Liveaboard Diving in The Brothers

What to Expect on a Liveaboard to The Brothers

Liveaboards to The Brothers are the only way to visit these reefs due to it's remote location. The two islands, Big Brother and Little Brother or El Akhawein as they are known locally, lie less than a mile apart around 67 km/ 40 miles from the coast at Al-Qusayr. For those more familiar with Sharm el Sheikh area, that is around 200 km/ 125 miles South of the Ras Mohammed National Park.

Both islands are tiny when viewed above water, the tear shaped little brother has nothing but a few rocks on its flat surface. Big Brother is made much more obvious only by the 30-meter-high lighthouse that was put there by the British in the late 19th Century as a warning as to what lay beneath. Although the lighthouse was not enough to save the two ships the Numidia and Aida which lie wrecked, one directly beneath the lighthouse!

Underwater the Brothers are much larger, little brother has a few meters of shallows and then a huge drop-off into the blue. Big Brother drops straight down from the side of the island, the walls on both islands are covered in soft and hard coral. These reefs are home to huge napoleon wrasse and barracuda as well as hordes of reef fish. There is also a chance to see sharks with oceanic whitetips, grey reef sharks and even hammerheads hanging around. Numerous Red Sea dive liveaboards will offer a visit to The Brothers in their itineraries.

Daily Schedule (example)

Morning - A dawn dive will normally be offered before breakfast with a light snack and a briefing around 6 am before heading to the dive deck to prepare. These dives are definitely best on Nitrox especially since there will be four or more dives a day

The divers will be dropped and picked up on the dive site by small tender boats with a small surface or underwater swim each way. The conditions can be quite rough on the surface so a negative entry is best if possible. After returning to the boat for a proper breakfast and a rest there will be a second dive before lunch.

Afternoon - After lunch in the afternoon there will be two more dives, likely to the shallower areas of the reef. Unfortunately, there will not be night dives at The Brothers as it is not allowed inside the marine park area not only for conservation but also safety reasons. The currents and surface conditions at The Brothers can be quite rough so it isn’t really the best for night diving.

The Brothers Underwater

The Brothers have long been known to be among the best dive sites in the Red Sea. The tear shaped Little Brother is a wall dive with sheer drops on all sides. It is a feast for the eyes with Gorgonias and fantastic colourful hard and soft corals all around.

To the North there is one exception to the underwater wall topography. A plateau sits right at the edge of recreational dive limits, 40 meters/130 ft. down. This is the place to see sharks. Grey reef sharks, silvertips and even the occasional hammerhead can be seen coming out from the blue.

Big Brother is only 1km away from Little Brother is one of the best places to see oceanic whitetips and great hammerheads as well as the more common reef sharks.

In addition to the big fish, Big Brother has two shipwrecks sitting to the North ironically just beneath the lighthouse. Lying stem to stern on the sloping walls of the island Numidia is the larger of the two. The wreck starts at 8 meters/26 ft. with the stem of the boat but the main body of the ship starts around 20 meters/65 ft. The Stern is around 80 meters/260 ft. giving technical divers the opportunity to explore an area not accessible to most other visitors.

The smaller Aida also provides a dive for recreational and technical divers starting shallow and reaching 60 meters/196 ft. Both wrecks are covered in corals and fish and make fantastic dives although divers should be aware that the currents on both wrecks can be severe.

Top Tips for the Brothers

  • The currents here are very strong and with very deep waters on every side a safety stop on the slightly sheltered shallow reef is a wise move.
  • A depth alarm on your computer is a good idea given the tremendous drop-offs and 30 meter plus visibility.
  • Plentiful thermal protection is a good idea since the currents here make for some serious thermoclines.

Getting to The Brothers

Only accessible by diving from a liveaboard the Brothers are an overnight sail from land. Egyptian liveaboards depart from either Hurghada or Marsa Alam, some depart from one and disembark at the other, the advantage being less time spent sailing back so more time diving. Those departing Marsa Alam are typically part of an itinerary that also takes in Daedalus and Elphinstone reefs. Hurghada to Marsa Alam itineraries on the other hand often visit the Northern wrecks before heading down to The Brothers.

Both Hurghada and Marsa Alam have their own airports close to the departure ports offering international flights from mainland Europe and connections further afield. It is worth noting that transfer between the two resorts is around 4 hours and can involve an extra charge.


