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HURGHADA

HURGHADA LOCAL DIVE SITE

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SHAAB ABU NUGAR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 20.45′ N 33° 50.20′ E
  • Depth: 0-14m at the main reef. leading to a sheer drop-off Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: The trip over can be rough in windy conditions but there are quite. a few protected mooring sites. This is a good choice. for all levels of diver and training.
  • Overview: A mid-sized reef system with plenty of .of dive sites all around. The main reef sits on a sandy bottom with dispersed pinnacles .and coral gardens.
  • Dive plan: This reef offers many different dive environments.
  • Torfa Abu Nugar. in the north stretches in an east-west direction with. a lovely coral garden. Large table corals to the north make. an excellent drift dive.
  • Gota Abu Nagar. to the east is an oval-shaped reef reaching .the surface from a semi coral-covered bottom and is small enough to swim around .in just one dive.
  • Erug Abu Nugar. in the south offers a tour. from one pinnacle to another over. a flat sandy bottom where .there are also numerous coral blocks to explore.
  • What to see: Shaab Abu Nugar presents. a huge variety of marine life. Keep an eye out for macro life like nudibranchs. as well as larger creatures. There are several cleaning. stations around. where groupers and snappers line up for a brush-up by shrimps and wrasses. The corals are in very good condition in most places.

ELFANADIR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 17.29′ N 33° 50.28′ E
  • Depth: 0-12m main reef leading to a sheer drop-off .at 20-25m Location: Around 60 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Good for most conditions with protected moorings in .the lagoon and along the west side. This site is ideal for all levels of diver and excellent for all levels of training.
  • Overview: A long sloping wall with some very camera-friendly .coral blocks alongside.and also a shallow lagoon.
  • Dive plan: The shape of the reef suggests .a drift along the wall, and in good conditions, it’s even .possible to dive the very north end. Next to the wall is a wide sloping shelf with .coral blocks on .a sandy bottom that ends at 2025m .at a drop-off plunging down to deep water. The main attraction .is the wall with cracks and caves sheltering. an immense range of marine life.
  • The shallow parts .are best and there .is an outstanding coral block at 12m .with a cleaning station that .offers opportunity for
  • a superb photograph. El Fanadir .is a very popular site for night diving.
  • What to see: At the bottom. all along the wall, you find blue spotted rays resting, and there is an endless trail of cleaning stations. Several species of moray eels like yellow-edged moray. yellow mouth moray and giant moray .can be seen free swimming, and schooling fish like sweetlips .and goatfish appear in abundance. The large quantity of pipefish makes the reef a good hunting ground .for stonefish. scorpionfish and lionfish and heaven . for macro-loving photographers. Octopuses often frequent. the reef but take a keen eye to spot due to their camouflage.

NORTH UMM GAMAAR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position A. 27° 21.100′ N 33° 54.300′ E
  • Depth: 0-24m sloping towards great depth Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Somewhat protected in the bend of the reef, but there is not a lot of space for the boat and the current can be ripping. Some experience is required for the deep sections.
  • Overview: A bend in the reef of Umm Gamaar with a sandy bottom sloping via two big coral blocks into the abyss. The bottom gives way to a vertical wall to the south and a steep sloping wall to the north.
  • Dive plan: Due to their depth, the two large coral blocks on the sandy bottom are the most suitable start of the dive. Then head up north along the wall until you reach the split point. Here you need to be careful not to get in the current going the wrong way..
  • Turn around, and work yourself shallower as you’re approaching the moorings. If you’ve got time and air, you can venture south and have a look at the cave at 8m,
  • before making your safety stop at the picturesque top of the reef.
  • What to see: Big schools of anthias, snappers and sweetlips hover effortlessly, indicating the split point in the north end. A variety of groupers hang around the reef alongside butterflyfish of every known kind. Gorgonias and soft corals drape the wall.

UMM GAMAAR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 21.26′ N 33° 54.91′ E
  • Depth: 0-20m at the plateau transforming to a deep wall Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Somewhat exposed to the weather since located in the open sea. Some experience is required for the deep wall dive.
  • Overview: Umm Gamaar is a coral surrounded island stretching in a north-south direction with a plateau at each end. A sheer wall runs along the east as well as the west. The moorings are situated over the south plateau.
  • Dive plan: The east side is a dramatic deep wall accentuated by coral formations covered with soft corals that reach out towards the blue. The first two formations from the south have cracks running through that are just begging photographers to stop and shoot. The next formation has a cavern with a sandy ledge at its base on 29m.
  • The south plateau, a sandy bottom partially covered with coral blocks, may not be the main attraction here, but is often visited by
  • free swimming moray eels, big silver sweetlips and napoleon wrasse.
  • What to see: On the odd occasion, white tip reef sharks patrol the wall and this is one of the few places in the Hurghada area that now and then reports a manta. The corals on the wall are clouded by anthias and silversides. Glassfish, typically accompanied by red tooth groupers, fill up every cavity. Jackfish and tuna hunt in the big schools of fusilier on the wall side, while barracudas, suspended in mid-water, await their prey.

SHABRUHR UMM GAMAAR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 21.55′ N 33° 54.55′ E
  • Depth: 15-20m leading to a sheer drop-off Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Like Umm Gamaar, located in the open sea, hence exposed to the weather. Some experience required for the deep wall dive.
  • Overview: Oval shaped reef circled by a shelf at a depth of 15-30m that on the west side widens to a sandy flat. On the east side, it narrows down to a ledge.
  • Dive plan: This exposed reef has claimed at least three ship wrecks.
  • The south plateau can be dived from the mooring. It’s a sloping semi-covered coral garden with small pinnacles. Here are the remains of an Egyptian army-supply ship that sunk while en route to Shedwan Island,
  • The east side is a natural drift dive from the north along an impressive wall where another of the wrecks, the dive safari boat Colona IV, lies. Unfortunately, she’s at a depth out of reach for recreational divers.
  • What to see: In the afternoon this is one of the few places in Hurghada with fairly good chances to see grey reef sharks. You may also encounter giant morays, large groupers and napoleon wrasse. Pelagics like tuna and big-eyed trevally also often hunt here.

CARLESS REEF

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 18.80′ N 33° 56.45′ E
  • Depth: 12-17m around the main reef leading to a sheer drop-off at 20-25m Location: Around 60 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Diving this site needs excellent weather conditions due to its position in open sea and the lack of protected moorings. Some experience is required as the current can also be demanding.
  • Overview: Carless Reef elevates suddenly from the depths of the Red Sea. The reef consists of two large pinnacles surrounded by a coral garden plateau. It slopes towards a dropoff that plunges straight down into the void.
  • Dive plan: The layout of the dive site offers up a selection of dive plans. One option is to start from the mooring and explore the plateau with its rich marine life inhabiting the coral garden and pinnacles.
  • Another choice is to drift from north of the pinnacles, cruise along the eastern dropoff, and end the dive around the coral garden and the smaller southern pinnacle.

