Red Sea

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(5 REVIEWS)

 

RED SEA in a Nutshell

The Red Sea is a popular dive area that has plentiful marine life. It is easily accessed from Europe and boasts warm water and generally great visiblility. The main tourists hubs are in the northern regions, but the crowds thin in the southern areas. 

Intro to the Red Sea

Due to its high evaporation rate, miniscule rainfall, and relative geographical isolation, the Red Sea has one of the world's highest rates of salinity. These same conditions provide excellent diving weather; the Red Sea generally boasts 360 dive days per year, with cooler temperatures from October to May and summer conditions from June to September. The Red Sea has few river tributaries feeding into it, which means limited microalgae and excellent visibility.

The Red Sea is known for its prolific marine life, hosting over a thousand fish species, 20% of which exist exclusively in this body of water. Its very sunny conditions make it ideal for coral growth and indeed, over 200 soft and hard corals can be found in the extensive gardens lining the shallow shelves. Beyond these lively shallows, the median central trench dives to depths of over 7000 feet, supporting a water circulation system that supports a healthy marine environment. 

The countries surrounding the Red Sea include Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen. Most visitors, lured by the rich history and topside destinations such as Luxor and Cairo, travel through Egypt. 

 

 

RED SEA Typical Dive

The Red Sea boasts excellent,easy shore diving out of Dahab and Sharm el-Sheikh. Sharm el-Sheikh is also home to many impressive dive sites which are easily reached on day trips from the city. Most divers choose to utilize scuba dive liveaboards, however, in order to avoid the crowds of the northern region and gain access to remote dive sites such as Brother Islands and Elphinstone Reef. Liveaboard itineraries are varied and generally span 7 days.  The Red Sea hosts multiple wrecks including several WWII ships containing numerous artifacts.


 

 

dive conditions

Temperatures in the Red Sea reach 84 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months, with temperatures as low as 70 degrees in the cooler months. Visibility is excellent, reaching up to 200 feet. There are drift dives available, but for the most part, the Red Sea maintains very calm conditions. There are sites to suit every diver from beginner to advanced.
 

Topside activities

The opportunities are endless; Explore the Valley of Kings in Luxor, take a camel ride to visit the pyramids, or spend a few days in the city of Alexandria - the second most powerful city in the ancient world (following Rome).

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It is a great place to see sharks in the red sea, there are white tip sharks, grey reef sharks, great hammerheads and even tresher sharks. It is a great place to see some spectacular wrecks and also has great reef live and warm waters. The weather is hot but the conditions of the sea vary.

Visited on 09/2013 - Submitted on 05/31/2014
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3 day Liveaboard to thistlegorm wreck was my last great diving trip.... if wreck diving is the ultimatum of diving, then Thistlegorm is the ultimatum of wreck. 140m long, 3 stories, lots and lots of well preserved weaponry of WWII.

also went to Ras Mohamed and did 2 great drift dives there, amazing bottom and lots of marine life.
Careless reef in Hurghada is also one of the best dives in that trip. Lots of gaint morays' turtles and baracudas

Water is crystal clear with 30+ meters visibility, water temp around 24 degree celsius and calm surface except for thistlegorm which was pretty rough surface as it was bombed by a german plane in ww2 (didn't hit the reef as most of redsea wrecks, nearby reefs causes calm surface)

As for topside, the weather is really good, I slept all nights on the sun deck of the boat. Only used the room for bathroom and storage. Before starting the livaboard I arrived at hurghada two nights earlier, learned water skiing and enjoying the nights in local pubs, really fun.

As for prices, Egypt is the place you go if you want to plan a low budget vacation yet as exciting as anywhere else in the world, topside or underwater.. trust me you'll enjoy it. You could get the 3 days livaboard as low as 200 euros

Visited on 05/2014 - Submitted on 05/26/2014
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RED SEA - REVIEW OF DAHAB

I've been to the Red Sea a few times and it's a place I will keep going back to. I normally stay in Dahab, which is about an hours drive from Sharm el Sheikh airport.

