With year round diving, abundant marine life, coral reefs and consistently glorious weather, the Red Sea off the Egyptian coast has become one of the premier diving and snorkelling destinations in the world. Below are some of the best dive sites in the Red Sea.
Image by Prilfish
Undoubtedly one of the best wreck diving experiences in the Red Sea, if not the world, the Thistlegorm was a British ship was sunk during the Second World War, with her entire cargo on board. The 131- metre wreck houses tanks, jeeps, motorcycles and other military machinery, all preserved in the eerie silt. You dive for the wreck as not much marine life has populated the wreck, but the fact that the visibility is consistently good and you can dive into the wreck, exploring its corridors and hold, makes it a spectacular experience.
Image by Derek Keats
Sharks. Of course an extra surge of adrenaline happens in your body when you see them, but you cannot help but be awed by these supreme ocean dwellers. And there are few better places to see them than Elphinstone Reef. From grey reef sharks and threshers, to white tips and hammerheads, all visit the reef, a 300 metre affair running along the edge of a steep drop off. You are also likely to see schools of grouper, jacks and barracuda cruising over large fan corals.
Image by mattk1976
Ras Mohammed, twenty kilometres or so south of Sharm el Sheikh, is a national marine park. Its protection from fishing and other detrimental activities means that the marine life within it has bloomed. This is in part to the meeting of different currents within the Red Sea that occurs here, resulting in an abundant population of reef fish and large numbers of pelagic visitors. Coral reefs combine with overhangs dropping 100 metres or more, and visibility is excellent.
Image by prilfish
Just north of Hurghada lies the Abu Nahas reef. This submerged reef has evidently proved a treacherous obstacle for seamen to navigate as it is now home to five wrecks, all dive-able, with parts between 5 metres and 32 below the surface. All the wrecks have substantial coral growth on their remains which in turn has attracted marine animals. As you swim through and around the wrecks, keep an eye out for octopus and moray eel. Dolphins are also known to pass through the area regularly.
Image by jayhem
Comprising two tiny islands that are thought to have been caused by volcanoes erupting millions of years ago, The Brothers is one for the more experienced diver, due to the potential for strong currents, but offers ample reward for making the short boat trip to them. The undersea parts of the islands feature steep drop offs and rock walls, with the currents rising from below bringing large pelagics such as spotted rays, tuna and all manner of sharks. The walls themselves are speckled with corals while many of the shallower shelves harbour wrecks (which are why the authorities built a 32 metre high lighthouse on the larger of the islands!).