Liveaboard Diving in Rocky

What To Expect On A Rocky Island Liveaboard

Liveaboards to Rocky Island usually visit here as part of a Southern Red Sea itinerary. Lying in Foul Bay just 5 kilometres to the southeast of Zabargad, Rocky Island squeezes almost all of the reasons to visit the Egyptian Red Sea as a diving destination into one tiny island. Surrounding the entire island is a convenient plateau that delivers excellent views during the safety stop. It should be noted that currents here can swing from the prevailing northeast, and shift to originate from the south. Current direction must always be checked while planning the dive. The shores of Rocky Island are split into 3 main diving zones: the south, the east and the north shore. A good selection of Egyptian liveaboards are available which include dive safaris to Rocky Island.

What you can see

Whilst on your liveaboard cruise to Rocky Island you will explore the 3 main areas located in this dive area;

The South

Perhaps the only site on Rocky Island suitable for newer and less experienced divers, this is by far the most sheltered site. Prevailing winds are blocked by the landmass of the island, and average depth is around 60 feet (18 m). The shelter also helps to protect the incredibly delicate and intricate corals, which in turn support an abundance of reef fish. Visibility is fairly typical for the Red Sea at around 65 feet (20 m), and remains roughly the same over all the sites. The south shore has particularly inviting topography with many overhanging features and swim-throughs, making for exhilarating exploration with a good underwater torch.

Broad purple branches of acroporas, and hugely elaborate brain corals make for an outstanding display of stony coral species, while wisps of pink and brown cabbage corals form considerable structures on the reef, being a semi-aggressive species. Several types of nephtheidae can also be seen, a soft coral that resembles branches of broccoli, and exhibit a wide range of colours from reds, to oranges, whites and purples. At night, these delightful corals extend their tentacles to catch passing food, and share a greater resemblance to a tree in full bloom.

The East

The eastern shore, although quite exposed to the current (especially on the shallow plateau), offers a huge variety of features from shallow coral gardens to sheer-faced walls. Undertaken as a drift dive, the more turbulent and deeper water (average depth of 85 feet, or 25 m, and a maximum of 160 feet or 50 m) attracts larger fish species, including scalloped hammerhead, and oceanic whitetip sharks. Barracuda also patrol the reef, keeping their menacing, black eyes on the lookout for easy prey. Shoals of spectacularly striped grunts, bright blue surgeonfish and faded-red snappers leisurely swim between substantial coral structures, presenting excellent photo opportunities.

Blazing orange fire corals with white-hot tips are found in shallower depths, along with most of the hard and stony corals. With depth, the coral generally shifts to a greater proliferation of soft species, like the mushrooming plumes of xenia and the beautiful nephtheidae. Spiny, tree-like black corals are also found in deeper water here.

The North

The northern shore receives the full brunt of any prevailing weather, and is suitable only for the more experienced diver. The landscape is very different with rocky outcrops, encrusted with soft and stony corals, and a sheer wall. The dive is usually a fast drift dive, and one should dive fairly deep to avoid surges of current nearer the surface. Average depth is around 65 feet (20 m), with a maximum depth of 160 feet (50 m).

Strikingly marked rabbitfish, and the strange looking unicorn fish like to move in small groups over the reef here. Most species found are schooling species, but larger Napoleon wrasse and groupers are a common sight.

Getting there

Situated just south of Zabargad Island, Rocky Island can only be visited by liveaboard due to the distance from the nearest ports. Egyptian liveaboards navigating to Rocky Island usually make a stop at Zabargad first, before heading over. Departures tend to be from either Marsa Ghalib or Marsa Alam. The nearest airport is Marsa Alam International Airport, which is actually closer to the seaport of Marsa Ghalib, than that of Marsa Alam.

Rocky Diving Reviews

  • 9.1 Superb
  • 35 Verified Reviews
  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Taj H
  • United States United States

I would recommend, but if you want sharks, end of February is not the right time of year.

Diving Rocky in February on the Blue Seas

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Alec G
  • United States United States

Excellent - big encounters with Longimanus

Diving Rocky in November on the Red Sea Blue Force 3

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Christopher E
  • United States United States

Some beautiful light in the caverns and caves

Diving Rocky in May on the JP Marine

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Malgorzata B
  • Poland Poland

My first time in this site. I'm impressed and would like to return.

Diving Rocky in November on the MY Seawolf Felo

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Natallia T
  • Belarus Belarus

excellent, that's our preference and the best from our point of view!

Diving Rocky in February on the Blue

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Deborah G
  • Canada Canada

Very pretty. Lots of cool caves with beautiful light.

Diving Rocky in July on the JP Marine

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Christian W
  • Germany Germany

Navy closed this, so we went to Big Brother instead. Numidia at 90m, oceanic white tip, north plateau with thresher shark

Diving Rocky in August on the Blue Horizon

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Gunnar F
  • Sweden Sweden

We were lucky to encounter a small whale shark and that was nice.

Diving Rocky in February on the Blue Seas

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Michael B
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Saw some sharks, and other large predators, together with the other expected life.

Diving Rocky in June on the Samira Discovery

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Martin M
  • Austria Austria

Warm :-) 30 degree water, dolphines under water

Diving Rocky in July on the Amelia Discovery

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Marcin K
  • Poland Poland

Healthy corals and interesting topography of terrain underwater, but unfortunately we were not lucky to see much life. Mostly small fish.

Diving Rocky in July on the Princess Diana

  • 7.6 Good
  • Alena Miriam S
  • Czech Republic Czech Republic

Good wall dives but no sharks at recreational depths.

Diving Rocky in August on the JP Marine

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Oleg P
  • Russia Russia

well, it was not so much to see (not oo much fish)

Diving Rocky in March on the Samira Discovery

  • 6.8 Review score
  • Janusz S
  • Finland Finland

Deeper wall and mild currents, but only 2 dives.

Diving Rocky in October on the Al Farouk II

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Andrea U
  • Germany Germany

Beautiful corals, saw two white tip reef sharks

Diving Rocky in March on the JP Marine

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Mark D
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Very pretty dive site, lots of very nice soft coral and good night dive site. Chance to see Sharks here.

Diving Rocky in April on the JP Marine

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Rolf M
  • Germany Germany

Nice Dive Spot with a lot of differend Marine Life

Diving Rocky in May on the Seawolf Felo

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • David D
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Good diving, healthy coral and walls.

Diving Rocky in May on the JP Marine

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Billy L
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Good visibility and cool fish

Diving Rocky in June on the Tillis

  • 6.0 Review score
  • kristoffer G
  • Denmark Denmark

not to impressed but okay for smaller stuff

Diving Rocky in July on the JP Marine

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Timo N
  • Germany Germany

Just enjoy all dives, Turtles, Napoleon

Diving Rocky in August on the Golden Dolphin IV

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Chun L
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Regular Reef, a little boring.

Diving Rocky in October on the Tala

Origin: US