1

  • Pay attention to the current since it’s unpredictable and does not always come from the north’ as suggested by many guides.
  • What to see: The famous feature of Carless Reef is the large number of moray eels that seem diver friendly and easy to choreograph for photographers. The marine life is extremely rich, probably due to the current that carries a soup of nutrient water to feed every organism in the food chain. You can expect to see everything from nudibranchs to tuna and sharks. The first group in the water might even encounter hammerheads.

FANOUS EAST

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 16.04′ N 33° 53.27′ E
  • Depth: 8-12m close to the reef, drop-off 19-27m Location: Around 30 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Good for any conditions with protected moorings. This is ideal for all levels of diver and excellent for training.
  • Overview: The fanous (beacon) that has given the site its name is placed on the top of the main reef. It’s a shallow wall rising from a sloping sandy bottom with spread out coral blocks and a few spectacular pinnacles.
  • Dive plan: The wall on the east side of the main reef is absolutely best on the shallow part with schooling fish playing in the surge. Table corals and small coral blocks flourish over the flat sandy bottom, which extends from the wall providing plenty of hiding places for bottom dwellers.
  • Some 20m from the northwest corner of the reef, two spectacular pinnacles elevate from the sea floor, covered with soft corals. The pinnacles are split up by cracks and
  • cavities that are a dream come true for photographers. There is a sloping drop-off to the east but time is better spent around the pinnacles and the wall.
  • What to see: Glassfish and silversides in clouds trying to escape constant attacks from jackfish and lionfish offer a never-ending show around the pinnacles. Crocodilefish and blue spotted rays lie camouflaged in the sand. It is also fairly common to encounter a pod of dolphins here. Schools of surgeonfish, tangs and unicornfish create a rainbow of reflections on the surface making the safety stop a pure pleasure.

FANOUS WEST

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 15.85′ N 33° 52.79′ E
  • Depth: 0-14 m Location: Around 30 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Always protected, this site is suitable for any level of diving and training.
  • Overview: A flat sandy bottom flanking a shallow reef wall. A narrow channel leads into a 9m deep lagoon via a coral garden sloping down to 14m. There are a few ergs and pinnacles to the west.
  • Dive plan: One option is to make a drift dive here. Drop in on the north side, put the reef on your left shoulder, and follow the wall until you reach the pinnacles. Spend a few minutes here and then venture out over the coral garden. From here it’s easy to navigate on the safety stop depth, through the channel, and back to the boat.
  • The alternative is to start at the mooring and head out through the channel. Take your time exploring the coral garden, and then make a turn around the ergs. Before setting course towards the boat you should
  • check your air – maybe you have time for a short excursion along the wall.
  • What to see: During the nesting season of the triggerfish in August-September this can be a pretty interesting dive. Make sure you bring a camera to capture these close encounters. Giant moray eels swim around the coral garden, and near to the pinnacles the classic Red Sea action involving silversides and jackfish goes on. Turtles can be seen feeding in the coral garden, and dolphins sometimes pass along the wall of the reef.

HAMADA REEF

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position. 27° 14.25′ N 33° 55.73′ E
  • Depth: 0-15m at the main reef, sloping to around 50m+ Location: Around 70 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Somewhat protected from the wind by a small bend in Big Giftun Island. Suitable for all levels of divers.
  • Overview: This site is also known as Stone Beach or Lion’s Head. From the top of the reef there is a tiny wall down to 12-15m that transforms into a slope before turning into a stepped drop 35-50m+. To the north, as well as the south, the slope turns into vertical walls.
  • Dive plan: A drift from the north is a popular option. The sheer wall becomes more interesting as it’s interrupted by a few coral formations along the way. Towers stretching out with caverns and swim-throughs are covered with soft corals. You can end the dive moving shallower over the slanting coral garden.
  • Another option starts from the mooring. This dive mainly explores the coral garden, this time the deeper part as well. Most of the
  • hard corals are in excellent condition and almost right under the boat there is a gigantic green lettuce coral at around 30m depth.
  • Swimming in a big circle counter clockwise you’ll find yourself on the shallow part when it’s time to turn around.
  • What to see: This dive site has a great variation of marine life and you can expect to find schools of snappers, surgeonfish and goatfish in the shallows, while the deeper part is the habitat for Napoleon wrasse, groupers and moray eels. Turtles come by from time to time, as do sharks. Even whale sharks and mantas have been sighted here.

TURFT EL. SHAHED

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 11.22′ N 33°57.84′ E
  • Depth: 8-20m Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Sheltered from the wind behind the reef, this site suits any level of divers.
  • Overview: This site is often referred to as being between the mountains. In the middle of the Giftun Marine Park a channel divides the Big and Small Giftun Islands. Here we find an extension of the north tip of Small Giftun encircled by pinnacles.
  • Dive plan: A shallow channel leads in a westerly direction from the mooring to the pinnacles that are the main attractions here. Northwest of the channel there is a mainly flat sandy bottom that is scattered with random coral blocks. If you continue to head north, you will reach a beautiful erg perforated by cavities and overhangs.
  • Closer to the mooring, on the south side of the main reef the corals are not in such a good condition. A stonefish encounter makes the safety stop here worthwhile.
  • Another option is to drift all the way to the neighbouring Banana Reef but this requires good air consumption and navigation skills.
  • What to see: The pinnacles are full of soft corals and the sandy bottom is inhabited by numerous gobies living in symbiosis with shrimps. Crocodilefish lure under table corals together with moses sole. Eagle rays are quite common here, as are feather tailed rays. Turtles are known to feed in the soft corals spread over the seafloor so keep an eye out for them in the blue.

BANANA REEF

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 13.16′ E 33° 57.04′ E
  • Depth: 14-22m Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Like Turft El Shahid, this site is sheltered from the wind behind the reef so suits most levels of diver.
  • Overview: The moorings are placed on the south side of this crescent-shaped main reef enclosing a coral garden and two gorgeous pinnacles. The name is a reference to the reef’s unusual shape.
  • Dive plan: The tide funnelling through the area can create a strong current and therefore adrift is the natural way to dive this site. The wall of the main reef is not the best part of this dive, but it’s good to use for navigation by keeping it in visual range.
  • The coral garden slopes in a northwest direction and turns into a sandy seabed at 22m. The southeast corner, close to the wall on 14m, is home to an anemone city. Straight out from the southwest end of the reef, two beautiful pinnacles smothered with
  • soft corals reach for the surface from a depth of 14-17m.
  • What to see: Eagle rays and feather tailed rays swim by regularly over the coral garden, as well as turtles. Hundreds of anemone fish protect their juveniles in the anemone city. Soft corals and gorgonias cover the pinnacles where jackfish, barracuda, groupers and lionfish hunt in schools of silversides and glassfish. This is without a doubt one of the most photogenic sites in the Hurghada area.

SHAAB SABINA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 12.98′ N 33°57.26′ E
  • Depth: 8-14m Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Sheltered from the wind behind the reef, this site suits any level of divers and training, but beware the possibility of strong currents.
  • Overview: The boats are moored on the south side of a tongue of the reef stretching in an easterly direction. A maze of ridges and ergs spread to a dramatic underwater landscape north of the main reef, and an exquisite coral garden to the northwest.
  • Dive plan: This site is a natural drift dive. You drop on the most beautiful coral garden cascading down from the top of the reef towards the seabed at 14m. Here a labyrinth of coral formations offers a spectacular sight with the light from the waves above, playing over the bright white sand patches.
  • To the south of this maze is the wall of the main reef sloping from 8-10m up towards the surface. This is like a Japanese garden,
  • with hard coral growing on top of each other. Typically, the nutrient rich water has made the north side of the reef wall sparkle with life, whilst the south side is effectively dead.
  • What to see: The main feature of this site is the dramatic underwater landscape although the marine life is interesting in many ways as well. The hard corals mean plenty of opportunities for keen photographers. Big porcupinefish and giant pufferfish rest in the sand, as well as many different types of ray. You would be very unlucky not to find stonefish here.

ERG SABINA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 12.99′ N 33° 57.27′ E
  • Depth: 10-12m Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Not 100% sheltered from the wind, but suits most levels of diver. The bottleneck shape of the Giftun Strait can cause strong currents.
  • Overview: The mooring is located on the south side of this small reef elevating from a 10-12m flat sandy bottom that also features coral blocks and table corals.
  • Dive plan: This is a small reef, although the luxury of rich marine life means that this dive site can offer an extraordinary dive. The erg itself is by nature best on the north face so concentrate on this side. Next to the reef, there are a few big brain corals, around which schooling fish hover, facing the current. About 50m north there is a breathtaking little erg full of soft coral, glassfish and excellent camera angles. Take your time on the way out there and back, glancing underneath table corals and coral blocks and you will be in for a treat.
  • What to see: As in the rest of this area chances are good to encounter a turtle, eagle ray, feather tailed ray or napoleon wrasse. The vast amount of glassfish, silversides and other small reef fish attract predators like jackfish, lionfish, scorpionfish and groupers. The sandy bottom offers camouflage to crocodilefish, hunting from below.

ERG SOMAYA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 11.93′ N 33° 58.97′ E
  • Depth: 5-60m+ Location: Around 75 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Somewhat exposed to the weather on the east side of Small Giftun. Some experience required for the deeper sections.
  • Overview: Just north of the Police Station on Small Giftun the vertical wall below transforms into a shelf with an erg reaching up to 5m below the surface. Further north, the shelf gives way to a steeply sloping wall with two sculptured coral formations
  • Dive plan: This site can be dived either from the mooring or as a drift, both with equal quality. North of the shelf the steep wall is interrupted by a series of coral towers reaching out into the blue. Covered with soft corals and gorgonias, these towers are extremely photogenic.
  • The shelf around the erg is a sloping sandy bottom with a chimney at the northeast corner. You can enter on 30m and exit on 22m. The erg itself, starting at 5m and
  • landing on 9-15m, has an abundance of marine life and makes a perfect safety stop.
  • What to see: The wall presents a huge variety of marine life such as barracuda, snapper, jackfish, and tuna. The coral towers break off featuring vast clouds of anthias, silversides and every possible species of butterflyfish. The chimney on the shelf is overflowing with glassfish, and the erg, covered with invertebrates, is one of the most fascinating reef systems you’re ever likely to see.

NORTH ABU RAMADA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 10.41′ N 33° 59.07′ E
  • Depth: 20-35m, with a drop-off 100m+ Location: Around 80 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Like Small Giftun drift, this site is often exposed to weather and strong current. Experience beyond entry level required for the deep plateau.
  • Overview: A plateau gently sloping from 20-35m, extending from the north end of Abu Ramada Island transforming into a vertical wall. The mooring is situated inside a small bend in the wall.
  • Dive plan: This site is best as a drift providing that the current comes from the north. Drop in front of the end of the reef and make your way towards the drop-off. Here the strength and direction help you decide how to continue.
  • You can either follow the edge of the plateau up north for a few minutes, or set off directly towards the mooring. Beneath the edge you find a chimney from 30-24m right where the plateau gives way to the wall. Multi-level your way up to safety stop level and spend
  • the last part of the dive where the sun sparkles through the cracks of the top reef.
  • What to see: Schools of giant barracuda fight with big eye trevally and yellowfin tuna over the fusiliers sweeping across the plateau. Turtles feed on the soft corals and squadrons of up to 12 eagle rays have been seen flying by in formations. Lionfish and groupers stake out groups of glassfish hiding in cavities. Keep an eye out for sharks cruising the deeper water.

ERG ABU RAMADA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 9.78′ N 33° 59.04′ E
  • Depth: 10-30m at the main reef, terracing down to 60m+ Location: Around 80 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Often exposed to weather and strong current. Some experience required for the deep parts.
  • Overview: This site is also known as Camel Reef. It comprises a big erg with three peaks on a long plateau, with a sandy bottom that turns into a coral garden to the north. Situated on the southeast side of Abu Ramada Island.
  • Dive plan: Depending on the current this site can be heaven or hell. On a good day, with insignificant current, you can start from the mooring and head out to investigate the rich marine life of the coral garden that slopes down both to the east and west.
  • You can then turn around and finish the dive around and between the peaks of the erg itself. Here you get a spectacular safety stop around the top. You are guaranteed to find many perfect camera angles here.
  • What to see: Due to the often strong current, together with a somewhat unprotected location, this site has managed to stay in pristine condition. The erg is covered with soft corals and anthias. In caverns and cracks, great schools of glassfish find sanctuary from luring scorpionfish and lionfish. Crocodilefish find refuge under table corals, and moray eels often swim around the peaks in the company of napoleon wrasse and all sorts of schooling fish.

SOUTH ABU RAMADA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 9.51′ N 33° 58.74′ E
  • Depth: 5-35m Location: Around 80 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Always sheltered and very busy on a windy day. This is a good choice for all levels of diver and suits any level of dive training.
  • Overview: A terrace-profiled plateau next to a shallow wall at the very south tip of Abu Ramada Island. The plateau extends as a shelf to the west, eventually yielding to a drop-off.
  • Dive plan: The shelf to the west of the main reef slopes from 11m at the bottom of the wall towards the drop-off at around 14m. Halfway, you find an eеl garden swaying in the current.
  • Further south, a hill-shaped coral formation clings to the edge of the drop-off. Just east from here, a series of pinnacles lead the way back towards the mooring lines. The wreck of an old safari boat has found its final resting place on an elevated coral garden next to the top of the reef (5m). This makes for a perfect safety stop.
  • What to see: The bottom may seem lifeless at first glance, but when explored a little more, an abundance of macro life is discovered. Massive schools of masked butterflyfish, bannerfish, goatfish and sweetlips hover majestically along the wall and around the pinnacles. Free swimming morays cruise the wall, while napoleon wrasse scrutinize bypassing divers at closer range.

EL ERUG

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 10.00′ N 33° 57.05′ E
  • Depth: 12-14m Location: Around 60 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Fairly sheltered south of the Giftun Islands, this is a good choice for all levels of diver and training.
  • Overview: Numerous ergs and pinnacles spread out over a vast area north of Gota Abu Ramada, over a primarily sandy seabed.
  • Dive plan: Though this is often considered to be one dive site, there are actually three: beginning from the southwest with Erug Diana, via Erug Giftun in the middle and finally, Erug Gigi in the northeast.
  • Erug Giftun is a cluster of seven pinnacles, as is Erug Diana, but with the middle one being cracked in two. Erug Gigi has eleven pinnacles more or less in a straight line.
  • Due to a large amount of ergs and pinnacles it is easy to lose a sense of direction here. Without a compass, you can always get navigation help from the current or the
  • sun angle. Another way is to keep to two or three ergs, and not stray too far from the chosen area.
  • Every part of this dive site is as good as the other so there is really no point in wandering off too far from the mooring. The safety stop is likely to be one of the better parts of the dive since the tops of the ergs are the prettiest.
  • What to see: This site is the habitat of a variety of species of moray eels including yellowmouth, giant, snowflake and peppered. You are also likely to bump into napoleon wrasse, blue spotted rays, crocodilefish and scorpionfish.

SHAAB ESHTA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 09.00’N 33° 53.66′ E
  • Depth: 7-12m Location: Around 45 mins from central Hurghada Conditions: Located in the Magawish area this site is to some extent protected behind the islands even though it can be choppy on a windy day. This site suits any level of diver and is excellent for entry level training.
  • Overview: Two ergs sit divided by a narrow channel. There is a smaller erg to the west, and the larger erg to the east is shaped like a heart. It has a tight canyon-like passage leading up to the top.
  • Dive plan: At the outer limits of this dive site swaying sea grass covers a large portion of the bottom, whilst small coral blocks and table corals are spread out over the sandy flats dominating the closer perimeter.
  • Some current can be expected funnelling through the narrow channel as the tide moves in and out, but normally it’s not strong enough to cause any trouble. A ‘figure of eight’ route is ideal here.
  • What to see: Barracuda often hover just below the surface in the channel waiting for swim by, while both ergs are populated by scorpionfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish and angelfish. Schools of sweetlips, goatfish and bannerfish are concentrated by the side of the reef walls, and the sandy bottom is inhabited by gobies and their shrimps.

SHAAB PETRA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 09.02′ N 33° 53.42′ E
  • Depth: 8-15m Location: Around 45 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Like Shaab Eshta, this site is located in the Magawish area and is somewhat protected behind the islands, even though it can be choppy on a windy day. This site suits any level of diver and is excellent for entry-level training.
  • Overview: Two oval shaped ergs separated by a 60m long coral garden running from east to west.
  • Dive plan: There are mooring lines on the south side of each erg so you might start your dive on either one of them. They are both hill shaped, and the hard corals in the shallows are in truly fantastic condition.
  • The eastern erg has a huge brain coral at its end pointing in the direction of the coral garden making it look like a turtle resting on the bottom. At the other side there is a small cavern inhabited by a group of glassfish and a red tooth grouper chasing lionfish away to defend his supply of fresh
  • food. The western erg is smooth-shaped and sits on a flat sandy bottom. A ‘figure of eight’ route here should take you about 45 minutes in a relaxed tempo.
  • What to see: Both ergs are covered by typical petite reef fish like bicolour puller, bluegreen puller, arabian damsel and humbug damsel. Endless schools of sergeant major and goatfish sweep across the top and it’s not unusual to see free swimming moray eels amongst the coral garden.

RAS DISHA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 02.47′ N 33° 53.40′ E
  • Depth: 9-18m, with a drop-off Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Sheltered from the wind in the bay, sometimes with a strong current, but suitable for any level of diver.
  • Overview: A shallow plateau with a sandy bottom accentuated by pinnacles and an ovalshaped erg in the south. In the northwest, the plateau transforms into a narrow ledge that gives way to a steep wall.
  • Dive plan: The beacon on the main reef makes an excellent landmark to start a drift dive along the wall to the north. The finale to this dive takes place around the picturesque pinnacles on the plateau.
  • A dive from the mooring can begin with a tour to the drop-off followed by a course describing a half circle over the plateau, passing the pinnacles, and finishing back at the boat. One pinnacle in particular (the one that lies closest to the main reef) is extremely photogenic.
  • What to see: Bannerfish and butterflyfish team up with parrotfish and surgeonfish close to the wall, and the sandy seabed is colonized by plenty of marine life. Moses sole, blue spotted rays and torpedo rays dig furiously in the sand for crustaceans and other invertebrates, while partner gobies and shrimps stay on the lookout from their burrows. The pinnacles are perforated by cracks and caverns bursting with glassfish.

ABU HASHISH

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 00.74′ N 33° 55.44′ E
  • Depth: 6-25m next to a drop-off to 60m+ Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Protected moorings in the lagoon, but the trip here can be choppy on a windy day. This is good for all levels of diver and excellent for all levels of training.
  • Overview: Abu Hashish Island is enclosed by an extensive reef situated on a flat sandy plateau, leading to a steep drop-off. At the south end a shallow lagoon scattered with ergs gives shelter for the moorings.
  • Dive plan: There are many good dives around Abu Hashish, which people say took its name from the contraband that passed through here. The most common dive is probably to go from the mooring, through a narrow channel in the reef, out to the drop-off, and then turn back swimming along the wall.
  • Inside the lagoon there are numerous ergs and pinnacles that offer a protected environment. This is often used for courses. A drift from the north is yet another option,
  • with a quick trip to the drop-off, followed by multi-levelling towards the safety stop before entering the lagoon.
  • What to see: In the lagoon, you often find cornetfish and a squadron of bigfin reef squid hovering information. Hooded cuttlefish traverse the bottom, rapidly changing colour and texture as a disguise. On the other side of the narrow channel, out on the wall, a big red octopus wanders around, trusting his camouflage to protect him from predators.

