Exploring Wrecks and Reefs in the Red Sea

If you’re trying to choose a new region for your next diving trip, add Egypt’s the Red Sea to your list.

Considered one of the top diving destinations in the world, the Red Sea’s warm, tropical waters contain more than 200 sites in an area of more than 1,000 miles.

The Red Sea boasts a wide selection of marine life with approximately 20 per cent of the ecosystem found nowhere else in the world. Its beautiful soft-sloping and vertical wall coral reefs are home to more than 1,000 invertebrate species and 1,000 fish species.

Except for seasonal red algae blooms, the Red Sea’s blue waters have almost crystal visibility with temperatures ranging from 71 degrees Fahrenheit in winter up to 82 degrees in summer. Air temperatures range from 71 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The waters are calm to choppy by location with average dive depths between 16 and 142 feet. The entire area has average depths of more than 1,600 feet.

Opportunities for discovery and adventure abound for beginning and experienced divers alike.

Stunning reef lagoons, gardens, plateaus and caves dot the area; as well as plenty of overgrown commercial and military shipwrecks.

Many dive sites are near the Sinai Peninsula’s southern tip and accessible from the city of Sharm El-Sheikh, which hosts some of the best high-end resorts in the area and where locals offer day and live aboard exploration options.

The Red Sea’s waters at Ras Mohammed national park contain 70,000 year-old corals and a high concentration of marine life. If you love sharks, Ras Mohammed’s Shark Reef is home to grey reef sharks and hammerheads that swim among an impressive cross-section of gorgonians and pelagic fish near awe-inspiring walls that extend down in some areas more than 2000 feet. Shark Reef’s neighbour Yolanda Reef, named for a wrecked ship, is home to giant moray eels, stingrays, scorpionfish and batfish that swim among the ship’s cargo which included bathtubs, toilets and pipes. The reef system is also home to a beautiful plateau of sea anemone known as Anemone City.

South of this region, you can explore another popular wreck dive site where the World War II British freighter known as the SS Thistlegorm was bombed while carrying transport vehicles. Or go the opposite direction and visit the Abu Nuhas reef at the mouth of the Gulf of Suez between Sharm and the city of Hurghada. A spectacular reef system, Abu Nuhas contains seven shipwrecks to explore.

Another popular site, the remote Brothers Islands, is south of Hurghada. “Little Brother” is the second best location for grey reef sharks and hammerheads; as well as silvertips and threshers. It and “Big Brother” offer breath-taking vistas of black and coloured hard and soft corals, including fan corals, great gorgonians and large schools of fish; as well as two shipwrecks teeming with life: the Numidia and the Aida. Take a holiday to Hurghada and you will be overwhelmed by its natural beauty and dive facilities.

Whatever path you take in the Red Sea, have no doubt your diving adventure will be the experience of a lifetime.

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