St .Johns

  • Southern Red Sea” used in this guide is not correct in a geographical sense. It simply refers to the Egyptian part of the Red Sea, which extends much further south, along the western coasts of Saudi Arabia and Yemen and the eastern coasts of Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. However, since there is almost no tourism in these countries, the term “Southern Red Sea” automatically refers to the part of bordering Egypt.
  • In the early days of diving tourism in Egypt, divers mainly visited the dive sites around the Sinai and Hurghada, which led to all areas south of the latter being referred to as “the South”. Over time, however, diving safaris were conducted to more remote areas, until they even reached the reefs of St. John’s. Today, a few routes even lead further south to the remote reefs of Sudan, which is why the term “the Deep South“ has been introduced, since “the South” is no longer sufficient.

  • The region described here is 360 km long. It begins north of Port Ghalib and extends to St. John’s reefs near the border with Sudan.
  • Near the border with Sudan lie St. John’s reefs consisting of ten bank reefs, which extend 29 km from east to west and roughly 10 km from north to south. The reefs are a highlight of any diving safari to the Deep South and offer dive sites that are equally suitable for both beginners and experienced divers and have a lot to offer. Divers will often find big fish, such as grey reef sharks or oceanic whitetip sharks at the reefs with steep walls, such as Habili Ali, and Habili Gaffar. Furthermore, there are other beautiful reefs overgrown with corals, such as Abu Basala, Umm Arouk and Gota Hamera. These dive sites with a shallow, sandy seabed are ideal for underwater photographers and night dives.

  • Since the mid-90s, the diving safaris have moved further and further to the south in search of new diving attractions. Accordingly, liveaboards have in the last years started to set sail for this area. Although the amount of dive boats here is currently not comparable to the northern areas, tours to the Deep South are becoming increasingly popular by the year. Though the boats spread out well about the area during the day, at night they have to share the mooring space with several neighbouring boats, since only a few reefs are suitable for overnight stays. The boat traffic is obviously concentrated around these moorings.
  • Most reefs are in splendid condition, though the impact of the growing diving tourism is increasingly visible. It is not worth visiting the reefs of Abu Fendira Hamera and Shaala, and though Abu Fendira Hamera is sometimes marked as a dive site on maps, we found the reef of little interest during our exploration dives. The elongated reef is nothing more than an interesting alternative to the neighbouring reefs Dangerous Reef and Abu Basala when the local overnight moorings are crowded. We also do not recommend diving at Shaala where once more the underwater landscape is barren with few fish.
  • Though all dives must, of course, be planned carefully wherever you go, special attention must be paid to the planning and implementation here in the South Always keep in mind that it takes eight hours or more to sail to the next decompression chamber in Hamata and therefore do anything possible to avoid diving accidents.
  • Shaab Aluaster Group There is another reef group not far north of St. John’s consisting of several reefs. The entire group is called Shaab Aluaster. The reefs do not belong to St. John’s, but strictly speaking rather to Foul Bay. However, we have included them in this section because of their proximity to St. John’s.
  • Many of the reefs have not yet been used for recreational diving—not because nobody wishes to do so, but rather because of the dangers to the boats present in these waters. Countless arouks and small habilis lie barely visible just below the surface, which is why the area is considered a danger zone on almost all sea charts, and why it is strongly recommended that boats avoid sailing between the reefs.
  • Some of the reefs that are located on the outer edge of this zone, such as Shaab Kentkana and Habili Omran, can safely be approached by big boats.

St .Johns
Near the border with Sudan lie St. John’s reefs consisting of ten …
Habili Omran
GPS: N 23°30,140 E 35° 49,36 Dive Routes Route A: circling the …
Gota Hamera
General Information Gota Hamera lies on the western edge of St. John's …
Shaab Kentkana
General Information Shaab Kentkana is the easternmost reef of the Shaab Aluaster …
GOTA SOGYARA
Gota Soghayr lies 4 km east of Umm Arouk and 3.4 km …
Dangerous Reef
Despite its ominous name, Dangerous Reef is no more dangerous than other …
Gota Kebira
General Information With its length of 840 m and width of 400 …
Abu Basala
Abu Basala lies at the heart of St. John's reefs, 25 km …
Umm Arouk
General Information Umm Arouk literally means "mother of coral towers", which is …
Habili Gaffar
Habili Gaffar. (sometimes pronounced "Jaffar") lies just 1.3 km. east of Umm …
Habili Ali
Habili Ali is the easternmost of St. John's reefs. and marks the …
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