About 6 km off the mainland lies Dahara, a 3500 m long bank reef due north of the island of Wadi Gemal and separated from it by a 1.6 km wide channel. Its reet flat lies just below the water surface, and at its southern end, a small sandbar rises out of the water. Because of its size, the reef offers excellent shelter from the wind and waves, which is why liveaboards regularly stay overnight at the moorings to the south. Several dive groups are therefore often found here underwater at the same time. Since the boats usually only moor at here at night, most dives take place in the dark and directly below the moorings. If you still have enough time before sunset, you can take a RIB to the outer reef and dive back to the mooring.
On the eastern side, the reef walls generally descend at an angle to a depth of about 15 m before meeting the seabed, which slopes to depths of over 30 m. It is covered with coral rocks A, some beautifully overgrown and others somewhat barren. There are some larger rocks A with table corals on them at a depth of 20 to 25 m, and also a series of towering pinnacles A at a depth of 15 m at the reef’s southeastern tip. Below the moorings to the south 1, the reef walls descend to a depth of up to 10 m before meeting the seabed with its coral rocks. Here you will discover all sorts of marine life, as well as a lot of fire corals and, unfortunately, garbage too. Moreover, further on you will find the badly damaged wreck of the liveaboard Shereen A, which ran aground on the reef in November 2005. It rests right on the reef wall near the second anchor buoy when viewed from the east and is surrounded by scattered debris from the wreckage.
Though the currents around Dahara are generally weak, the visibility may be limited because of the tides and the sandy seabed.
Route A: outer reef-mooring Duration: about 50 min. Difficulty: *
Go by RIB to entry point about 200 m along the outer reef to the north. Descend to a depth of 25 m and continue past the coral rocks A. Then follow the reef, keeping it on your right shoulder, along the seabed, where you will find moray eels, stonefish, sea slugs, blue-spotted stingrays and other marine life. Gradually ascend to 15 m and continue along the reef A. If you keep this depth, you will come across a small stony forest comprising several small pinnacles A. From there, head west into the channel and return to the boat.
Route B: mooring Duration: 30–50 min.
Descend directly from the boat and choose a route to the east or west according to the mooring i. Explore both the seabed and the wreck of Shereen, which lies at a depth of 4 to 7 m directly on the reef near the second series of buoys as seen from the east. Parts of the ship lie scattered about the seabed, where lionfish, flounders, scorpionfish and other marine life hide among the coral rocks.
Tips / Hazards
Easy site for night dives • Weak current around the moorings • Occasionally limited visibility • Stay within sight of the reef wall at the southeastern tip, or dive no deeper than 15 m to avoid getting lost