The Brothers Diving Reviews

  • 9.3 Superb
  • 38 Verified Reviews
  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Tina H
  • Denmark Denmark

Fantastic. Pristine coral reefs and great sightings of threasher sharks, hammerhead and Oceanic white tips.

Diving The Brothers in July on the Emperor Echo

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Marco C
  • Portugal Portugal

Excelent, full of life with beautifull coral

Diving The Brothers in June on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Alex S
  • United States United States

Great dive locations with lots to offer from wrecks to awesome wildlife.

Diving The Brothers in June on the Tillis

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • PRAPHAPHORN K
  • Thailand Thailand

I found big hammerhead shark at Nubidia wreck at big brother in third dive. Very strong current but visibility very clear.

Diving The Brothers in June on the Tillis

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Francesco I
  • Italy Italy

it was very good. the sea was a bit rough but this was something we were expecting. Little brother was my favourite spot across all the sites because of abundance of soft corals

Diving The Brothers in May on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Alexander K
  • Canada Canada

Excellent, sometimes challenging because of currents

Diving The Brothers in May on the JP Marine

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Naisan E
  • Bahrain Bahrain

excellent with sharks during the dive and under the boat at the end of the dive

Diving The Brothers in May on the JP Marine

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Tanner M
  • United States United States

Incredible. Couldn’t have been better. Saw Thresher sharks and hammerheads

Diving The Brothers in May on the JP Marine

  • 7.2 Good
  • STICHA D
  • Czech Republic Czech Republic

This was the top dive sides from all. 2 wrecks - Aida, Numidia 3 dives at Big Brother, 3 dives at Small Brother

Diving The Brothers in April on the Gelen

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Bruno P
  • Portugal Portugal

We saw many fishes and grey reef sharks Current strong

Diving The Brothers in April on the JP Marine

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Richard O
  • Canada Canada

Excellent. Mix of coral, fish, big animals, drift etc. Many dives started quite deep but was not mandatory.

Diving The Brothers in April on the Aphrodite

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Giovanni C
  • United States United States

Brothers was incredible, much love coral and beautiful formations.

Diving The Brothers in April on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Kate F
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great, hammerheads seen frequently on most dives.

Diving The Brothers in July on the Sea Serpent

  • 7.6 Good
  • YANG G
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Thresher Shark / Giant Barracudas / Giant Moray Eels

Diving The Brothers in May on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Sergey Z
  • Russia Russia

it was one of the best dive experiences, different sharks in every dive

Diving The Brothers in May on the Emperor Superior

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Garion K
  • South Africa South Africa

If you are a diver and have a bucket list - ADD BROTHERS !

Diving The Brothers in December on the Blue Seas Liveaboard

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Julia R
  • Germany Germany

good visability, oceanic white tip sharks as promised and some nice corals

Diving The Brothers in November on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Malgorzata B
  • Poland Poland

One of 2 top dive sites in this trip. I'm impressed and would like to return.

Diving The Brothers in November on the MY Seawolf Felo

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Stephane M
  • Canada Canada

Amazing dive site...many sharks!! Two nice wrecks...Aida and Humidia!

Diving The Brothers in October on the MY Seawolf Dominator

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Marc B
  • Netherlands Netherlands

clear water, lots of wildlife. Not many boats around.

Diving The Brothers in September on the Sea Serpent

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Felipe C
  • Brazil Brazil

Perfect, thresher shark and hammerhead at the same day!

Diving The Brothers in August on the Blue Melody

  • 7.6 Good
  • Michel G
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Nice dives, and not too many boats

Diving The Brothers in August on the Sea Serpent

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Kenneth Broberg F
  • United States United States

Best corals found here I think maybe because of visibility. Oceanic white tip

Diving The Brothers in July on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Jasper O
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Brothers was definitely my favorite diving spot! Great reefs and mixture between corals and big fish.

Diving The Brothers in July on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Marc B
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Complete!! Sharks, current and we could dive the Numidia while there was no current.

Diving The Brothers in June on the Blue Pearl Liveaboard

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Thibault B
  • France France

Amazing, little brother is beautiful, and we saw a few hammerheads, thresher shark.

Diving The Brothers in May on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Neil B
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

We missed Brothers because of weather.

Diving The Brothers in March on the Emperor Superior