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Money: EGP
Language:
Arabic (official),
English, French
Time Zone:
GMT +2 hours
Fri 09:19:15
Phone Code: +20
Religion:
Muslim 90%,
Coptic 9%
Electricity: 220V
Egypt Scuba Destination Info:
      Overall summary of Egypt
[edit]
For European divers, Egypt's Red Sea diving experience is the closest warm water diving around. With a flight time of only 5 hours from the UK and less for other European cities, it is not hard to see why diving holidays have exploded in this region over the last 20 -30 years!

All things considered, Egypt is an excellant country to visit for diving. Whilst it is true that some of the bigger, more established resorts, like Sharm El Sheik and Hurghada can be extremely busy and not to everyones taste, they are still highly professional places to learn to dive and very easy to get to. Additionally, Egypt is well aware of the tourist benefit that diving brings and newer locations steadily appear such as Marsa Alam 10 years ago and Shams Alam (which is being described as Marsa Alam 5 years ago). These locations are not as easy to get to, and accomodation choices may be more limited, but the coral and density of divers will be better for it.

The sheer number of divers in the Red Sea explains the success of the live aboard option - either getting you comfortably to dive sites not normally used or getting you to the wrecks before the main boats turn up. Consequently, there are large numbers of liveaboard operators working in the area, with a wide range from luxury to budget.

To summarise, Red Sea diving in Egypt is excellant value for money, with a great diving experience. However, if you want to get away from 'Cattle Boat' diving then choose your hotel and diving operator with care if staying in the larger resorts.
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      How to get to Egypt
[edit]
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      Top travel tips for Egypt
[edit]
On the surface, there is plenty to do within the larger resorts with shops, restaurants, and bars everywhere. But there is also peace in the hotels just outside the main diving areas. For example, the main diving operations in Sharm El Sheik focus on Naama Bay, and this at night can look like downtown Las Vegas (Egyptian style), but if you stay in a hotel outside Naama Bay you can get quick and cheap (if you negotiate) taxis and stay in a more secluded hotel.
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      What's the diving like in Egypt
[edit]
Reef fish are in abundance, and some particular species such as Lion Fish are in greater concentrations than other locations on the planet. Unlike other locations, the coral can extend close to the surface making for very pleasant 5 meter safety stops, and very good snorkeling for those of you with non diving partners. Be wary of fire-coral, however, as it grows much more abundantly than in the Caribbean and Asia and can give you a nasty burn if you're wearing a shortie.
Thanks to the efforts of local guides and divers visiting the area, the quality of the corals is astounding considering the amount of divers who have passed this way (in particular the Sharm el Sheikh area). They have helped keep to the rules regarding touching, taking and feeding the fish and corals... basically interfering in any way is not allowed. Hence aside from some unavoidable damage on a couple of training sites, most of the reefs are pristine, and heaving in healthy, glorious corals and fish, in particular those of the Ras Mohammed National Park and the Tiran Straits.
Both Ras Mohammed and Tiran areas have some great wall dives, interspersed with fabulous coral gardens, enabling you to see both pelagic species and reef inhabitants on the same dives.
The visibility is also generally very good, leading to great photographic opportunities and a spectacular shade of blue when you look out from the reef towards deeper water.


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      Best wreck dives in Egypt
[edit]
Wrecks in the Red Sea are not hard to come by. Being a central shipping route means quite a few wrecks have been created over the last century. Some such as the Thistlegorm or Dunraven are in the list of top wrecks to dive. However, it should be noted that when diving these wrecks you are in competition with seemingly every other diver in the Red Sea.

When the boats arrive it can look like it is raining divers underwater.
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      Chance of big fish in Egypt
[edit]
The further south I have gone in Egypt, the more big fish I've encountered, particularly as regards sharks.
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      Coral quality in Egypt
[edit]
The Red Sea has some of the best coral around and this can surprise a lot of divers who are used to Caribbean or Indian Ocean diving. The coral also extends up to quite a shallow depth versus other places in the world which makes the final parts of the dive that much more enjoyable. More important though is the status of coral bleaching. In both the 1998 and 2005 worldwide coral bleaching incidents, the red sea was largely unaffected and so retained vibrant diving conditions when other places were suffering.
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      Best time to dive in Egypt
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      What to take to Egypt
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Big Blue Planet knows about the following locations in Egypt:

Brother Islands Liveaboard
At 26*18’00” North and 34*51’50” East, Big Brother and Little Brother Islands sit out in the blue of the red sea, only being reachable via boat. Big Brother hosts nothing more than a lighthouse and the living quarters for the staff that man it. Littl...
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Dahab
DAHAB - RED SEA - EGYPT The name Dahab means ‘gold’ in English and the inhabitants chose it because of the shimmering gold-coloured sandy coast. The region of Dahab stretches across a wide plateau of rock and sand at the end of Wadi Nasab and emer...
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El Gouna
El Gouna, has been described before as 'the brightest start on the Red Sea' and ' little venice' and anyone who has been there should be able to explain why,. El Gouna is a Town with several hotels and villas and appartments to cater for all differen...
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El Qusier
We stayed at the Movenpick resort hotel and dived El Quadim Bay. The dive set up is very good and very professional with an excellent dive shop, kit rooms and dunk tanks. We dived there in December 2004 and found the weather could be a little chilly ...
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Hurghada
HURGHADA: Hurghada Arab: Al Hagaka “home of the mermaid”. For all those who’ve dived in the Red Sea the name alone is already enticing. Hurghada is situated at the entrance of the Gulf of Suez and from here one can observe the huge ocean giants as...
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Marsa Alam
Marsa Alam offers a great variety of dive sites by shore, by speed or by safari boat. Highlights are: Elphinstone, famous for its sharks: scalloped hammerhead (May- August, Oceanic White Tip (September - December) Grey Reef Sharks and other marine li...
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Northern Red Sea Liveaboard
Although Red Sea shore and day boat diving is well covered already, there is an added dimension to livaboard or safari diving in this area. Some dive sites can be visited which otherwise could not, and the timing of dives can be more flexible. Many o...
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Nuweiba
When you want to lose the rest of the world and simply turn off from the pressures of life, Nuweiba is the place to head for. About 185km north of Sharm El Sheikh, this resort oasis nestles between the azure turquoise of the Gulf of Aqaba and the hig...
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Safaga
Located 53km south of Hurghada, Safaga acquires its unique character from both its port and the small surrounding tourist village. The black sand dune beaches characteristic of Safaga are a favorite spot for sun bathers. Plus, the water is known t...
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Shams Alam
An amazingly quiet place, about 1.5 hours drive south of Marsa Alam - in fact it's like Marsa Alam was 5 years ago. Diving is in the Wadi Gimal coral gardens, and up to Shaab Sharm. There is only one hotel there at the moment - but I bet it won't b...
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Sharm El Sheikh
A great destination for divers and holidaymakers alike, Sharm is located on the southern-most tip of the Sinai peninsular. Sharm is a sophisticated resort with an array of bars, discos, restaurants and shops. Souks come alive at night selling Egyp...
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Soma Bay
Soma Bay is a 5 star resort 45kms south of Hurghada and 15kms north of Safaga. Unspoilt, quiet dive sites in excellent condition. House reef of Abu Soma accessible from the 400m long jetty (transfer by electric car!!) regularly visited by dolphins an...
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Taba
I have taken several day trips to Taba from nearby Eilat, and keep returning. Coral Island is a lovely site, and easily accessible by boat from either the mainland or Eilat. An abundance of colourful coral and marine life make this area worth s...
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