After diving the Ras Mohamed National Park, we pass into the Gulf of Suez and visit the reef system of Shab Mahmoud where one of the oldest wrecks, the Dunraven (sunk in 1889), and the WWII wreck, the Thistlegorm, are located.
Enjoy the excitement of diving the Southern tip of the Sinai and savour the backdrop of a mountainous desert landscape whilst discovering the hidden magical beauty beneath the waves where nature, by contrast, has provided a spectacular display of colourful coral reefs and an array of tropical fish life.
See below for full details of some of the sites that may be visited on the Sinai safari:
- Jackson Reef: Most northerly of the reefs of Tiran and the northern limit of day boats from Sharm El Sheikh. The wreck of the “Lara” lies at the northern end. There is superb wall diving along its entire perimeter, with numerous buttresses and gullies. Sightings of sharks, turtles and other big fish are not uncommon and you will find a huge diversity of different corals and sponges as well as clouds of trigger fish, masked puffers and banner fish. At the point you may be lucky and spot a Hammerhead in summer.
- Thomas Reef: Between Gordon and Woodhouse reefs, smaller round reef with walls plunging deep and fully covered with soft coral, gorgonians and colourful fish life. It is almost possible to circumnavigate this reef in one dive.
The east wall plunges dramatically to great depths with a mass of brightly coloured soft corals. The west wall is darker with overhangs and caves but is a great drift dive with sightings of Trevally and Tuna in the blue and schooling reef fish close to the reef.
- Ras Nasrani (9km north of Naama Bay): This site can be accessed by four wheel drive vehicle as well as boats. The reef drops from the shallow bays to a wall down to 60m+ with many caves and overhangs. The best diving is among the big coral heads (or ergs) in the shallow areas. A good spot for Spanish dancers and cone shells in the sandy gullies.
- White Knight: The reef wall drops away to a sandy plateau at about 13m, at the centre is a gully with swim throughs at 10m and 35m. There is an eel garden to the north. This sheltered site is home for trigger fish, groupers and the occasional manta.
- The Gardens (just north of Naama Bay): Really three “gardens” near, middle and far. The most seaward of the gardens (far), is a colourful fringing reef with a slope to 25m and dotted with small “ergs” At the top of the drop off there is a few pinnacle frequently visited by pelagics. Glass fish caves are in the reef wall at 12m.
“Near” garden is just a few minutes from Naama Bay and is a great spot for a night dive with a sandy ledge sloping away to 25m. Look out for flashlight fish at night and napoleons, blue spotted stingrays and the odd grey reef shark in daylight hours.
- Pinkys Wall: The wall here seems bottomless, drift dive along the reef which is richly covered in soft corals. To the south is a sandy slope from where richly covered coral heads emerge before becoming a shear bottomless wall once again.
- Paradise: Northern side of Ras Umm Sidd wall, fully decorated ergs rise from a gentle slope, home to schools of glass fish against a colourful background of soft corals.
- Ras Umm Sidd: The south side of the headland offers a superb gorgonian forest on the drop off. The plateau is bursting with life and swarms of reef fish. The possibility of spotting whale shark or manta exists at the corner.
- Temple: At the center of the Ras Umm Sid bay a huge coral pillar extends skywards, the reef wall drops to 15m. There are lots of pinnacles which are well worth exploring, this is a good spot to see octopus. The rest of the site is featureless and it is easy to get lost so don’t forget your compass.
- Ras Za’atar: Most northern dive of Ras Mohammed National Park, it is the southern entrance to the bay of Marsa Bareika. Where the steep wall of Ras Mohammed, with caves and overhangs, meets the gentle slope of the bay of Marsa Bareika, and is scattered with colourful coral heads.
Head north along the wall amongst big overhangs and dark gullies, the wall is swathed in sea fans, gorgonians and the odd sprig of black coral. Just before the corner look out for the chimney at 15m home to Malabar grouper, look closer and find the cleaning stations with the wrasse and shrimp in attendance. Don’t forget to check out the blue for schools of barracuda and jacks or the odd eagle ray cruising by.
- Jackfish Alley: The white patch on the cliff is a good marker for this site, usually done as a drift dive there are some interesting caves at 5m usually full of glass fish. As you move south you find two ergs again covered with glass fish, this is a great spot for photographers. Further south is a coral garden and the sandy gulley, which gives this, sites its name. Stingrays can be found resting in the sand as well as white tip sharks. In late summer beware of Titan trigger fish guarding their nests.
- Ras Mohammed: Really several dive sites Ras Mohammed has earned itself a reputation as one of the top dive sites in the world, here at the tip of the Sinai where the vast bodies of water the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba meet has created an ecosystem like no other and wall diving at its very best.
- Shark Observatory: The site is not aptly named as it is not noted for its shark sightings, however, it is a fantastic dive. Beneath the towering cliffs that continue below the surface to disappear into the deep abyss the wall is covered with soft coral and honeycombed with numerous gullies and canyons that are home to hoards of glass fish and hatchet fish herded by red mouth grouper. An overhang, fringed with sea fans at 10m, is a great place to watch the Trevallies, Jacks and Turtles passing in the blue. At the southern end Anemone city is worth a visit.
Note: Mini Safaris - they are usually for 3 - 4 days and are perfect for "safari beginners" who are not sure about staying a whole week on board. This offers a combination of 3 days safari and 4 days hotel, probably with some additional day diving during your hotel stay. Departures are from Sharm El Sheikh. The itinerary for the mini safari includes: Dunraven, Thistlegorm, Ras Mohamed, Gubal and Abu Nuhas (weather permitting).
* All dive sites are subject to weather conditions and level of diver experience.
* All guests are required to have a full passport valid for at least 6 months. We need a copy of the names and passport numbers of all guests at least one week before arrival.
* All divers are required to bring with them:
- diving license
- log book
- full diving equipment
- 2 x photocopies of passport
* Equipment rental can be arranged prior to arrival for any diver requiring it.
* We reserve the right to change the booked boat for one of equal standard should the need arise.
- A non-refundable deposit of 35% of the total fee is required within 5 days to confirm the booking. The full payment is required 1 month prior to departure.
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