The amazing and mystical Red Sea has so much to offer, it is a home to thousands of species and about two hundred hard and soft corals. The Red Sea is a distinguished place known for its awe-inspiring recreational diving itineraries and sites. The North of the Red Sea is already renowned among Egypt liveaboards, but the Deep South is becoming a hot favorite among many divers exploring the Red Sea.
The experienced divers choose this area because they discover the huge attractions that the southern Red Sea offers such as the opportunity to frequently see large schools of fish, sharks and other pelagics, and healthy coral reefs. Divers regularly meet different shark species like thresher sharks, silvertip sharks, hammerhead sharks and reef sharks and you also get healthier coral reef system that is vibrant than that of the Northern region.
It always tops the list of best places to visit on a Liveaboard diving trip in Egypt. It lies on the tropic of cancer in Foul Bay and it is close to the Sudanese border. Habili Ali covers roughly 290 km2 and is one of the diving environments representing great diversity that you can only discover on a liveaboard trip. You will be lucky to encounter reef predators like jacks and grey reef sharks as well as manta rays and hammerhead sharks at this area. Moreover, pods of bottlenose dolphins are also frequent visitors in the region. Oceanic whitetip shark can be best encountered in May and June. Apart from marine inhabitants, the western and eastern sides represent some of the magnificent coral formations which are in abundance on the reef walls. You can explore the cavern where you will get to see groupers and cardinal fish, triggerfish, black snapper, and surgeonfish are in abundance in the area.
This is the largest among the southern Red Sea marine parks and it lies 5km of the Rocky Island in the south and 70km away from the mainland. There are mind-blowing turquoise bays, sandy beaches at the region. At the south-east coast, there is a Turtle Bay where you will find a wall and then as you slope down you will see a coral reef. Amazing reef is full of marine life, you will find puffer fish, sweetlips, and also invertebrates like octopus and cuttlefish. Bluespotted stingrays, scorpionfish, and crocodile fish, as well as turtles, are often encountered by divers here. In the month of August, the green and hawksbill turtles hatch on the beach.
There are steep walls for a great drift diving outside the sheltered bays where you will be likely to join oceanic whitetips and grey reef sharks. You can also encounter manta rays in the region. There is a wreck called Khanka Wreck at the northeast coast of the region, this is a 70m long USSE transport and surveillance ship which sank into the sea in the 1970s. While exploring the wreck, you will get into its different sections like the bridge and engine room full of glassfish.
Small oval shaped barren sand island that is not far from Zabargad has steep walls that are exposed to strong current. Soft reef plateau surrounds the region that you can use to do a safety stop at the end of your dives. The eastern part of the island is the diver’s favorite part and you can find enormous divers early in the morning at the region. This is because of the huge schools of marine species that are found here like large shoal of snappers and surgeonfish that live in the area. Blackspotted sweetlips and Arabian angelfish can be found in the cracks at the Southern coast and you can also encounter shoals of bannerfish that will cover the walls. Sharks also come to this area occasionally for feeding.
The most exposed area of the island is the northern coastline and only the experienced divers are allowed in the region. This is because surface condition can be rough and the current can also be strong and they are unpredictable too. As you drift along the current you will encounter colorful soft corals, napoleon wrasses, large groupers, and shoals of rabbitfish as ell as unicorn fish.
This is a group of 20 or more reefs that is 30km long. The region is so diverse that divers of all experience levels can go to the area. There is a place for everybody with shallow reefs that are rich in corals, big fish, and steep drop off with current and there are also wrecks that divers can explore. The most beautiful and colorful reef is the southern reef of Sha’ab Claudio, it usually has easy diving conditions and a maximum depth of 25m. You can encounter shoals of surgeonfish, bannerfish, and yellow goatfish.
There is a reef at the western side that has a huge coral garden where you can see batfish, Napoleon wrasses, and Triton clams. Most of the hard corals display colors of cream, green and light blue and they are often in the same colony.
Abu Galawa Kebira is among the most famous reefs in the Southern Red Sea, it has a small lagoon at the main reef section and also a healthy and large coral reef that runs along the west coast. You can head south from there and once you leave the reef you will find the Tien Hsing tugboat wreck that is lying at the smaller reef section. This is a Chinese boat that sank in 1943 and now the wreck is considered to be among the most beautiful wrecks at the southern Red Sea. The diving conditions are also very easy and everybody can dive here even on a night dives which are excellent in this area. There are series of caverns along the east side of the smaller reef section. You can explore the walls of the reef and you will see some critters like finger coral crabs, nudibranchs, shrimps, and much more…
The region is a little bit warmer than the northern region and is more comfortable for diving even in winter. Water is at its maximum of 28-30°C between the month of July and September and then it drops to 23-26°C from December to February before it warms up again.
The Red sea liveaboard trips schedule can be affected by the two windy seasons at the region. There is a summer wind that blows from May to September and the winter winds which are stronger from October to April.
To see all liveaboard diving itineraries in the Red Sea, click here.
Here is our tailor made list of top 3 liveaboards that go to the Deep South of the Red Sea: