There are new towns that are springing up down the Egyptian coastline so as to facilitate the activity of the liveaboards at the southern Red Sea as the popularity is growing drastically in the region over the recent years. This popularity will now be competing with that of the northern Red Sea as the most experienced divers now choose this region. 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 shoals of fish, pelagic sharks, and healthy coral reef.
Divers regularly sharks like thresher sharks, silvertip sharks, hammerhead sharks and reef sharks and you also get to healthier coral reef system that is vibrant than that of the northern region where you get to enjoy the view and marine species like snappers, groupers, tuna, unicorn fish and so on.
It also has some fascinating maze-like reefs that have a lot of tunnels for your exploration in some areas of the deep-south. There are also sheltered bays for a night dive. It has a great visibility and it has a scenic view as you get the opportunity to take some photographs.
The region is a little bit warmer than the northern region and it has the maximum of 28-30°C between the month of July and September and the temperature drops to 26-23°C from December to February before it warms up again.
The Red Sea liveaboards 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 is stronger from October to April, the winter wind can also have negative effects. The dive cruise will change its course if the winds are too strong for sailing on the planned routes.
Whitetip sharks can be seen frequently at St John’s area in May and June while they can be seen at Ephinrstrone and the other part of southern Egypt from October till the end of the year. At the offshore islands and reefs, you will encounter thresher shark in Autumn and Winter. Schools of female hammerheads can be seen at Daedalus in the summer.
TOP DIVE SITES
St John: it lies on the tropic of cancer in Foul Bay and it is close to the Sudanese border. There is a great diversity of diving environments as it covers roughly 290km2. Habili Ali is one of the diving environments that you can visit in the region and it is at the easternmost part. You will encounter reef predators like jacks and grey reef sharks at this area because of the strong current, pods of bottlenose dolphins are also in the area and you may encounter manta rays and hammerhead sharks. Oceanic whitetip can be best encountered in May and June. At the western and eastern sides, there is are magnificent coral formation which is in abundance on the reef walls, triggerfish, black snapper, and surgeonfish are in abundance in the area. You can explore the cavern where you will get to see groupers and cardinal fish.
Rocky Islands: it is small oval shaped barren sand islands that are not far from Zabargad and it 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, there is a large shoal of snappers and surgeonfish that lives in the area. Sharks also come to this area to hunt and feed on them.
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 that are found in this region.
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 wrasse, large groupers, and shoals of rabbitfish and unicorn fish.
Zabargad Island: this is the largest among the southern Red Sea marine parks and it lies 5km of the Rocky Island in the south and it is 70km away from the mainland. There are mind-blowing turquoise bays, sandy beaches at the region. There is a community that mined topaz also in the region.
At the south-east coast, there is a Turtle Bay where you will find a wall to 15m and then as you slope down to 30m you will see a coral reef. At the reef, you will find puffer fish, sweetlips, and also invertebrates like octopus and cuttlefish. Bluespotted stingrays, scorpionfish, and crocodile fish, as well as turtles, are found on the floor of the ocean. 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 sharks like oceanic whitetips and grey reef shark can be found in this area. 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 USSE transport and surveillance ship which sank into the sea in the 1970s and it is 70m long. You can explore the ship as you will find many interesting sections like the bridge and engine room, where you will find glassfish. There is a small coral growth in the wreck.
Fury Shoals: this is a group of 20 or more reefs that is 30km long and they are lying in the northwest to southwest direction. The region is so diverse that divers of all abilities can go to the area. There are shallow reefs that are rich in corals, big fish, and steep drop off with current and there are also wrecks that divers can also explore.
The most beautiful and colorful reef is the southern reef of Sha’ab Claudio while the diving condition is easy in the region too. It has a maximum depth of 25m. You can encounter shoals of surgeonfish, bannerfish, and yellow goatfish at the entranceway.
There is a reef at the western side that has a huge coral garden where you can see batfish, Napoleon wrasse, 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 China boat that sank in 1943 and the wreck is considered to be among the most beautiful wrecks at the southern Red Sea. The diving condition is also very easy and anybody can dive here while a night dive is 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 so on.
- Emperor Elite Liveaboard
- Odyssey Liveaboard
- Dolce Vita Liveaboard
- Red Sea Master Liveaboard (ex. Blue Horizon)
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