The Red Sea brings to mind the Exodus. Lying between East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, the Red Sea is an inlet of
the Indian Ocean. Before Egypt started developing tourism, divers had already been exploring the area. In recent years,
more and more established diving companies have set up, with liveaboards as an attractive option. For those planning a
diving trip to the Red Sea, here are recommendations from diving professionals.
潛水愛好者可探索二戰時沉沒的軍火船藍薊花號。 Divers can explore the WWII Merchant Navy ship SS Thistlegorm.
The Red Sea ranks among the world’s top seven most beautiful diving destinations, and can be divided into northern and southern itineraries. The Northern part is more developed and offers a variety of dive sites such as coral reefs that are suitable for beginners as well as more challenging shipwreck sites.
Sharm El-Sheikh, a well-known resort destination on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, offers wall, reef (such as the protected Ras Mohammed National Park), and shipwreck diving.
The 128-meter World War II Merchant Navy ship SS Thistlegorm is a one of the fascinating shipwrecks that can be explored at a depth of 32 meters, with the shallowest part at 16 meters. A lot of WWIIera artifacts can be seen including motorcycles, tanks, and rifles. The currents require an Advanced Open Water Diver certification.
藍洞是達哈卜著名潛水熱點。 Blue Hole is a popular dive site in Dahab.
In the north, divers will also find Hurghada the latest diving destination, from which Islas Giftun, an ideal beginner dive site with a variety of marine life, is easily accessible. Abu Nuhas, with four shipwrecks, is also nearby.
Dahab is another destination in the north that is known for its Blue Hole dive site, which is considered one of the world’s most dangerous. Some divers have missed the tunnel to the Blue Hole at 52 meters and developed nitrogen narcosis.Likewise, El Bells is an advanced entry point to the Blue Hole.With a depth of seven meters accessible from the shore, Blue Hole also attracts freedivers.
There’s fewer divers exploring the southern part of the Red Sea.It is a great chance of seeing big sea creatures such as dolphins, sea cows, and a wide variety of sharks here. Marsa Alam is the latest hotspot. Since the government built an airport in 2001, Marsa Alam has been a lot more accessible, and it attracts divers keen on exploring this new diving destination with its well preserved coral reefs. Elephant Reef, 30 kilometers from Marsa Alam, has a visibility up to 40 to 50 meters. Divers might run into whitetip sharks, tiger sharks, manta rays, sea turtles and more.
Staying on a liveaboard is a great way to explore the area further south, because some of the most beautiful diving areas such as the Daedalus Reef, Brother Islands, and Abu Dabab Reef are rather remote.The Brother Islands offer pristine coral (Big Brother Island) and lots of big sea creatures (Little Brother Island). There are also two shipwrecks nearby.
Daedalus Reef is known for its drift diving among coral, and it’s more suited to advanced divers. Liveaboards are pretty much the only way to reach the area. The chances of diving with dolphins, sharks and other big sea creatures are high here.
For those planning on diving in the Red Sea, it’s best to have a diving company or specialty tour operator organize and arrange the trip. Liveaboards are fairly popular in the Red Sea, early booking is required. Most liveaboards are well equipped and all meals are included. The diving season runs from September to December. It’s worth going in August or January to avoid the crowds. The water temperature is lowest in January though, around 24C. Visibility is low in April and May due to the water currents, but there’s a chance of spotting whales during this period.
Sipadan, Malaysia has over a hundred kinds of coral and 3,000 fish species including the humphead parrotfish and hawksbill turtle.The best place to stay is the nearby Mabul island. As it’s a protected site, only 120 Advanced Open Water Divers or entry level divers with a minimum of 20 log dives are permitted a day.
The Lembeh Strait in Manado, Indonesia is known for its muck diving where smaller marine critters can be seen such as the hairy frogfish, pygmy seahorses of only a few centimeters long, and other creatures that are adept at hiding in the sea floor. To the west of Manado is Bunaken Island where divers will encounter lots of coral varieties, sharks, sea turtles and other large marine animals.