10 of the best Red Sea diving sites

As shipwrecks are not the only diving jewls of the Red Sea and we talked about it on our previous post «The 10 best wrecks of the Red Sea», we bring you 10 of the best dive sites in the Red Sea where diving is known for its healthy coral and incredible wildlife, from sharks to dugongs, beautiful reef fish or remarkable episodes in the history of diving. 

ABU DABBAB, MARSA ALAM. EGYPT

dugong red sea
Dennis, the famous Abu Dabbab dugong. Image courtesy of ©Kim Yusuf http://www.liquid-kingdom.de/

Abu Dabbab is a unique diving spot in the Red Sea because of the strong presence of sea turtles and dugongs, peaceful herbivores who stoically endure the curiosity of scuba divers. Denis (or perhaps Denisse, it is unclear whether it is a male or a female) is one of two dugongs living in Abu Dabbab and receives special protection being species in danger of extinction.

ELPHINSTONE, MARSA ALAM. EGYPT

oceanic whitetip shark
Oceanic whitetip shark in Elphinestone Reef, Red Sea. Image courtesy of ©Derek Haslam http://derekhaslamphotography.com

Elphinstone Reef is one of the best-known southern Red Sea diving spots. Located in very deep water, this elongated reef is known for the oceanic whitetip, hammerhead sharks or grey sharks visits… and where occasionally whale sharks show up.

DAEDALUS REEF, MARSA ALAM. EGYPT

Daedalus Reef diving
Gigantic hard coral in Daedalus Reef. Image courtesy of ©Catherine Marshal

Daedalus Reef is an isolated reef which receives strong currents rich in nutrients that provides perfect conditions to have walls full of healthy hard corals. To this reef arrive mackerel, barracuda, tuna, hammerhead sharks or oceanic whitetip sharks looking for schools of fish.

SHA’AB RUMI. SUDAN

Conshelf II
Part of the infrastructure of Jacques Cousteau Conshelf II project can still be seen in Sha’ab Rumi. Image courtesy of ©Tim Priest

Just the fact that Sha’ab Rumi was the place chosen by Jacques Cousteau and his team to settle the Conshelf II experiment, and that divers can still find remains of this science fiction story this spots worths a dive. But in this reef near Port Sudan can also be foud silky sharks, hammerhead sharks, gray sharks, giant parrot fishes or schools of barracuda of over 100 specimens.

BROTHERS ISLANDS, MARSA ALAM. EGYPT

Brothers Island scuba diving
Image courtesy of ©odawater

Brothers Islands are the two remote islands that can described as magnets for the pelagic creatures: manta rays, thresher sharks, gray sharks or whale sharks (if you are very lucky) are attracted by the strong currents driven of this national park, suitable only for divers with several dives behind.

RAS MOHAMMED, SHARM EL SHEIKH. EGYPT

Ras Mohammed diving
Ras Mohammed. Image CC licensed by Eric Burguers

Ras Mohammed is the oldest protected marine park in the Egyptian Red Sea. Ras Mohammed is the home of more than 1,200 fish species and 220 species of coral. It is a must when traveling in a siving safari in the north Red Sea that also has two extraordinary wrecks near, the SS Thistlegorm and the SS Dunraven.

DOLPHIN HOUSE, EL GOUNA. EGYPT

dolphins red sea
Image courtesy of ©Ammar Al-Fouzan

Unlike other areas of the northern Red Sea where dolphins live in semi freedom, in Dolphin House, dolphin groups coexist in this reef, sheltered from the wind, currents and predators allowing them to rest and recover from their hunts. In this reef have recorded up to 200 dolphins living together in complete freedom, and divers respect towards these mammals is total.

ANEMONE CITY, SHARM EL SHEIKH. EGYPT

Those who know Anemone City say that the reef looks like a big city at rush hour. In this reef north of Ras Mohammed can be found a lot of anemones that host thousands of clownfish and where also live napoleon wrasse, surgeonfish or unicornfish.

JACKSON REEF, STRAITS OF TIRAN. EGYPT

Jackson Reef is one of the four coral reefs that runs longitudinally the Straits of Tiran. What’s special about this reef is that, thanks to the strong currents and abundant nutrients that come from the depths of the Red Sea, corals grow in good health attracting a large variety of fish what also calls big predators like hammerhead sharks, gray sharks or guitar sharks.

HABILI ALI, ST. JOHN’S. EGYPT

habili ali diving
Napoleon wrasse in St. John’s. Image CC licensed by Philippe Guillaume

The Habili Ali reef is the most eastern diving point of St. John’s. Its walls and ridges are full with elkhorn corals, whip corals, huge gorgonian fans and black corals. Through drift diving you’ll have the chance to dive with huge napoleon wrasse, giant parrotfishes, whitetip sharks and gray sharks to be finding colorful soft coral gardens full of clownfish and anemones. 

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