Diving the Abu Kafan Reef
Also known as Abu Qifan, the 300-metre long reef is a favourite among divers in Safaga, so expect it to be a little crowded. The site can be reached by boat from Safaga, and many live-aboards departing from Hurghada stop there as well. The reef is a blessing for wall divers, as it offers a descent of 300 metres. While down there, you are most likely to spot anthias, jacks, tunas, barracudas, reef sharks and hammerheads.
The Panorama Reef is one of Safaga’s most famed dive sites for the amazing drift dive opportunities it offers and the gorgeous panoramic views from its vertical walls that give it its name. After being dropped off by their boat or live-aboard at the northern tip of the oval shaped reef, divers head southwards along the east or west side of the reef. Before heading for the drift, spend some time at the northern tip of the reef to catch a view of great pelagic species, which come to feed on the current. These include white tips, barracudas, jacks, and occasionally, hammerheads and manta rays.
Another diving plan which doesn’t include a drift is the exploration of the Anemone City, an underwater paradise packed full of huge anemones and charming clownfish.
There are also caves, overhangs, and amazingly dropping steep walls to be explored and the corals are varied and just amazing on all sides of the reef. The area is teeming with a mind-blowing amount of reef fish such as anthias, needlefish, lionfish, and parrotfish.
Depth: 3-40 m
Visibility: 20-40 m
Ras Umm Hesiwa
Ras Umm Hesiwa lies at the bottom of the northern promontory of Soma Bay. The site is subject to strong currents in the north, it is therefore very attractive to sharks, such as sleeping white tips and thresher sharks. Barracudas are also regularly spotted in the northern part of the site, so are turtles.
Ras Umm Hesiwa is in fact a gently sloping sandy plateau, covered with beautiful hard corals, including gigantic acropora table corals and boulder corals, offering shelter to moray eels. The slope goes from 15 to 30 metres down before dropping into the depths of the sea.
Although close to shore, this site is preferably accessed by boat. Diving trips depart to this site from nearby Safaga.
Being so close to shore and located in the paradisiacal location of Sharm el-Naga bay only 40 km away from Hurghada, and a few km north of Safaga, Sharm el-Naga is a very popular diving and snorkelling site. Many come here just to spend the day swimming in the crystal clear water of the Red Sea, and sunbathing at the beach. But the underwater is as exciting as everything else about this place. The reef’s most shallow parts are only 4 metres deep, and they’re packed full of healthy and beautiful fire and fan corals. The variety of fish is overwhelming; you’re bound to spot numerous reef fish species, in addition to huge octopuses and clams, feeding in the food that’s being offered to them by the tourists.