Diving Sudan, the most pristine area in the Red Sea

buceo en sudán
The Umbria, one of the best wrecks in the world, is located a few kilometers from Port Sudan. Picture by laleena1

Sudan, one of the largest countries in Africa, has relatively little coast, 65 kilometers, but has excellent diving spots in the most unexplored area across the Red Sea. We could qualify it as «virgin» without any doubt. The great pioneers of diving like Hans Hass and Jacques Cousteau discovered the richness of its reefs more than 60 years ago and they have filmed diving documentaries there that have already become classics like «World Without Sun», «The Silent World» or «Adventures in the Red Sea».

Unlike Egypt, so focused in the diving industry, Sudan and its poor economy has not fostered the development of these activities, hence accessing its underwater treasures is more complicated, fact that otherwise benefits the conservation of its reefs. Divers who choose Sudan as a diving destination will find pristine reefs that hide underwater science fiction stories like Jacques Cousteau’s laboratory of Conshelf II, world class wrecks like the Umbria with 5,000 tons of aerial bombs still inside, schools of hammerhead sharks only comparable with those in Coco’s Island, whale sharks, manta rays and a great variety of extraordinary reef fish. Sudan is a virgin territory for challenging divers.

Diving in Sudan can be divided into three main areas: the north, where there is a huge variety of wildlife and noted for its reefs laden full of tropical fish, manta rays, hammerhead sharks and whale sharks; the central region that offers classic dive sites near Port Sudan such as the Umbria or Conshelf II; and south where few divers have been and where you can find the largest schools of barracuda and hammerhead sharks.

Sudan diving sites


The Umbria

The cargo of the ship is still intact, it has great visibility, it is easy to dive (not very deep), its history is exciting and you’ll feel the stress of knowing that you are diving in a wreck with more than 5,000 tons of bombs… That’s why this is considered one of the best in the world (some say the best)… The Umbria is large enough to give you a lot to explore but small enough to cover in a single dive, a beautiful wreck with so many details that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. 

Blue Belt

One of the most interesting aspects of diving in the Blue Belt is its cargo, almost 200 Toyota cars (in fact this wreck is also known as the «Toyota Wreck») that are scattered along the bottom. Diving on this wreck is not easy because of its depth but it is worth a visit. 

Coral Reefs

Sanganeb Reef

Sanganeb reef is one of the richest in wildlife across the Red Sea, where you can find up to six species of sharks and the most outstanding coral gardens throughout the area. Whether you’re a fan of sharks or if you are looking for a great variety of reef fauna try Sanganeb Reef, one of the best dive spots you will ever know.

Angarosh Reef

Angarosh Reef or «Mother of sharks» in local language, is a diving point that emerges from the abyss and receives strong currents which also bring with it a large numbers of sharks. Gray, tiger, white tips… but mostly hammerheads, huge schools, which can reach more than 50 specimens. Angarosh Reef is one of the most appreciated and known diving sites in Sudan. 

Angarosh Reef sharks
Angarosh Reef be synonymous of shark diving. Picture by AlKok

Merlo Reef

Merlo Reef is a pinnacle that rises from the depths of the Red Sea, beautifully decorated with hard and soft coral. Besides its beautiful reef fauna, it is visited by large schools of hammerhead sharks. 

Abington Reef

Abington Reef is the northernmost reef in Sudan and, as its companions in this area, is frequently visited by schools of hammerhead sharks. One of the most interesting details of this reef is in addition to the hammerhead sharks are the huge schools of carangidae and you will also find a giant anemone full of clownfish.

Sha’ab Rumi crinoids caused great surprise among Cousteau’s «World without sun» critics. Picture by david_salvatori

Sha’ab Rumi

Sha’ab Rumi is possibly the most famous and most dived reef throughout Sudan. Both because of its past, where Jacques Cousteau created his experiments of Conshelf II and where he shot the film «World Without Sun» and because the great sightings of sharks and many reef species that dwell therein, this site deserves a visit. 

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