Diving the Daedalus Reef
Also known as “Abu el-Kizal”, the Daedalus Reef is located 80 km offshore from Marsa Alam. Its remoteness makes it one of the less visited diving sites in the region, and one of the most preserved from a reef condition perspective. The area is subject to strong currents, especially in the north. The reef is thickly covered from both its east and west sides with fans and soft coral. Some pretty big fishes can be spotted in Abu el-Kizal, including hammerhead sharks, different species of trevally, tunas, moray eels, and dottybacks. The site’s depth goes from 5 to 40 metres; it is thus “diveable” by intermediate divers, but they’ll have to cope with the strong currents.
The Deadalus Reef can be reached by Red Sea dive liveaboards; the closest port to that reef being Marsa Alam.
Diving the Elphinstone Reef
Located 20 km off Marsa Alam’s shore, Elphinstone Reef is a great diving site, especially for the wall diving enthusiasts. The reef is 300 metres long, and its walls drop to spectacular depths of more than 100 metres. The strong currents make it a perfect destination for drift diving, but since it is a deep dive (20-40 m depth) it is only advised for experienced divers.
The reef is covered with soft corals and the underwater fauna species you’ll spot there are extremely diversified. These include barracudas, angel fish, groupers, and morays, only to name a few. The occasional visitors include whitetip and grey reef sharks, as well as hammerheads.
The reef can be accessed from Marsa Alam by boat, and is included in the route of many liveaboard dive safaris in the Red Sea.
Located south of Marsa Alam, the Hamada shipwreck site can be accessed by boat from Marsa Alam but is also included on many liveaboard trails, especially those exploring the southernmost diving sites of the Red Sea in Egypt. The Hamada is a 65 metre-long cargo ship that sank in 1993, after a fire broke out on board. Divers explored it for the first time in 1995, and only then did they discover that the damage caused by the proclaimed fire was not as tragic as expected. Most of the wreck lies today at 14 metres of depth at the “Abu-Gosoon reef.” The stern section is a little further away from the reef.
Having sunk in relatively shallow waters, the port side of the ship can be seen above water at low tide. Divers of all levels can explore this interesting wreck: the pilothouse, the engineer room and cargo shipment (with the remaining plastic granules it was initially transporting) are all open to visitors! Speaking of which, schools of glassfish, lionfish and surgeon fish are regulars down at the Hamada.
Depth: 0-15 meters
Visibility: 10-25 meters
While on holiday in Marsa Alam, think of taking a short boat trip to the shallow and sandy reef of Marsa Abu Dabbab, for an easy and relaxing dive, even if you’re still a beginner. This diving site is used as an overnight stop by most of the liveaboards cruising the Red Sea in that region. While diving in the Marsa Abu Dabbab site, you might get the chance of meeting dolphins, as well as the famous dugong “sea cows”, turtles and spotted rays.
Shaab Sataya, also known as the Dolphin Reef is located at the south-eastern tip of the Fury Shoal diving area off Marsa Alam. This horseshoe shaped reef has been aptly named after the friendly mammals that can be spotted regularly on site. Additionally, you’ll be amazed by whitetips, fusiliers, Spanish dancers and parrotfish, at different depths, from 4 to 40 metres.
The site can be reached by boat from Marsa Alam and is included on many liveaboard Red Sea dive safari trails. If you’re not really into scuba, it is also a perfect destination for snorkelling.
The Samadai reef, also called the Dolphin House, is probably the most famous diving site near Marsa Alam. A large group of harmless spinner dolphins considers this particular horseshoe-shaped reef as its home and they got used to snorkelers’ company with time. While diving or snorkelling in the area, you will have to be patient to get a glimpse of the all-time favorite marine mammal: you can’t guarantee a meeting with these friendly creatures from the first dive. The more time you’ll spend on diving excursions the bigger chances you will have to experience this once-in-a-lifetime feeling.
The site is accessible by liveaboards. On their way from Sharm or Hurghada, the boats usually stop there for the night. Moreover, the Dolphin House is a major stop on any Red Sea diving safari route, departing from the major Red Sea holiday destinations.
St John’s Reef
St John’s is a cluster of small reefs offering some of the most spectacular underwater wildlife vistas in the Red Sea. Habili Ali reef offers giant gorgonians and black corals. The Grey Reef houses silvertip sharks and Hammerhead sharks – at its west side. Habili Gafaar is a mass of soft corals crowded with snappers, butterfly fish and barracudas.
To the north, you’ll find the St John’s cave, an area where shallow cracks open up into small caverns, a sight you’re not about to forget.
Liveabord dive safaris depart to St John from Marsa Alam. The program usually includes minimum 2 days on-site, with dives in the morning, mid-afternoon & afternoon, as well as night dives.