Red Sea diving Information
Each of the Red Sea’s numerous resorts offers something different, meaning diving on your holiday to Egypt can be a different experience every time. The allure of this place is in the explosive colours and stunning marine life, beautiful coral formations, reefs and sunken wrecks. New dive sites are scouted all of the time, many of these being accessible from multiple resorts by boat.
Egypt’s Red Sea diving and snorkeling opportunities are divided across three main resorts or areas:
- Mainland resorts to the north, including El Gouna and Hurghada
- Mainland resorts to the south including Marsa Alam and El Quseir
- On the Sinai Peninsula, Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab are two of the country’s best known dive sites
Hurghada, El Gouna and Marsa Alam offer a proximity to ancient sites at Cairo and Luxor, which are more difficult to reach from the likes of Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab.
- At present, there are 17 major wreck dives to explore in the Red Sea and a staggering 1,200 different species of fish found there – almost 20% of marine life being native to the Red Sea alone.
- Throughout the year, the water temperature drops to 20C, and peaks at 30C
The Red Sea coast of mainland Egypt and Southern Sinai is flanked by literally hundreds of dive sites (and an even greater number of dive shops). Dive operators in competitive areas such as Sharm El Sheikh sometimes offer free taster sessions in your hotel's pool and tailored diving courses so that children as young as eight are able to try diving.
For both the water quality and the sheer amount of marine life there is to see on a dive here, the Red Sea is unrivalled. Even on Christmas Day you could find yourself diving with dolphins, turtles, giant groupers, or swimming amidst a breath-taking shoal of butterfly fish.
Marine life in the Red Sea varies from region to region, with large mammals such as dugong and dolphins most likely to be spotted in quieter areas. Turtles, stingrays, eels and octopi are more common sights in many of the resorts.
The Red Sea is home to a number of endangered species, the dugong (seen most commonly in Marsa Alam) and both Green and Hawksbill sea turtles are protected species sighted more often here than anywhere else in the world.
SCUBA is an acronym for the equipment used by divers – short for: Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. More technical than snorkeling, be sure to check that your travel insurance covers this activity before you book and always book with a reputable company.
To find out what safety measures your company have in place or the instructor’s qualifications, ask your booking contact or instructor.
Egypt’s government is more active than ever in enforcing safety measures for divers of all ages and in general diving is not advised if you answer yes to any of the following questions:
- Do you suffer from epilepsy, heart problems or any other ailment which cause loss of consciousness or fitting?
Consult your doctor and instructors, though if you have been fit free for a number of years diving can be considered.
Most, if not all doctors, recommend postponing a diving trip until after pregnancy as the potential risk is considered too high
- Have you been drinking or using drugs?
Diving under the influence of any substance that affects your judgement or motor function should be avoided.
- Do you have a perforated eardrum, or regularly suffer from ear infections?
Severe ear infection can result from diving with a perforated eardrum, and in some cases meningitis has been known to follow.