Turtle Bay

  • next to shaab el fanous east. north of grand Giftun island. It’s a small horseshoe reef. depth 2 to 15 m. shallow dive absolutely filled with fish and coral.so nice like swimming in an aquarium
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Hurghada

HURGHADA LOCAL DIVE SITE

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SHAAB ABU NUGAR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 20.45′ N 33° 50.20′ E
  • Depth: 0-14m at the main reef. leading to a sheer drop-off Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: The trip over can be rough in windy conditions but there are quite. a few protected mooring sites. This is a good choice. for all levels of diver and training.
  • Overview: A mid-sized reef system with plenty of .of dive sites all around. The main reef sits on a sandy bottom with dispersed pinnacles .and coral gardens.
  • Dive plan: This reef offers many different dive environments.
  • Torfa Abu Nugar. in the north stretches in an east-west direction with. a lovely coral garden. Large table corals to the north make. an excellent drift dive.
  • Gota Abu Nagar. to the east is an oval-shaped reef reaching .the surface from a semi coral-covered bottom and is small enough to swim around .in just one dive.
  • Erug Abu Nugar. in the south offers a tour. from one pinnacle to another over. a flat sandy bottom where .there are also numerous coral blocks to explore.
  • What to see: Shaab Abu Nugar presents. a huge variety of marine life. Keep an eye out for macro life like nudibranchs. as well as larger creatures. There are several cleaning. stations around. where groupers and snappers line up for a brush-up by shrimps and wrasses. The corals are in very good condition in most places.

ELFANADIR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 17.29′ N 33° 50.28′ E
  • Depth: 0-12m main reef leading to a sheer drop-off .at 20-25m Location: Around 60 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Good for most conditions with protected moorings in .the lagoon and along the west side. This site is ideal for all levels of diver and excellent for all levels of training.
  • Overview: A long sloping wall with some very camera-friendly .coral blocks alongside.and also a shallow lagoon.
  • Dive plan: The shape of the reef suggests .a drift along the wall, and in good conditions, it’s even .possible to dive the very north end. Next to the wall is a wide sloping shelf with .coral blocks on .a sandy bottom that ends at 2025m .at a drop-off plunging down to deep water. The main attraction .is the wall with cracks and caves sheltering. an immense range of marine life.
  • The shallow parts .are best and there .is an outstanding coral block at 12m .with a cleaning station that .offers opportunity for
  • a superb photograph. El Fanadir .is a very popular site for night diving.
  • What to see: At the bottom. all along the wall, you find blue spotted rays resting, and there is an endless trail of cleaning stations. Several species of moray eels like yellow-edged moray. yellow mouth moray and giant moray .can be seen free swimming, and schooling fish like sweetlips .and goatfish appear in abundance. The large quantity of pipefish makes the reef a good hunting ground .for stonefish. scorpionfish and lionfish and heaven . for macro-loving photographers. Octopuses often frequent. the reef but take a keen eye to spot due to their camouflage.

NORTH UMM GAMAAR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position A. 27° 21.100′ N 33° 54.300′ E
  • Depth: 0-24m sloping towards great depth Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Somewhat protected in the bend of the reef, but there is not a lot of space for the boat and the current can be ripping. Some experience is required for the deep sections.
  • Overview: A bend in the reef of Umm Gamaar with a sandy bottom sloping via two big coral blocks into the abyss. The bottom gives way to a vertical wall to the south and a steep sloping wall to the north.
  • Dive plan: Due to their depth, the two large coral blocks on the sandy bottom are the most suitable start of the dive. Then head up north along the wall until you reach the split point. Here you need to be careful not to get in the current going the wrong way..
  • Turn around, and work yourself shallower as you’re approaching the moorings. If you’ve got time and air, you can venture south and have a look at the cave at 8m,
  • before making your safety stop at the picturesque top of the reef.
  • What to see: Big schools of anthias, snappers and sweetlips hover effortlessly, indicating the split point in the north end. A variety of groupers hang around the reef alongside butterflyfish of every known kind. Gorgonias and soft corals drape the wall.

UMM GAMAAR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 21.26′ N 33° 54.91′ E
  • Depth: 0-20m at the plateau transforming to a deep wall Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Somewhat exposed to the weather since located in the open sea. Some experience is required for the deep wall dive.
  • Overview: Umm Gamaar is a coral surrounded island stretching in a north-south direction with a plateau at each end. A sheer wall runs along the east as well as the west. The moorings are situated over the south plateau.
  • Dive plan: The east side is a dramatic deep wall accentuated by coral formations covered with soft corals that reach out towards the blue. The first two formations from the south have cracks running through that are just begging photographers to stop and shoot. The next formation has a cavern with a sandy ledge at its base on 29m.
  • The south plateau, a sandy bottom partially covered with coral blocks, may not be the main attraction here, but is often visited by
  • free swimming moray eels, big silver sweetlips and napoleon wrasse.
  • What to see: On the odd occasion, white tip reef sharks patrol the wall and this is one of the few places in the Hurghada area that now and then reports a manta. The corals on the wall are clouded by anthias and silversides. Glassfish, typically accompanied by red tooth groupers, fill up every cavity. Jackfish and tuna hunt in the big schools of fusilier on the wall side, while barracudas, suspended in mid-water, await their prey.

SHABRUHR UMM GAMAAR

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 21.55′ N 33° 54.55′ E
  • Depth: 15-20m leading to a sheer drop-off Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Like Umm Gamaar, located in the open sea, hence exposed to the weather. Some experience required for the deep wall dive.
  • Overview: Oval shaped reef circled by a shelf at a depth of 15-30m that on the west side widens to a sandy flat. On the east side, it narrows down to a ledge.
  • Dive plan: This exposed reef has claimed at least three ship wrecks.
  • The south plateau can be dived from the mooring. It’s a sloping semi-covered coral garden with small pinnacles. Here are the remains of an Egyptian army-supply ship that sunk while en route to Shedwan Island,
  • The east side is a natural drift dive from the north along an impressive wall where another of the wrecks, the dive safari boat Colona IV, lies. Unfortunately, she’s at a depth out of reach for recreational divers.
  • What to see: In the afternoon this is one of the few places in Hurghada with fairly good chances to see grey reef sharks. You may also encounter giant morays, large groupers and napoleon wrasse. Pelagics like tuna and big-eyed trevally also often hunt here.

CARLESS REEF

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 18.80′ N 33° 56.45′ E
  • Depth: 12-17m around the main reef leading to a sheer drop-off at 20-25m Location: Around 60 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Diving this site needs excellent weather conditions due to its position in open sea and the lack of protected moorings. Some experience is required as the current can also be demanding.
  • Overview: Carless Reef elevates suddenly from the depths of the Red Sea. The reef consists of two large pinnacles surrounded by a coral garden plateau. It slopes towards a dropoff that plunges straight down into the void.
  • Dive plan: The layout of the dive site offers up a selection of dive plans. One option is to start from the mooring and explore the plateau with its rich marine life inhabiting the coral garden and pinnacles.
  • Another choice is to drift from north of the pinnacles, cruise along the eastern dropoff, and end the dive around the coral garden and the smaller southern pinnacle.

