St. John’s: top diving destination in southern Red Sea

In St. John’s you’ll meet some of the most extraordinary tropical fish of the Red Sea. Pic by Philippe Guillaume

The St. John’s are a group of islands in the south of Egypt, in Foul Bay area. These islands, just by Sudan‘s border, are part of the Elba National Park, covering an area of 290 km ² and offer the greater diversity of diving in the Red Sea. Its astonishing coral walls, beautiful coral gardens with lots of tunnels, caverns and caves, its high visibility and good temperatures of up to 24 º C in winter make this area a must for divers who venture into the south of the Red Sea.

The profusion of reef fish is just spectacular. The depths of St. John’s go down to 200 meters which attract lots of reef sharks such as gray sharks or whitetip sharks but also lots of pelagic predators like hammerhead sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks or even thresher sharks. Other pelagic creatures found in the area are bottlenose dolphins, turtles of incredible sizes, jacks, tunas or barracudas who arrive to St. John’s rich waters to feed on the many reef fish that live there.

This is an ideal environment for hard and soft corals, gorgonians, sponges and lots of anemones that host many species of reef fish like unicorn fish, giant parrotfish, napoleon wrasse, lionfish, clownfish, longnose hawkfish, batfish, all kinds of triggerfish or emperor angelfish. More than recommended for a liveaboard diving holidays away from the crowds.

St. John´s Reef diving points

Habili Ali

Habili Ali is a reef full of corals, both hard and soft, which serve as a catalog of what you can see in the southern Red Sea: several kinds of sharks including hammerhead shark schools, dolphins, beautiful schools of jacks and coral reef fish in a drift diving that becomes a spectacle of light and color with a certain dose of adrenaline. 

hammerhead sharks

Dangerous Reef

Dangerous Reef is the southernmost reef in St. John’s and it offers, in its steep walls and cavities filled with coral gardens, much of the reef life to be found in the Red Sea. The visits of bottlenose dolphins are very common.

Cave Reef

Cave Reef, also called «Umm Khararim» or «the mother of caves» is a system of connected tunnels of different lengths and widths with extraordinary coral landscapes where, rather than the fauna, the main attraction are the beautiful light effects you’ll see. An underwater show suitable for every level. 

Gota Kebira

Gota Kebira is a large reef, over 800 meters long, with several drifting dives that will allow you to appreciate the high quality of St. John’s corals. On this spot you’ll see many reef sharks and lots of blue spotted stingrays and green turtles.

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