Dive at Hurghada
Hurghada, The Red Sea is one of the world's best dive sites, and is becoming an increasingly popular destination for avid divers and first time divers alike, attracted by the thousands of kilometers of Red Sea coastline blessed with extensive reef formations and islands, and the underwater scenery, rich with coral-covered walls and beautiful gardens. Out of the water, the Red Sea's year-round good weather, fine hotels, historical sites and range of desert based activities such as quad biking and camel trekking ensure that you won't be bored on dry land either. Hurghada is characterized by sheltered reef, tower and pinnacle dives close to shore, and boat dives around the Giftun Islands and Sha’ab Abu Nuhas. There are also a few local wrecks such as the El Mina or the possibility of journeying slightly further to the Salem Express. Marine life is abundant and varied, and the hard and soft corals are improving since conservation efforts increased in the early 1990's. If you are a novice the conditions are perfect: shallow, warm, clear with the possibility of visiting fantastic wrecks that are within your depth. The wrecks on the north of Sha’ab Abu Nuhas Reef are outstanding and shallow enough for inexperienced divers to visit on extended day trips.
North itinerary: Giftun Islands - Gubal Islands - Sha'ab Ali (Thistlegorm wreck) - Abu Nuhas (Carnatic wreck).
South itinerary: Giftun Islands-Abu Hashish Isl.-Panorama Reef-Abu Kifan Reef-Sha'ab Shaer (Salem Express wreck) Two choices are provided, one south wards to the Safaga area, and the other in the direction of the Hurghada archipelago. The southern cruise provides fascinating underwater expeditions along the Panorama reef and the wreck of the Salem Express, and also includes the Middle reef and Abu Kefan, while the Hurghada archipelago cruise, which is probably the more beautiful of the two, provides underwater diving expeditions at Sha'ab El Erg, famous for its manta rays, and Shabrur Syul with its fabulous madreporic formations. It then continues to Umm Usk and from there to the wrecks at Abu Nuhas; the Giannis, Carnatic, Chrisoula and Kimon. The cruise almost always ends with a visit to the famous Thistlegorm wreck that was sunk just off the amazing reefs of Sha'ab Ali. The cruise includes a minimum of fifteen underwater diving expeditions, of which at least one or two are nocturnal.
Saint John Reef Itinerary: A minibus is provided to take passengers to South Hurghada (El Quseir, Ras Galeb), where embarkation takes place. The first stop is at Elphinstone, the most exciting and splendid of the Red Sea reefs. From here on until Wadi Gimal, the cruise follows one of the most fascinating underwater diving routes that the Egyptian Red Sea has to offer. The itinerary includes diving expeditions at Sha'ab Alam, famous for its great branching black coral, at Erg Alam with its amazing turrets of madrepora, and at Ras Samadai, the horseshoe-shaped reef that provides an excellent place to anchor for the night and the chance of an underwater diving expedition along underwater tunnels and in and out of passing grottoes. Ras Samadai also provides the added attraction of being able to share an underwater adventure with some resident bottle nosed dolphins. The cruise then proceeds towards Gota El Sharm, the temple of the giant sea fans constantly presided over by deep sea fish, before reaching Wadi Gimal. Underwater diving expeditions at Elphistone can be organized both at the beginning and at the end of the trip. The entire reef is extremely interesting; its northern end (Punta Nord) is the exclusive territory of the hammer shark, its eastern wall is characterized by a multitude of barrier fish and its western wall is completely carpeted by multicolored Alcyonaria, while its southern end is the favorite hunting ground of tunny shoals and carangidae. There are also cruises of one or two weeks with even more southerly routes reaching as far south as Dolphin reef and the reefs of St. John, but these trips are dependent on clearance from the Egyptian authorities and previously established embarkation points. Dolphin reef is famous for its great number of friendly resident dolphins that can be easily approached in the water (snorkeling), whereas the reefs of St. John promise underwater encounters of every nature, not to mention the wealth of life on its coral.
Marine Park Itinerary: Embarkation takes place at Hurghada, after a few trial diving expeditions around Hurghada to help acclimatize, and marine conditions permitting, our cruiser heads out towards Safaga and the six hour journey to The Brothers. Since there is no sheltered place to drop anchor safe from the sea and the wind, the cruiser can only remain in the island's vicinity for as long as weather conditions allow and every opportunity has to be taken to make as many underwater expeditions as possible. The Brothers provide the very best that any diver could possibly desire to see; hammer sharks, albimarginatus and moon fish, not to mention two amazing wrecks, the Namibia and the Aida II, that floundered on the reef of the bigger island. The wrecks are completely covered by enormous Alyconariae and provide a unique underwater sight. The one-week cruise ends with the reefs close to the coast of El Quseir, returning up the coast towards Safaga and Hurghada.
Erg Somaya: One of the most stunning dive sites consisting of some colorful ergs, nice caves, and a spectacular drop off into the deep, Erg Somaya is situated on the east side of Giftun Soraya. The east side of the reef slopes steeply down to depths between 15 -24 meters to a sandy seabed than drops off to over 50 meters. Two pinnacles are situated on the ledge, one at 10 meters where a mooring buoy is attached and one around 18 meters. Another pyramid shaped pinnacle lies to the north between 12 - 20 meters.
