The Red Sea's Best Dive Sites: El Gouna & Somabay
Egypt is well known for its antiquities and the Great Pyramid of Giza is revered as one of the 7 Wonders of the World! But did you know that the Egypt’s Red Sea is counted as one of the 7 wonders of the underwater world by PADI? As well as being able to see over 1,000 species of fish and unique coral, the Red Sea is also home to some unique and challenging wreck dive sites.
The Red Sea offers some of the best diving in the world and its unique make up; with its warmth and its salinity, give it some truly diverse flora and fauna. There are no rivers that run into the Red Sea which makes its waters unusually clear with excellent visibility.
It is one of the only places in the world where you have the chance to see all four species of marine turtle and the ever elusive dugong, the medium size marine mammal which looks a like an odd shaped dolphin with a shovel shaped snout. Diving is possible year round with water temperature ranging from 21 – 30 degrees C throughout the year. Day trips and live-aboard holidays are equally popular.
MEPM Property favours 2 real estate destinations on the Red Sea, El Gouna and Somabay both within easy reach of Hurghada International Airport which is served by flights from Europe’s main airports. Both are ideally bases from which to explore some of the Red Sea’s most amazing dive sites.
The Dive Sites
Sunk in 1941 and about 50km offshore from El Gouna, the HMS Thistlegorm was a British navy ship carrying WW2 cargo. She was discovered by Jacques Cousteau in the early 1950s. The ship went down with all its cargo and divers can discover what could be described as an underwater museum with incredible rusted motorcycles, trucks, wellington boots and far more among the wreckage.
Giftun Island can be found just off the coast of Hurghada and El Gouna. It has a range of dive sites with steep drop offs and stunning coral. Barracuda and tuna are among the species you may encounter here. The area is protected as a marine reserve and as a result you will find an abundance of marine life.
Safaga Seven Pillars
Its name is a pretty accurate description of this stunning dive site. Seven coral pillars rise from the seabed with depths from 12 – 18 meters. This dive site is popular for night dives and is found near Somabay. Along with many reef species this site is home to turtles and lionfish.
Sha'ab Samadai Reef
Known more commonly as Dolphin House, as the name suggests, Sha’ab Samadai Reef is the prefect dive location for dolphins! The reef is home to a pod of Spinners a small dolphin which is famed for its aerial acrobatics. Spinner Dolphins have been known to spin up to 5 rotations in a single leap from the water. The dolphins here are very friendly have grown used to the divers and snorkelers that are frequent visitors. This is the best place on the Red Sea for swimming with dolphins and is easily reached from El Gouna and Soma Bay.
Siyul Kebira (Big Siyul)
This small low-lying island is popular with divers in the El Gouna and Hurghada area and is about 90 minutes boat ride away. The island is completely surrounded by a reef which provides two dive sites. Siyul Kebira has a small pinnacle as the dive turning point and is home to soft coral, glass fish and moray eel. A strong north current makes it possible to enjoy the return dive as a drift. On the south side of the island is El Gilwa which with its strong currents can also been done as a drift. The reef here is particularly beautiful with a wide variety of hard and soft corals.
Approximately two hours cruising time from El Gouna, Aby Nuhas means "The father of bad luck" and is so called because of the number of ships that have hit this reef over the years. It lies close to the main shipping channel from Suez and is often partially submerged making it dangerous for shipping. Of the many ships that have hit the reef, there are some wrecks that are particularly good for recreational divers.
- Kimon M (or Lentil Wreck): the ship lies against the reef with the bow pointing up and offering diving between 10 & 25 meters depth.
- Chrisoula K (or Tile Wreck): this is an easy wreck dive for relative beginners due to the 5 meter depth at the bow and the gently increasing depth down to the stern. The cargo of floor tiles can be seen clearly in the open holds.
- Carnatic (or Wine ship): this sank in 1869 on her way to India with a cargo of port wine in addition to gold and silver bullion. The wreck is in two pieces with a depth range of 12 to 24 meters. The wreck is covered in beautiful corals which have grown during its 140 plus years on the sea bed.
- Ghiannis D (or Wooden Ship): this wreck was carrying timber bound for Saudi Arabia. Stuck on the reef, it broke into two pieces during a storm and sank. The stern section has twin masts that reach up to 5 meters from the surface with the stern at 24 meters. The engine room can be visited by suitably qualified divers.
MEPM Property offer a choice of Experiences from El Gouna and Somabay. Diving Experiences are suitable for both advanced divers and those wanting to take up diving. For those who prefer staying on top of the water we also have a range of Beach & Snorkelling Experiences, Cruising & Sailing Experiences as well as Kite Surfing and Water-sports. These trips are designed to provide our clients with a glimpse of the lifestyle available in our key destinations. All experiences include a property lifestyle tour so you can get a better feel for the destination and the type of real estate available.
Why not try one of the experiences on offer from MEPM Property