The diving there is really easy, it's mostly shore diving, so you just kit up and fall in the water. The entries and exits are very easy (especially compared to the UK!). The visibility is also fantastic, you can normally see another diver clearly around 20m away. The variety of fish life that you can see is unbelievable, and it starts as soon as you put your head in the water. As a photographer, I love seeing the hundreds of lionfish around, as well as loads of different nudibranchs. There are also loads of unicorn fish, parrotfish, cornet fish and, of course, you can find Nemo! The reefs are beautiful, and start right at the surface, again, great for photography, and are surrounded by angelfish, butterfly fish and anthias.

One of the best things about the Red Sea is the warm water, it was 28 degrees C! In think September is the best time to go, but even in the middle of winter the water is still around 22 degrees, and the air temp around 20, so it's still warmer than Europe! And there isn't really any current, so all the diving is really easy.

My favourite sites are the Canyon (a big crack in the ground which starts at around 18m and goes down to 30m and beyond) and Bannerfish Bay (the bay right in the middle of town that has amazing variety- I saw lionfish, turtle, a huge napolean and seahorses all on one dive!).

Aside from photographers, Dahab would be great for all level divers, you even regularly see tech dives with their multitude of tanks!

In the evenings there are loads of restaurants along the seafront, and a couple of bars. On our last day we were going to go windsurfing, but were too tired, so we ended up looking around all the shops, and had fun bartering for some presents.

Visited on 09/2012 - Submitted on 03/01/2014
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DAHAB

I have been diving in Dahab, Red Sea, quite a few times now. I am a dive instructor and have been diving in a few countries around the world in my 17 years of diving. I am writing this review to talk about the marine life and diving conditions in Dahab.

Dahab is a popular but still small touristic resort (compared to Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada) on the South Sinai Peninsula and in the Gulf of Aqaba, northern Red Sea. It is a very peaceful place where you can still mingle with locals, Bedouins and Egyptian, as they live their village-life. It is an unusual place as 90% of the diving is shore-based, contrarily to a lot of dive resorts in the Red Sea. There is roughly a 20 km long coastline accessible to dive, with 20 to 30 different dive sites open to various levels of diving. Also, the great depths that are accessible just a few meters away from the coastline gave Dahab its reputation as a favorite tec diving destination.

With famous dive sites like the Canyon (underwater Canyon that ranges from -20 to -55m) and the Bells-Blue Hole (drop-off in a chimney, drift on a wall, the inside of the Blue Hole drops to 110 m) , Dahab attracts a lot of divers all year round. But these very famous dive sites are not all that Dahab has to offer. The diving conditions are great 360 days out of 365, with only a few days out of the water in case of great wind and or south wind conditions. Shore diving makes it easy to dive, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned diver. There is a challenge for everyone. Not-to-be missed divesites include the Lighthouse, in the city center, for its array of marine life (crocodilefish, lionfish, stonefish, rays, octopus, etc.), the Islands, between Masbat Bay and the Lagoona, for its unusual coral features and labyrinth, and the National Park of Ras abu Galum, located North of the Blue Hole, for its near-pristine reefs and mostly for the camel trek to reach the Bedouin settlement, where you can stay overnight and enjoy sleeping under the stars.

Other dive sites that I personally recommend are Bannerfish Bay, Mashraba and Abu Telha. Bannerfish Bay is the bay located between Lighthouse and Mashraba in the city center. Although it doesn't look very impressive compared to other dive sites in the area, I found that it hosts the most biodiversity around town, specially for small stuff. It's a bit like muck diving actually. The bay is full of seagrass, which makes it the best (only) site to spot green turtles and seahorses, but you can also find morays, shrimpfish, frogfish, nudibranchs, seamoths, shrimps, catfish schools, ornate ghost pipefish and other amazing sea creatures on the sand or the reef. Mashraba is the next dive site, it continues with seagrass until it reaches a reef that is less dived and less colorful than Lighthouse, but hosts bigger marine life like snappers, stingrays, hawksbill turtles, big groupers, Napoleons, etc. Then there are dive sites like Abu Telha/Abu Helal/Tiger House that are hardly ever dived for some reason, where the coral is untouched by diving/mass tourism, and offers great reefscapes and marine life, including eagle rays.