1

  • Pay attention to the current since it’s unpredictable and does not always come from the north’ as suggested by many guides.
  • What to see: The famous feature of Carless Reef is the large number of moray eels that seem diver friendly and easy to choreograph for photographers. The marine life is extremely rich, probably due to the current that carries a soup of nutrient water to feed every organism in the food chain. You can expect to see everything from nudibranchs to tuna and sharks. The first group in the water might even encounter hammerheads.

FANOUS EAST

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 16.04′ N 33° 53.27′ E
  • Depth: 8-12m close to the reef, drop-off 19-27m Location: Around 30 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Good for any conditions with protected moorings. This is ideal for all levels of diver and excellent for training.
  • Overview: The fanous (beacon) that has given the site its name is placed on the top of the main reef. It’s a shallow wall rising from a sloping sandy bottom with spread out coral blocks and a few spectacular pinnacles.
  • Dive plan: The wall on the east side of the main reef is absolutely best on the shallow part with schooling fish playing in the surge. Table corals and small coral blocks flourish over the flat sandy bottom, which extends from the wall providing plenty of hiding places for bottom dwellers.
  • Some 20m from the northwest corner of the reef, two spectacular pinnacles elevate from the sea floor, covered with soft corals. The pinnacles are split up by cracks and
  • cavities that are a dream come true for photographers. There is a sloping drop-off to the east but time is better spent around the pinnacles and the wall.
  • What to see: Glassfish and silversides in clouds trying to escape constant attacks from jackfish and lionfish offer a never-ending show around the pinnacles. Crocodilefish and blue spotted rays lie camouflaged in the sand. It is also fairly common to encounter a pod of dolphins here. Schools of surgeonfish, tangs and unicornfish create a rainbow of reflections on the surface making the safety stop a pure pleasure.

FANOUS WEST

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 15.85′ N 33° 52.79′ E
  • Depth: 0-14 m Location: Around 30 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Always protected, this site is suitable for any level of diving and training.
  • Overview: A flat sandy bottom flanking a shallow reef wall. A narrow channel leads into a 9m deep lagoon via a coral garden sloping down to 14m. There are a few ergs and pinnacles to the west.
  • Dive plan: One option is to make a drift dive here. Drop in on the north side, put the reef on your left shoulder, and follow the wall until you reach the pinnacles. Spend a few minutes here and then venture out over the coral garden. From here it’s easy to navigate on the safety stop depth, through the channel, and back to the boat.
  • The alternative is to start at the mooring and head out through the channel. Take your time exploring the coral garden, and then make a turn around the ergs. Before setting course towards the boat you should
  • check your air – maybe you have time for a short excursion along the wall.
  • What to see: During the nesting season of the triggerfish in August-September this can be a pretty interesting dive. Make sure you bring a camera to capture these close encounters. Giant moray eels swim around the coral garden, and near to the pinnacles the classic Red Sea action involving silversides and jackfish goes on. Turtles can be seen feeding in the coral garden, and dolphins sometimes pass along the wall of the reef.

HAMADA REEF

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position. 27° 14.25′ N 33° 55.73′ E
  • Depth: 0-15m at the main reef, sloping to around 50m+ Location: Around 70 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Somewhat protected from the wind by a small bend in Big Giftun Island. Suitable for all levels of divers.
  • Overview: This site is also known as Stone Beach or Lion’s Head. From the top of the reef there is a tiny wall down to 12-15m that transforms into a slope before turning into a stepped drop 35-50m+. To the north, as well as the south, the slope turns into vertical walls.
  • Dive plan: A drift from the north is a popular option. The sheer wall becomes more interesting as it’s interrupted by a few coral formations along the way. Towers stretching out with caverns and swim-throughs are covered with soft corals. You can end the dive moving shallower over the slanting coral garden.
  • Another option starts from the mooring. This dive mainly explores the coral garden, this time the deeper part as well. Most of the
  • hard corals are in excellent condition and almost right under the boat there is a gigantic green lettuce coral at around 30m depth.
  • Swimming in a big circle counter clockwise you’ll find yourself on the shallow part when it’s time to turn around.
  • What to see: This dive site has a great variation of marine life and you can expect to find schools of snappers, surgeonfish and goatfish in the shallows, while the deeper part is the habitat for Napoleon wrasse, groupers and moray eels. Turtles come by from time to time, as do sharks. Even whale sharks and mantas have been sighted here.

TURFT EL. SHAHED

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 11.22′ N 33°57.84′ E
  • Depth: 8-20m Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Sheltered from the wind behind the reef, this site suits any level of divers.
  • Overview: This site is often referred to as being between the mountains. In the middle of the Giftun Marine Park a channel divides the Big and Small Giftun Islands. Here we find an extension of the north tip of Small Giftun encircled by pinnacles.
  • Dive plan: A shallow channel leads in a westerly direction from the mooring to the pinnacles that are the main attractions here. Northwest of the channel there is a mainly flat sandy bottom that is scattered with random coral blocks. If you continue to head north, you will reach a beautiful erg perforated by cavities and overhangs.
  • Closer to the mooring, on the south side of the main reef the corals are not in such a good condition. A stonefish encounter makes the safety stop here worthwhile.
  • Another option is to drift all the way to the neighbouring Banana Reef but this requires good air consumption and navigation skills.
  • What to see: The pinnacles are full of soft corals and the sandy bottom is inhabited by numerous gobies living in symbiosis with shrimps. Crocodilefish lure under table corals together with moses sole. Eagle rays are quite common here, as are feather tailed rays. Turtles are known to feed in the soft corals spread over the seafloor so keep an eye out for them in the blue.

BANANA REEF

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 13.16′ E 33° 57.04′ E
  • Depth: 14-22m Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Like Turft El Shahid, this site is sheltered from the wind behind the reef so suits most levels of diver.
  • Overview: The moorings are placed on the south side of this crescent-shaped main reef enclosing a coral garden and two gorgeous pinnacles. The name is a reference to the reef’s unusual shape.
  • Dive plan: The tide funnelling through the area can create a strong current and therefore adrift is the natural way to dive this site. The wall of the main reef is not the best part of this dive, but it’s good to use for navigation by keeping it in visual range.
  • The coral garden slopes in a northwest direction and turns into a sandy seabed at 22m. The southeast corner, close to the wall on 14m, is home to an anemone city. Straight out from the southwest end of the reef, two beautiful pinnacles smothered with
  • soft corals reach for the surface from a depth of 14-17m.
  • What to see: Eagle rays and feather tailed rays swim by regularly over the coral garden, as well as turtles. Hundreds of anemone fish protect their juveniles in the anemone city. Soft corals and gorgonias cover the pinnacles where jackfish, barracuda, groupers and lionfish hunt in schools of silversides and glassfish. This is without a doubt one of the most photogenic sites in the Hurghada area.

