Zabargad Island has located 71 km from the Egyptian coast in the middle of the sea, and at its southern fringing reef lies the dive site Turtle Bay, whose name derives from the turtles that come here once a year to lay their eggs on land. Because of the island’s large size, the southern coast is sheltered from the wind and waves allowing liveaboards to safely moor here at night and making it suitable for night dives. Turtle Bay is suitable for inexperienced divers because of its topography and overall favourable conditions. The current that occasionally flows here is usually not too strong and is easy to take into account.
The edge of the fringing reef A-A drops to an average depth of 10 to 15 m, where it meets a sandy slope A, dotted with coral rocks and small arouks, which descends to about 35 m before plunging to the seafloor. Though you may find small marine creatures on the slope, do not expect to see any big fish. It is better to dive directly along the reef wall, which is densely overgrown with hard and soft corals A A and has recesses A, crevices and small canyons A at regular intervals. It even has caves that lead towards the inside of the lagoon. However, they are short and very narrow, and we have so far been unable to find a way through them to the inside of the lagoon. The usual anthias, surgeonfish and butterflyfish swim about among the corals on the reef
Route A: mooring – eastern tip Duration: about 60 min. Difficulty: *
When a current is present here, it usually flows to the east. Therefore, it is recommended to enter the water directly from the liveaboard and dive along the reef with the current. The most interesting areas lie at a depth of 10 to 15 m, where the reef wall meets the sandy slope. Corals grow abundantly here, and small pinnacles occasionally form canyons along the reef wall A A. It is less advisable to dive further down the slope A since there is little to see there. Swim to the east with reef wall on your left shoulder and return by a RIB at the end of the dive.
Route B: night dive Duration: about 30 min. Difficulty: *
Dive to the reef wall directly from the liveaboard and explore the area east and west of the mooring 1. Avoid the caves in the reef in the dark.
Tips / Hazards
• Easy and interesting dive site • Ideal for night dives. Check the current’s direction before diving • Narrow cave openings in the reef wall • Excellent chance to see turtles, especially in the summer