If you can join a day boat dive trip to Gabr el Bint (South) or Ras abu Galum (North), don't hesitate, as it's the opportunity to discover new dive sites that are not accessible from the shore! Check out for turtles, giant sea fans, colorful nudibranchs, milkfish and bigger stuff too!

Although Dahab is not the best spot to dive if you want to dive with macro-fauna (big stuff), there is the occasional lucky diver who's seen whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, zebra/leopard shark (me!), oceanic white tip, hammerhead and other reef sharks.

All in all, a surprisingly peaceful, varied and great diving destination, with a lot of choices for everybody, and especially for photographers!

Visited on 10/2013 - Submitted on 02/27/2014
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SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT

I booked a dive trip to the Red Sea this past December, and we based our activities out of Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. The reason for booking Sharm was that it's airport is easily accessible from a several International hubs, and the convenience of having so many resorts within an arms reach. The process of flying in and passing through immigrations went smoothly, we were in a taxi and on our way to the resort. (I might recommend the public transit bus to save a few $$$) We booked our dives ahead of time and received a pretty good discount for both booking ahead, and also for visiting during the low season.

The service was fantastic! Most of the dive boats are very nice safari boats (small yachts, by American standards) and the crew was excellent at being both friendly and efficient. Our guides were very patient and strove to show us the best of every dive site. We dove various sites from the Straits of Tiran to the Ras Mohammed marine sanctuary, and even squeezed in a trip to the HMS Thistlegorm. Of the reef sites, Jackfish Alley of Ras Mohammed was my favorite, and the Thistlegorm wreck MUST NOT BE MISSED! I know a lot of sites and reviews say, "it's crowded" "overdived" etc, etc - But I'm telling you there's a reason: It's BEAUTIFULLY rich with artifacts and history. Very open for penetration, too. :)

The visibility was on average among the best I've ever seen (their "average" day is comparable to a great day in south Florida) and water temps were into the low 70's F this time of year. Didn't see many sharks or large pelagics, but the reefs were teeming with life and soft corals. The smaller fish shimmer and glitter in a way I've never seen anywhere else, and the colors are just incredible compared to what I'm used to diving. Currents were mild, but present at most sites. Plenty of eels, some turtles, and on a night dive we came across a whole fleet of Spanish Dancer nudibranchs! (I felt so lucky!)

Topside, Sharm el Sheikh (Naama Bay area) was a tourist trap! Laden with hecklers on the street trying their hardest to sell you this or that, but don't let that scare you -- They're harmless for the most part. (It reminded me a bit of the heavy tourist areas of Mexico, but the hecklers were a bit more persistent in Egypt) Only buy something if you want it and feel the price is fair - But remember the customs of the region you're in and don't be rude when declining offers. :)

Plenty of dining options, and even a few fast food places if you're traveling on the cheap. The tourism is heavily Russian this time of year, so be prepared for that -- Or feel right at home if you speak Russian! The political climate that seems quite volatile in Northern regions of the country doesn't exist so much in Sharm, and I felt reasonably safe at all times. That said, you might not want to advertise too conspiciously where you're from -- Good advice for any foreign travel!

The value per dollar of our diving was very satisfactory: The dive center was fair in offering us good rates and I feel that at about 35Euro per 2-tank trip, we were getting a good value. (Expect to pay about twice that during busy summer months) The weather was sunny most days. I will definitely return to explore more of the Red Sea in the future, and I have ZERO regrets about booking this last trip. Dive, be happy, and enjoy life! :)

Visited on 12/2013 - Submitted on 02/26/2014