Top 5 Red Sea Dives
The Red Sea is undoubtedly one of the top diving destinations in the world with warm, crystal clear waters offering an unparalleled experience and has something to offer for all levels of experience; whether you are a seasoned diver or someone looking to submerge yourself into an underwater world of adventure for the very first time.
Labeled as a marine eco-region and an area of conservation by the Worldwide Wildlife Federation, the Red Sea is home to some 1,200 different species of fish, 1,000 invertebrate species and 200 hard and soft water corals that form a patchwork quilt of vibrant colours and intricate structural formations that play host to some of the oceans most exotic inhabitants.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 Red Sea dives off the Egyptian coast:
1: SS Thistlegorm wreck: a military vessel carrying armored gun carriers, jeeps, trucks, rifles & ammunition and a large supply of Wellington boots that sank in the Gulf of Suez in October 1941. A spectacular dive site and amongst the most popular in the world; an explosion hole in 120 metre hull makes it easy to enter to see the schooling barracuda and giant tuna that frequent the wreck. She is deteriorating fast so one to see before it’s too late!
2: Giannis D wreck: the cargo ship sank in April 1983 in the Straits of Gubal when she struck a reef. At only 27 metres in depth she makes for a spectacular and largely intact wreck (although in 3 separate pieces).
The engine room and accommodation can still be seen and a variety of marine life has made the wreck home including the Crown of Thorns Starfish. A nearby reef also offers a spectacular array of coral and fish, many of which have crossed over to the wreck.
3: Steamship SS Dunraven wreck: An 80 metre long Victorian sail and steam ship. Carrying a cargo of spices, timber and cotton, she sank in 1876 in 28 metres of water (also in the Gulf of Suez), coming to rest upside down after capsizing.
When exploring the cave like hull of the ship, the boilers and collapsed metal work can still be seen, along with Yellow Goat fish and Giant Morays. Outside the wreck is a wide variety of marine life including the rare Ghost Pipe fish and schools of Bat fish which make for a brilliant photo opportunity.
4: Carnatic wreck: A P&O passenger ship measuring 90 metres in length, was carrying wine, cotton bails and £40,000 in Royal Mint gold when she sank on the Sha’ab Abu Nuhas reef in September 1869. You won’t find any gold (this was recovered immediately afterwards) but this wreck certainly doesn’t disappoint and considering its age, is one of the finest examples in the world.
The wreck has been colonized over time by various species of coral and has her own indigenous reef fish population including Lion fish and Grouper. The interior has also been colonized by Glass fish making this wreck a dream come true for photographers.
5: Ras Mohammed National Park: Lastly, no diving experience would be complete without visiting the spectacular reefs within this protected area. Bordered on land by barren desert, the reefs offer a stark contrast with striking tapestries of colour and an abundance of marine life. Easily accessible from Sharm El Sheikh- the park incorporates an Eel garden, the vertical coral walls of the “Main Beach” and a newly opened reef (Marsa Bareika) containing excellent coral specimens, Barracudas and Snappers (and the odd shark or two), along with calm water which makes this an easy dive for the beginner.
These are just a few of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring examples of dives in the Red Sea but no visit to Egypt should be complete without visiting one of the most beautiful diving destinations in the world.