees of enjoyment. Open water diving, cave diving, deep diving, and drift diving are among the most well-known.
Diving also provides a fresh opportunity to meet new people, see new places, and be present in serene settings. To learn more about diving destinations and unusual species found throughout the Red Sea, we spoke with Karim Kabbage, the founder of “TheyCallMeDugongi,” a diving center/store for all forms of diving equipment.
Dive With The Sharks
If sharks are your thing, Elphinstone Reef (situated about 30 kilometers north of the town of Marsa Alam), Daedalus Reef (situated about 80 kilometers from Marsa Alam), and Brothers Islands (located around 200 km south of Ras Mohammed) are all great places to dive and see them. Note that only Daedalus and Brothers Islands can be reached through liveaboards.
Those diving areas, according to Kabbage, are mostly for advanced-level divers who should be familiar with the behavior of sharks and how to dive safely around them without jeopardizing their own safety. Diving in those waters, expect to see Oceanic white-tip, hammerhead, grey reef, silky, and thresher sharks (primarily found in the Brothers Islands).
Check Out The Coral Reefs
Sharm El-Sheikh and Ras Mohamed, according to Kabbage, are home to the best coral reefs in the world. The Brothers Islands are also a must as they are home to soft corals, which gives the sea an unusually vibrant aesthetic that makes you want to dive right in. But how can we safeguard them? The idea is to dive and snorkel in a safe and responsible manner. You should avoid contacting reefs or anchoring your boat on them because touching the reef might harm the delicate coral organisms, and anchoring on the reef can kill corals. It is best to opt for a sandy bottom or use moorings instead.
Also, Dahab, which is located in South Sinai, is a diving paradise and a safe haven for those looking to stay away from sharks. According to Kabbage, the Blue Hole, Dahab’s most famous diving spot as well as one of Egypt’s most well-known dive sites, is fantastic for people who wish to see some spectacular coral reefs and colorful aquatic life.
Explore The Magnificent Caves
To witness an underwater cave, then Sha’ab Claudia is a great option for your next diving trip. Sha’ab Claudia is a small reef located just in front of Hamata, a beach resort in southern Egypt. One of the most magnificent reefs in the Fury Shoals, according to Kabbage, it is a popular scuba diving location for liveaboards and daily charters.
It is considered a shallow dive site with the most fascinating area at a depth of 15 to 20 meters, and it is normally protected from the current. The great majority of divers holding an Open Water Diver certification can dive through its waters as the west side of the reef is home to a cave with numerous canyons.
Venture Through Historic Shipwrecks
How about the best shipwreck spots? Well, Kabbage introduced us to some of the most prominent shipwreck destinations that offer a one-of-a-kind story. The SS Thistlegorm is the most well-known shipwreck in the Red Sea. The British cargo ship was on its way to North Africa to deliver military equipment of all kinds to British troops. The SS Thistlegorm was then attacked by a German bomber on October 6, 1941. At a depth of 32 meters, the wreck is upright on the seabed. The cargo is very intriguing: tanks, trucks, motorcycles, weaponry, a railway carriage, and two locomotive engines.
The SS Thistlegorm is frequently referred to be the world’s most popular wreck. It’s not unexpected, given its well-preserved structure, its abundance of WWII artifacts, and proximity to recreational scuba diving. How are you going to get there? Easy! The SS Thistlegorm Wreck can be visited by day trip boats and liveaboards because it is located in the northern part of the Red Sea, at Shag Rock in the Gulf of Gubal. Diving day tours from Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, and Hurghada can take up to four hours to reach the spot and include two dives.
Numidia is also another shipwreck in the Brothers Islands that completed her journey from Glasgow to Bombay and Calcutta in February 1901. Then, on July 6, 1901, she set sail from Liverpool for the same tour. She was carrying 7,000 tonnes of general cargo and a crew of 97. On July 19, 1901, the ship cleared Suez and made good progress down the Gulf. Captain John Craig plotted a course towards Big Brother Island once they were out in the broad Red Sea. He then withdrew to his cabin, leaving the Second Mate on watch and instructing him to call the Brothers Light when it was no longer visible.
The ship, however, collided with the rocks on Big Brother Island, about 500 feet from the Lighthouse. They attempted to refloat the ship but the attempt was unsuccessful. Captain Craig stayed on the island for seven weeks, salvaging the majority of the cargo before the Numidia shattered and fell against the reef, with the stern coming to rest at 80 meters.
Marvel At The Red Sea’s Coolest Fish
Napoleon fish, bottlenose dolphins, manta rays, tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, spinner dolphins, and bottlenose dolphins are just a few of the popular creatures found in the Red Sea. Furthermore, the dugong is such a rare species that it is now the sole living member of the once-common Dugongidae family. The species is native to Egypt and an undeniably beautiful creature that adds an interesting aspect to the marine life throughout the Red Sea. They can be found specifically in Marsa Alam and El Quseir, both of which are located on the Red Sea coast in eastern Egypt. According to The Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Research, research done in 2017 and 2019 identified 30 individuals at 22 places “with a male-female ratio of 7:1.”
Bringing our conversation to a close, when we asked Kabbage what makes the Red Sea so magnificent, he said that it is undoubtedly its sheer visibility. The visibility of the Red Sea in Egypt offers it an advantage over other countries. While swimming in the Red Sea, you will be able to see everything down to 50 meters including its gorgeous marine life. So with that, get your friends together and plan out a diving trip to the majestic Red Sea.