Popular Ras Mohamed Sharm El Sheikh Dive Sites

Shark & Yolanda Reefs

  • 27°43.300′ N – 34°15.000′ E
  • Shark Reef is the most famous and popular dive
  • site in the Red Sea for the variety of its marine environment and above all for the extraordinary abundance of its reef and pelagic fauna. However, to enjoy this site in all its splendour you should go there in the summer months (especially July). Another point to bear in mind is that the incredible spectacle of schools of hundreds of barracuda, jackfish and batfish that appear before your eyes can be enjoyed only by those with enough technical know-how to
  • YOLANDA Type of ship: merchant Construction date: 1964 Length: 74.8 m Width: 11.7 m Tonnage: 1.907 t Date of shipwreck::
  • 1-2 April 1980 Date ship sank to the bottom:
  • 15 March 1987
  • face the currents, which at times are extremely strong. There are many dives you can make here – all of which are drift dives – and they can be
  • varied at will, depending on different factors (weather conditions, speed and direction of the current, technical level of the divers, etc.). However, the classic and most complete dive will allow you to visit not only Shark Reef but the other two sites, Anemone City and Yolanda Reef, in one. The dive begins northeast of Shark Reef on a line with a plateau commonly known as Anemone City, which lies at a depth of 12–20 m and juts out like a large balcony over the blue. A large population of sea anemones (Heteractis Magnifica
  • and Entacmaea quadricolor), among whose stinging tentacles live multicoloured Red Sea anemonefish (Amphiprion bicinctus), have colonized this plateau in which the lightcoloured sand is interrupted by coral formations. On this plateau, at a depth of 14 m, you will note a sort of large metal post placed in an upright position in the 1970s, it seems, to commemorate a diver who died there.
  • Look out for
  • Features • An absolutely exceptional concentration of fauna, in particular in the summer. • An extremely varied marine environment. • Vast area for diving. • A variety of dives.

  • Comments • The site is usually overcrowded. Try to arrive early in the morning. • Access and times for diving are regulated by the Ras Mohammed Park authorities. • Be careful of the currents, which can be violent at times.
  • After exploring Anemone City you must swim in the blue for a few minutes at a depth of 20 m and at a course of 150°, which will lead you directly to Shark Reef, clearly recognizable by the unmistakable profile of some gorgonians. Here a wall that descends vertically to an abyss more than 700 m deep: keeping this wall to your right, you skirt around a coral outcrop. If you observe the blue you will easily spot schools of batfish (Platax sp.), walls of jackfish (Caranx sp., Carangoides sp.), snappers (Lutjanus bohar and Lutjanus monostigma) and emperors

(Lethrinus nebulosus, Monotaxis grandoculis) and Bluespine unicornfish (Naso unicornis). You easily also find big schools of small Blackfin barracuda (Sphyraena qenie), sometimes forming circles within which often move one or two Blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus). After going a few dozen meters more, you will reach the sandy and shallow saddle that connects Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef which silhouette takes shape right after a big gorgonian situated at a depth of 20 m and a second gorgonian

  • at 14 m; this one signals the start of a splendid coral garden with mauve-coloured
  • Alcyonarians contouring the eastern wall of Yolanda. After having crossed this garden, in an almost parallel direction to the reef wall and after having curved around its southern corner you will see – at a depth between 25 and 10 m – the remains of the cargo of Yolanda, a Cypriot merchant ship that sank here on the night of 1-2 April 1980 while on its way to Aqaba: containers, bathtubs, sanitary fixtures, wallpaper, cases of whisky and even a BMW 320 automobile that belonged to the ship
  • surrounded by large Malabar groupers (Epinephelus malabaricus), Napoleonfish (Cheilinus undulatus), Onespot snappers (Lutjanus monostigma) and fusiliers (Caesio sp.). The ship – which stood half above the surface in an unstable vertical position since the bow was stuck in the seabed – was pushed by the waves to a depth of 50 m at the beginning of 1987 and, on the 15th March of the same year, sank into the blue during a violent storm. It lies today at a depth of around
  • 200 m. The dive usually ends bove after you have finished exploring
  • the remains of the Yolanda: if you still have some air left you
  • can explore the sandy lagoon an stretching out behind Yolanda

Reef and the saddle between the two coral outcrops inhabited by Bluespotted stingrays (Taeniura lymma), scorpionfish (Scorpae-nopsis sp.), Stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa), Napoleon

  • fish (Cheilinus undulatus) and eht Crocodilefish (Papilloculiceps
  • longiceps). As an alternative you can visit the nearby Satellite Reef or explore the area south of Yolanda, where you can see some Grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos),