Egypt – The Red Sea Diving Mecca
Overview of diving in Egypt
Egypt is often regarded as the jewel in Africa’s crown and it’s marine life is some of the most vibrant on the continent. A popular diving destination with European divers, many make the trip south to escape from the cold winter months and get their scuba diving fix.
Egypt has access to two different seas, the Mediterranean and Red Sea. The Red Sea is the most popular for diving in Egypt. Full of beautiful corals buzzing with fish and impressive wrecks, divers return to dive the Red Sea year after year. The chance of seeing pelagic species such as dolphins and whale sharks makes the Red Sea a special place to dive. Egypt’s marine environment is quite a contrast to the barren desert that makes up most of the country.
The Sinai peninsular is very popular, with the town of Sharm El Sheikh being the main gateway to the area. A mix of wall and reef dive sites can be found up the coast to the town of Dahab. The Ras Mohammed National Park at the south of Sinai is known for its stunning coral reefs and pelagic encounters. The Sinai peninsular is also highly popular for freediving too, many freedivers travel to Dahab to dive the famous Blue Hole.
To the South lies the popular resort town of Hurghada. Hurghada is a one of the main docking place for liveaboards in Egypt. From here you can do itineraries to some of Egypt’s top dive sites such as Brothers Island and Daedalus Reef. Alternatively if you are more into wreck diving there are itineraries that focus on the Strait of Gubal. In these waters lie some of the most famous wrecks in the world such as the SS Thistlegorm, Giannis D and the Dunraven.
Best Dive Sites In Egypt
Ras Mohammed National Park
The Ras Mohammed National Park located on the southern tip of the Sinai peninsular has a range of top dive sites. Two mixing bodies of water attract numerous marine life. Large schools of snappers can form, while shark sightings are also common.
SS Thistlegorm wreck
One of the best wreck dives in the world, the remaining cargo of the SS Thistlegorm attracts thousands of divers every year. Jeeps, motorbikes and military equipment still remain in the cargo holds which make for excellent photo opportunities.
Blue Hole, Dahab
A semi enclosed hole located right next to the shore, the Blue Hole drops down to over 100m depth. The sides of the wall are lined with coral, while at 52m is an underwater arch that leads out into the open ocean. The dive site is popular with freedivers due to the depth and calm conditions it offers.
An isolated reef in the middle of the Red Sea, Daedalus Reef is an extremely popular dive site due to the chance to see hammerhead, oceanic whitetips and even thresher sharks.
Consisting of two small islands with pristine coral reefs, Brothers Islands are also a great place for spotting sharks. Oceanic whitetips and schools of hammerheads frequent the dive site.
Abu Nuhas Reef, Strait of Gubal
Popular with wreck lovers, the Abu Nuhas reef in the Strait of Gubal has numerous shipwrecks lying just below the surface. The Giannis D and Chrisoula K are two of the most dived wrecks and are spectacular dives.
Dive reports from Egypt
Dive site reports and useful information from our scuba diving and freediving trips to Egypt
Dahab is a popular freediving training area, with the Blue Hole providing over 100m depth just meters from the shore. Dahab also has a large scuba diving scene with some excellent shore dives along the coast.
Hurghada is a popular tourist destination, with a large number of hotels with in house scuba diving centers. Diving in Hurghada is mostly boat diving, with many liveaboard trips also departing from here.
The Strait of Gubal has some fantastic wreck dives such as the Giannis D, Dunraven and Chrisoula K, with the jewel in the crown being the world renowned Thistlegorm.
How to get to Egypt
Egypt has approximately 10 international airports. Cairo (CAI) the capital of Egypt is the biggest international hub, with flights arriving from all the other world. It also provides internal domestic flights all over the country. For divers, the most convenient international airports are Sharm El Sheikh (SSH), Hurghada (HRG) and Marsa Alam (RMF). These allow easy access to many diving towns along the coast of the Red Sea.
Captial City International Airport Cairo International Airport (CAI)
Best time to dive Egypt
Egypt is blessed with warm calm conditions year round, however the hottest months are in the European summer between July to September. Water temperatures can reach 28° during these months. During the winter the water temperature can drop as low as 21°. Visibility is generally good all year round. In the summer months a rash vest of 3mm wetsuit is recommended. In the winter a 5mm wetsuit is advisable for those get cold easily.
Water Temperature 21° to 28°C
Visibility 10m to 30m+
Useful information when travelling to Egypt
Time Zone UTC + 2 hours
Currency Egyptian Pounds (EGP)
Electricity 230 V
Plug Socket C, F
Language Arabic. Most hotels speak English and a variety of European languages.
Calling Code +20
Our dive trips to Egypt
We have been fortunate enough to visit Egypt on several occasions. Our first dive trip to Egypt was in 2014 was to the Sinai peninsula in the north, which is home to the freediving Mecca of Dahab. Here we learnt to freedive and also explored some of the local dive sites which are stunning, full of beautiful coral.
In 2015 we booked a liveaboard trip to dive the wrecks in the Strait of Gubal. Incredible wrecks such as SS Thistlegorm, Giannis D and the Dunraven were on the itinerary and this was by far our favorite dive trip to Egypt. The wrecks are impressive dives and the good visibility means you can fully take in the size of the wrecks.
Finally in 2018 we stayed for a week in Hurghada and dived the nearby reefs which were excellent. We also managed to do a day a trip down to Safaga to dive the Salem Express wreck, one of the best wreck dives in the Red Sea.
You can find out more information about the dive sites we visited in Egypt in our dive reports.