Elphinstone, between sharks and coral gardens

elphinstone briefing
elphinstone briefing

Elphinstone is one of the most famous reefs for diving in Marsa Alam and all around the southern Red Sea. It is an elongated reef, only 20 meters wide and 400 long, that lies on very deep water. It’s a great place to dive with sharks and you can usually also spot some whale sharks.

The southern point has a wide plateau, about 25 meters deep, full of soft corals, large gorgonians, sponges and whip corals. It is in this plateau where you can find silky sharks, gray sharks and whitetip sharks. In the blue, a little bit away from the wall, schools of barracudas and oceanic whitetip sharks appear, especially from October to December, which is one of the main reasons for the popularity of Elphinstone among divers.

scuba diving in elphinstone
Vertiginous walls full of life, the typical landscape inElphinstone Reef. Image by Derek Keats

In the southern plateau there are cave entrances, about 30 meters deep, where the famous Elphinstone arc connects the east and west walls but is only suitable for advanced divers.

The top of the reef has a great profusion of life, with purple and pink corals that adorn the east and west walls.

From 20 meters deep you will find beautiful and large gorgonians full of fusiliers, triggerfish, emperor angelfish or anthias swarming around the steep walls providing a spectacular shine to this dive.

In Elphinstone it is very common to see sea turtles that come to feed on soft corals. The eastern wall provides the opportunity to practice excellent wall diving adrift, with beautiful soft corals and many angelfish, wrasses, snappers and schools of tuna of enormous size. The dizzying wall is lost to depths exceeding 100 meters. The west wall is riddled with caves and hollows where you can spot the aggressive titan triggerfish and black snappers.

Where is Elphinstone Reef?

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