Um Gammar: This offshore Island is surrounded by good diving on all sides and the south end has a shallow plateau where the moorings are positioned. For first timers at Umm Gammar the dive will take place from the plateau, moving eastwards to the drop off then north along the wall. Big groupers and lots of sweepers live in the multiple caves found along the eastern and western walls and drop offs of this tiny island's fringing reef.
Abu Ramada: Abu Ramada is a medium sized, oval-shaped reef with a shallow, flat, sandy seabed surrounding it. The shallow reef has plenty of coral outcrops away from the main reef to explore around and there is an abundance of life wherever you look, and there is plenty of light making it an excellent dive for taking photos. There are a couple of eagle rays that have made this reef there home, and crocodile fish and stonefish are also something to look out for and underneath.
Shaab El Erg: The most northerly site for day boats out of Hurghada. A huge horseshoe shaped reef offering many dive sites on all sides. The north point can be home to Mantas in season. The lagoon is dotted with ergs and is renowned for sightings of the resident dolphin community; divers have previously spent up to 30 minutes with dolphin’s here.
Wreck Diving:Apart from diving the numerous coral gardens and reef walls found near the coast line of Hurghada, the area also offers some of the best wreck dives in the country. For those planning on sampling wreck dives Hurghada, here are some of the popular sites worth a trip or two:??
El Mina wreck dive site: also known as the Harbor Wreck, in connection to its location within the harbor of Hurghada. This particular wreck is made up of an Egyptian minesweeper sunk by an Israeli bomber in 1969. With a depth of 30 meters, most of the dives organized in this site are done by more experienced divers.
Sha’abrur Umm Gamar: The final resting place of Colona IV, a charter boat that sunk in 1995. The wreck is said to be 66 meters down the sea floor, and is visited only by experienced divers. Because this wreck is relatively new, only a few corals are anchored to it.
Bannana Reef: You can find coral wall Typically, visibility is Good ( 10 - 30 m) The average depth is 10 m / 32.8 ft although the maximum depth you can reach is 15 m / 49.2 ft To reach Banana Reef you have to do it By boat This dive site is best suited for All divers divers. Banana shaped reef in the middle of the Giftun Strait. It generally has an easy current that allows you to drift all along the coral wall.
El Fanadir: Fanadir is one of the longest and straightest reefs in Hurghada. Located in the north, out of Hurghada’s bay it is a nice diving place for a calm and relaxed drift dive. Besides the main reef on the west side, the sandy plateau is slopping down from 12 to 22 meters, where the drop off wall starts on the East, going down to 50 meters. It's deaper than many sites in the area and therefore hosts some larger wildlife. Keep your eyes open, you might see stone fishes , scorpion fishes, morays and sting rays on the plateau. A lot of times an eagle ray is spotted.
Abu Nugar: Abu Nugar means the father of the holes, or the pools and refers to the holes in the main reef here. It is a big reef system in north Hurghada: some larger blocks of coral, or gottas, in this shallow water area (one of the best for coral in Hurghada) but not so much fish. Shallow and quite easy, visibility sometimes bad. There are many possible dives in this area, the most common being: Erg Abu Nugar and Gotta Abu Nugar North.
Sha'ab Abu Nuhas: About 2 1/2 hours cruising time from Hurghada lies the reef of Abu Nuhas - "The father of bad luck", so called because of the number of ships that have hit this reef over the years. The reef is to the north of Shaidwan Island, close to the main shipping channel from Suez and usually partially submerged making it dangerous for shipping.Among the many ships that have hit the north side of the reef, 4 remain as diveable wrecks for recreational divers. Starting from the north they are: Kimon M - known as the "lentil wreck", Marcus - the "tile wreck", Carnatic - the "wine ship", and Ghiannis D. - the "wooden ship".In addition to the wrecks it is also possible to dive on the other side of the reef at a site known as Paradise, which has a plateau with a huge coral garden and a drop off into deeper water.
El Aruk - Aruk Makroom: El Aruk is a shallow dive with app. 10m-15m. Lots of smaller ergs need good navigation not to loose orientation in between them. Watch your compass and take care of the sometimes quiet strong current. The sandy bottom is the home of a lot of sweet lips and blue spotted stingrays. Hidden in the erg walls are glass fishes and smaller coral fishes. The most famous erg is the split erg El Aruk Macroom. His split is filled with glass fishes, lion fishes and a big grouper is living there.
Egypt according to law only instructors can diving without guide therefore we give to each group a guide who helps with diving and procuring of permissions which are indispensable. Bring with yourself Present diving logbook and agency certification, Possess medical certification and accident insurance, Maximum depth limit is 30 meters for recreational scuba divers. A check out dive in the bay on the first day is required, if you have not dived for 6 months or more. Trips to Ras Mohammed, Straits of Tiran or the Thistlegorm are not available on first day of diving and require a suitable level of certification and experience.