Egypt hosts an impressive number of scuba diving sites. Wrecks such as the Thistlegorm and marine parks like Ras Mohammed, all contribute to the beauty of this region. These warm waters have great visibility, ideal when looking for large pelagics, mantas, dolphins, turtles, hammerheads, thresher and whale sharks.
Diving in Egypt conjures up images of crystal clear waters, pristine reefs and amazing marine life, it is a true underwater paradise. Egypt scuba diving has long been a favourite destination for Europeans seeking the clear, warm waters offered by the Red Sea and it's popularity has spread worldwide to attract divers from all over the world.
Stretching along the coast of Egypt from the Northern Sinai to the border with Sudan, the Egyptian Red Sea is home to an impressive number of different dive sites. It should come as no surprise that diving in the Red Sea is famous throughout the world. Not only does it have beautiful shallow reefs close to the coast but offshore deeper reefs attract bigger life with hammerheads and whalesharks passing by in the blue. Red Sea scuba diving really does have it all!
The conditions along the coastal resorts are fantastic, every year legions of people learn to dive in the Red Sea, attracted by the calm waters and beautiful, shallow dive sites. The region is also home to several protected marine parks which promise some of the best dive sites in the Red Sea. Ras Mohammed in the North has huge stretches of reef and to the South St Johns boasts mantas, sharks and hammerhead sharks. There is so much variety when scuba diving Egypt, it offers something for all, whatever your tastes.
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Marine Life in the Red Sea
Diving in the Red Sea introduces divers to such a variety of marine life that it would be easier to say what life can’t be found here than what can. The reefs which stretch along the coast and appear out of the deep offshore are home to a huge variety of creatures. Soft and hard corals can be found all over with two hundred different species growing here. Living on these corals are over a thousand different species of fish, many of which can only be found in the Red Sea, such as the Red Sea Pipe Fish and the Flasher Wrasse.
There are a huge number of bigger pelagics with the late spring bringing whalesharks to the reefs. Mantas are also frequent visitors following the plankton blooms, these bizarre creatures can be seen swooping over reefs through currents. Once the waters cool, divers will see more sharks particularly hammerheads and thresher sharks. There are lots of non-seasonal marine animals as well with dugongs, dolphins and turtles frequently seen in certain areas.
Best Dive Sites in the Red Sea
Elphinstone is one of the most popular dive sites in Egypt for more advanced divers. This sausage shaped reef is almost invisible from the surface and is home to an eye watering coral reef. There are black and white tipped reef sharks patrolling over the reef and if you are lucky you might spot oceanic white tips and hammerheads near the plateaus at either end.
Well known as one of the best dive sites in the Red Sea, Daedalus Reef is an offshore reef with some of the best life to be found in Egyptian waters. If diving in Egypt is all about pelagic life for you then this is one of the best dive spots for you. Perched on the amazing coral reef, divers can see mantas, oceanic whitetips, thresher sharks and even whale sharks during the season. Technical divers also have the opportunity to explore the shipwreck of the zealot over the edge of the reef.
In the very South in the inlet of Foul Bay, St Johns reef offers some of the best scuba diving in the Red Sea. The huge reefs of St Johns have of everything from caves full of eels and cardinal fish to Mantas and Hammerheads passing by in the blue.
Close to the resort of Sharm el Sheik sits one of Egypt’s most famous shipwrecks, The Thistlegorm. The ships fascinating cargo including two locomotives, tanks and a hold full of ammunition are a real must for wreck lovers. Nearby the two reefs that make up the Brothers is a top dive spot for pelagics with steep drop-offs from the reef. Oceanic whitetips, hammerheads, grey reef and silvertip sharks are all on show at the Brothers.
One of the top dive tours in the Northern Red Sea is a visit to the Ras Mohammed marine park in the Sinai Peninsula area, near to Sharm el Sheik. Some of the best dive sites in the Red Sea can be found here. The reefs here are stunning, teeming with sharks and caked in over 200 different kinds of corals. If that isn’t enough to get you on a dive trip there, the visibility is known to reach 40 meters on the reefs!
Also worth a visit in the North are dive sites in the Straits Of Tiran. With famous dive sites such as Woodhouse Reef, Jackson Reef & Gordon Reef offering some amazing marine life sightings, there really is something for every diver in the Red Sea.
Best Time to Dive in the Red Sea
Diving in Egypt is amazing all year round although the temperature drops from 30 degrees to 20 degrees from the summer to winter with February being the coldest month. This should be no problem, just remember to bring the right exposure suit for your dive trip. Whaleshark season is from May to July and if you want to see Mantas the best season to visit the Red Sea is in summer. The colder water in the spring and winter attracts hammerheads and thresher sharks so this is the time for shark lovers.
Experience Level for Diving in the Red Sea
Scuba diving in Egypt is open to all levels with a huge number of people choosing to learn to scuba dive in the Red Sea. Excellent conditions and shallow waters make it perfect for novice divers. It is probably worth clocking up a few dives before attempting any of the offshore reef dives like Daedalus as the current can be very strong and the drop-offs are very deep.
How Do I Get to the Red Sea
There are regular flights to the resorts of Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Sharm el Sheikh offering international flights from mainland Europe and connections further afield. There is a wide selection of Egyptian liveaboards to take you scuba diving in the Red Sea which usually depart from the harbours nearby to these resorts. It is worth noting that the price for diving in the Red Sea can vary depending on which dive spots you want to visit.