Scuba diving in Daedalus
Scuba diving in Daedalus
Scuba diving at Daedalus is thought to be some of the best scuba diving that the Red Sea has to offer. The reef is fortunate to be inside of a marine protected zone, to the east of the resort of Marsa Alam in Egypt. It is an offshore reef, out in the blue and there are often strong currents and plankton blooms. Thanks to these nutrient rich waters, diving in Daedalus has it all, a huge pristine coral reef full of fish and invertebrates and numerous large pelagic animals cruising by. The marine life as well as the currents and open water conditions make Daedalus scuba diving a dream come true for experienced divers in the Red Sea.
The Daedalus reef has a lot to offer technical divers as well with steep drop-offs and the wreck of the Zealot at around 80 to 100 meters’ depth. Despite the presence of a small lighthouse in the centre of the reef, built by the Egyptian navy in the 1980’s, the Zealot steamer hit the rocks and lies on the slope of the drop-off.
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Marine Life in Daedalus
Diving at Daedalus, means big fish and a spectacular show of pelagic life. The heavy currents and steep drop-offs bring hammerheads, oceanic whitetips and if you are lucky huge thresher sharks to the edge of the reef. During whaleshark season it is also possible to see these gentle giants passing by in the blue. It’s not just sharks either, mantas often pass by when you are diving at Daedalus especially if there is a plankton bloom. Other pelagics on show are trevally, dogtooth tuna and turtles.
When you are scuba diving in Daedalus it is also well worth dragging yourself away from the pelagic show to explore the coral reef. There are several dive spots where the reef is caked with corals and in some places grey reef sharks, napoleon wrasse and trigger fish can be found all over. One of the dive sites has an entire section of the wall covered in anemone and cheeky clownfish to enjoy.
Best Dive Sites in Daedalus
The North wall is thought to be the one of the best dive sites in Daedalus for spotting sharks. The currents here are very strong which means if you hide behind a rock you can watch hammerheads, silvertips and a curious oceanic whitetip might even come and have a look at you. It is a good idea to stay close to the wall here though as this is where the currents are strongest.
To the South there is a sizeable plateau where you can find turtles grazing on the reef. Oceanic whitetips have also been known to swim over this area on the prowl. Diving at Daedalus on the West side gives you the chance to explore the ‘Anemone City’. Here a whole wall of anemone sways in the current with more brightly coloured clown fish than any macro photographer could wish for.
On the Eastern side there is another wall, this is one of the perfect dive spots for seeing hammerheads and thresher sharks as well. Deeper down on this section of the wall there is the wreck of the Zealot steamer which is around 80 to 100 meters deep. This is one of the best dive sites for technical divers, who will find a largely untouched wreck with dinner plates and the ship’s two anchors sprawling on the slope.
Best Time to Dive in Daedalus
Like most Red Sea scuba diving, you can visit Daedalus all year round. The best season to visit Daedalus depends on what marine life you are interested in though. Whaleshark season in Daedalus is between May and June if you want to see these magnificent creatures you should plan your dive trip then. Hammerheads and mantas are also frequent visitors during this season. Thresher sharks on the other hand are fond of colder water and they will be around in the winter when the water temperature drops from 30 degrees to 21 degrees.
Experience Level for Diving in Daedalus
In Egypt scuba diving is open to a wide range of divers, Daedalus reef is however probably not so suited to novices. The currents and depth of the water mean that it is a good idea to have a few dives under your belt before you take a dive trip to Daedalus. Daedalus is also suitable for technical divers who will find the wreck of the Zealot and an archway in the deeper parts of the reef within their range.
How Do I Get to Daedalus
Getting to Daedalus is fairly easy from the resort of Marsa Alam, a hub for Red Sea scuba diving. Marsa Alam has its own international airport with domestic connections from Cairo, Hurghada & Sharm El Sheikh. The nearby resort of Port Ghalib is a popular departure port for Egypt liveaboards to take you scuba diving in Daedalus, offering up to four dives per day on the reef.