SHAAB SABINA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 12.98′ N 33°57.26′ E
  • Depth: 8-14m Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Sheltered from the wind behind the reef, this site suits any level of divers and training, but beware the possibility of strong currents.
  • Overview: The boats are moored on the south side of a tongue of the reef stretching in an easterly direction. A maze of ridges and ergs spread to a dramatic underwater landscape north of the main reef, and an exquisite coral garden to the northwest.
  • Dive plan: This site is a natural drift dive. You drop on the most beautiful coral garden cascading down from the top of the reef towards the seabed at 14m. Here a labyrinth of coral formations offers a spectacular sight with the light from the waves above, playing over the bright white sand patches.
  • To the south of this maze is the wall of the main reef sloping from 8-10m up towards the surface. This is like a Japanese garden,
  • with hard coral growing on top of each other. Typically, the nutrient rich water has made the north side of the reef wall sparkle with life, whilst the south side is effectively dead.
  • What to see: The main feature of this site is the dramatic underwater landscape although the marine life is interesting in many ways as well. The hard corals mean plenty of opportunities for keen photographers. Big porcupinefish and giant pufferfish rest in the sand, as well as many different types of ray. You would be very unlucky not to find stonefish here.

ERG SABINA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 12.99′ N 33° 57.27′ E
  • Depth: 10-12m Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Not 100% sheltered from the wind, but suits most levels of diver. The bottleneck shape of the Giftun Strait can cause strong currents.
  • Overview: The mooring is located on the south side of this small reef elevating from a 10-12m flat sandy bottom that also features coral blocks and table corals.
  • Dive plan: This is a small reef, although the luxury of rich marine life means that this dive site can offer an extraordinary dive. The erg itself is by nature best on the north face so concentrate on this side. Next to the reef, there are a few big brain corals, around which schooling fish hover, facing the current. About 50m north there is a breathtaking little erg full of soft coral, glassfish and excellent camera angles. Take your time on the way out there and back, glancing underneath table corals and coral blocks and you will be in for a treat.
  • What to see: As in the rest of this area chances are good to encounter a turtle, eagle ray, feather tailed ray or napoleon wrasse. The vast amount of glassfish, silversides and other small reef fish attract predators like jackfish, lionfish, scorpionfish and groupers. The sandy bottom offers camouflage to crocodilefish, hunting from below.

ERG SOMAYA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 11.93′ N 33° 58.97′ E
  • Depth: 5-60m+ Location: Around 75 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Somewhat exposed to the weather on the east side of Small Giftun. Some experience required for the deeper sections.
  • Overview: Just north of the Police Station on Small Giftun the vertical wall below transforms into a shelf with an erg reaching up to 5m below the surface. Further north, the shelf gives way to a steeply sloping wall with two sculptured coral formations
  • Dive plan: This site can be dived either from the mooring or as a drift, both with equal quality. North of the shelf the steep wall is interrupted by a series of coral towers reaching out into the blue. Covered with soft corals and gorgonias, these towers are extremely photogenic.
  • The shelf around the erg is a sloping sandy bottom with a chimney at the northeast corner. You can enter on 30m and exit on 22m. The erg itself, starting at 5m and
  • landing on 9-15m, has an abundance of marine life and makes a perfect safety stop.
  • What to see: The wall presents a huge variety of marine life such as barracuda, snapper, jackfish, and tuna. The coral towers break off featuring vast clouds of anthias, silversides and every possible species of butterflyfish. The chimney on the shelf is overflowing with glassfish, and the erg, covered with invertebrates, is one of the most fascinating reef systems you’re ever likely to see.

NORTH ABU RAMADA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 10.41′ N 33° 59.07′ E
  • Depth: 20-35m, with a drop-off 100m+ Location: Around 80 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Like Small Giftun drift, this site is often exposed to weather and strong current. Experience beyond entry level required for the deep plateau.
  • Overview: A plateau gently sloping from 20-35m, extending from the north end of Abu Ramada Island transforming into a vertical wall. The mooring is situated inside a small bend in the wall.
  • Dive plan: This site is best as a drift providing that the current comes from the north. Drop in front of the end of the reef and make your way towards the drop-off. Here the strength and direction help you decide how to continue.
  • You can either follow the edge of the plateau up north for a few minutes, or set off directly towards the mooring. Beneath the edge you find a chimney from 30-24m right where the plateau gives way to the wall. Multi-level your way up to safety stop level and spend
  • the last part of the dive where the sun sparkles through the cracks of the top reef.
  • What to see: Schools of giant barracuda fight with big eye trevally and yellowfin tuna over the fusiliers sweeping across the plateau. Turtles feed on the soft corals and squadrons of up to 12 eagle rays have been seen flying by in formations. Lionfish and groupers stake out groups of glassfish hiding in cavities. Keep an eye out for sharks cruising the deeper water.

ERG ABU RAMADA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 9.78′ N 33° 59.04′ E
  • Depth: 10-30m at the main reef, terracing down to 60m+ Location: Around 80 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Often exposed to weather and strong current. Some experience required for the deep parts.
  • Overview: This site is also known as Camel Reef. It comprises a big erg with three peaks on a long plateau, with a sandy bottom that turns into a coral garden to the north. Situated on the southeast side of Abu Ramada Island.
  • Dive plan: Depending on the current this site can be heaven or hell. On a good day, with insignificant current, you can start from the mooring and head out to investigate the rich marine life of the coral garden that slopes down both to the east and west.
  • You can then turn around and finish the dive around and between the peaks of the erg itself. Here you get a spectacular safety stop around the top. You are guaranteed to find many perfect camera angles here.
  • What to see: Due to the often strong current, together with a somewhat unprotected location, this site has managed to stay in pristine condition. The erg is covered with soft corals and anthias. In caverns and cracks, great schools of glassfish find sanctuary from luring scorpionfish and lionfish. Crocodilefish find refuge under table corals, and moray eels often swim around the peaks in the company of napoleon wrasse and all sorts of schooling fish.

SOUTH ABU RAMADA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 9.51′ N 33° 58.74′ E
  • Depth: 5-35m Location: Around 80 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Always sheltered and very busy on a windy day. This is a good choice for all levels of diver and suits any level of dive training.
  • Overview: A terrace-profiled plateau next to a shallow wall at the very south tip of Abu Ramada Island. The plateau extends as a shelf to the west, eventually yielding to a drop-off.
  • Dive plan: The shelf to the west of the main reef slopes from 11m at the bottom of the wall towards the drop-off at around 14m. Halfway, you find an eеl garden swaying in the current.
  • Further south, a hill-shaped coral formation clings to the edge of the drop-off. Just east from here, a series of pinnacles lead the way back towards the mooring lines. The wreck of an old safari boat has found its final resting place on an elevated coral garden next to the top of the reef (5m). This makes for a perfect safety stop.
  • What to see: The bottom may seem lifeless at first glance, but when explored a little more, an abundance of macro life is discovered. Massive schools of masked butterflyfish, bannerfish, goatfish and sweetlips hover majestically along the wall and around the pinnacles. Free swimming morays cruise the wall, while napoleon wrasse scrutinize bypassing divers at closer range.

EL ERUG

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 10.00′ N 33° 57.05′ E
  • Depth: 12-14m Location: Around 60 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Fairly sheltered south of the Giftun Islands, this is a good choice for all levels of diver and training.
  • Overview: Numerous ergs and pinnacles spread out over a vast area north of Gota Abu Ramada, over a primarily sandy seabed.
  • Dive plan: Though this is often considered to be one dive site, there are actually three: beginning from the southwest with Erug Diana, via Erug Giftun in the middle and finally, Erug Gigi in the northeast.
  • Erug Giftun is a cluster of seven pinnacles, as is Erug Diana, but with the middle one being cracked in two. Erug Gigi has eleven pinnacles more or less in a straight line.
  • Due to a large amount of ergs and pinnacles it is easy to lose a sense of direction here. Without a compass, you can always get navigation help from the current or the
  • sun angle. Another way is to keep to two or three ergs, and not stray too far from the chosen area.
  • Every part of this dive site is as good as the other so there is really no point in wandering off too far from the mooring. The safety stop is likely to be one of the better parts of the dive since the tops of the ergs are the prettiest.
  • What to see: This site is the habitat of a variety of species of moray eels including yellowmouth, giant, snowflake and peppered. You are also likely to bump into napoleon wrasse, blue spotted rays, crocodilefish and scorpionfish.

SHAAB ESHTA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 09.00’N 33° 53.66′ E
  • Depth: 7-12m Location: Around 45 mins from central Hurghada Conditions: Located in the Magawish area this site is to some extent protected behind the islands even though it can be choppy on a windy day. This site suits any level of diver and is excellent for entry level training.
  • Overview: Two ergs sit divided by a narrow channel. There is a smaller erg to the west, and the larger erg to the east is shaped like a heart. It has a tight canyon-like passage leading up to the top.
  • Dive plan: At the outer limits of this dive site swaying sea grass covers a large portion of the bottom, whilst small coral blocks and table corals are spread out over the sandy flats dominating the closer perimeter.
  • Some current can be expected funnelling through the narrow channel as the tide moves in and out, but normally it’s not strong enough to cause any trouble. A ‘figure of eight’ route is ideal here.
  • What to see: Barracuda often hover just below the surface in the channel waiting for swim by, while both ergs are populated by scorpionfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish and angelfish. Schools of sweetlips, goatfish and bannerfish are concentrated by the side of the reef walls, and the sandy bottom is inhabited by gobies and their shrimps.

SHAAB PETRA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 09.02′ N 33° 53.42′ E
  • Depth: 8-15m Location: Around 45 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Like Shaab Eshta, this site is located in the Magawish area and is somewhat protected behind the islands, even though it can be choppy on a windy day. This site suits any level of diver and is excellent for entry-level training.
  • Overview: Two oval shaped ergs separated by a 60m long coral garden running from east to west.
  • Dive plan: There are mooring lines on the south side of each erg so you might start your dive on either one of them. They are both hill shaped, and the hard corals in the shallows are in truly fantastic condition.
  • The eastern erg has a huge brain coral at its end pointing in the direction of the coral garden making it look like a turtle resting on the bottom. At the other side there is a small cavern inhabited by a group of glassfish and a red tooth grouper chasing lionfish away to defend his supply of fresh
  • food. The western erg is smooth-shaped and sits on a flat sandy bottom. A ‘figure of eight’ route here should take you about 45 minutes in a relaxed tempo.
  • What to see: Both ergs are covered by typical petite reef fish like bicolour puller, bluegreen puller, arabian damsel and humbug damsel. Endless schools of sergeant major and goatfish sweep across the top and it’s not unusual to see free swimming moray eels amongst the coral garden.

RAS DISHA

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 02.47′ N 33° 53.40′ E
  • Depth: 9-18m, with a drop-off Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Sheltered from the wind in the bay, sometimes with a strong current, but suitable for any level of diver.
  • Overview: A shallow plateau with a sandy bottom accentuated by pinnacles and an ovalshaped erg in the south. In the northwest, the plateau transforms into a narrow ledge that gives way to a steep wall.
  • Dive plan: The beacon on the main reef makes an excellent landmark to start a drift dive along the wall to the north. The finale to this dive takes place around the picturesque pinnacles on the plateau.
  • A dive from the mooring can begin with a tour to the drop-off followed by a course describing a half circle over the plateau, passing the pinnacles, and finishing back at the boat. One pinnacle in particular (the one that lies closest to the main reef) is extremely photogenic.
  • What to see: Bannerfish and butterflyfish team up with parrotfish and surgeonfish close to the wall, and the sandy seabed is colonized by plenty of marine life. Moses sole, blue spotted rays and torpedo rays dig furiously in the sand for crustaceans and other invertebrates, while partner gobies and shrimps stay on the lookout from their burrows. The pinnacles are perforated by cracks and caverns bursting with glassfish.

ABU HASHISH

  • DIVE SITE
  • GPS – Position 27° 00.74′ N 33° 55.44′ E
  • Depth: 6-25m next to a drop-off to 60m+ Location: Around 90 mins from central Hurghada. Conditions: Protected moorings in the lagoon, but the trip here can be choppy on a windy day. This is good for all levels of diver and excellent for all levels of training.
  • Overview: Abu Hashish Island is enclosed by an extensive reef situated on a flat sandy plateau, leading to a steep drop-off. At the south end a shallow lagoon scattered with ergs gives shelter for the moorings.
  • Dive plan: There are many good dives around Abu Hashish, which people say took its name from the contraband that passed through here. The most common dive is probably to go from the mooring, through a narrow channel in the reef, out to the drop-off, and then turn back swimming along the wall.
  • Inside the lagoon there are numerous ergs and pinnacles that offer a protected environment. This is often used for courses. A drift from the north is yet another option,
  • with a quick trip to the drop-off, followed by multi-levelling towards the safety stop before entering the lagoon.
  • What to see: In the lagoon, you often find cornetfish and a squadron of bigfin reef squid hovering information. Hooded cuttlefish traverse the bottom, rapidly changing colour and texture as a disguise. On the other side of the narrow channel, out on the wall, a big red octopus wanders around, trusting his camouflage to protect him from predators.

Turtle Bay

  • next to shaab el fanous east. north of grand Giftun island. It’s a small horseshoe reef. depth 2 to 15 m. shallow dive absolutely filled with fish and coral.so nice like swimming in an aquarium
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