Diving the Red Sea in Egypt

For many scuba divers, the Red Sea is one of those ‘must dive at least once in a lifetime’ destinations.  It is a very unique place to dive especially with the desert background visible from the dive boats.  The excellent diving with the many awesome sights of Egypt make the Red Sea a dream dive trip for any scuba diver.

There are two major scuba diving areas in Egypt, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.  Sharm El Sheikh at the northern part of the Red Sea is the more established center having been a popular vacation resort area as both Egyptians and Europeans have been vacationing here for many years.

As expected, the marine life in the Red Sea is spectacular.  There are many species of fish, crustaceans and marine plant life.  In fact, many of them are indigenous to the Red Sea only.  While lionfish can be extremely rare sightings elsewhere, they are quite abundant in the Red Sea which is a real treat for scuba divers.  It is also not unusual to jump in the water to be among a large school of tuna or other fish.  Many night divers will see coral reefs here to be more spectacular than in the Caribbean.

One very different aspect of the Red Sea compared to other dive destinations in the world is that the coral reefs here can extend up to very shallow depths.  As a result, the standard safety stops at 15 feet are done drifting among many of these sloping reefs along with the accompanying marine life.   Therefore, these are some of the most scenic safety stops scuba divers will ever do. One thing to note is that the maximum allowable depth for recreational scuba divers in Egypt is 30 meters which is about 90 feet.

The Red Sea has a higher salt content than Caribbean waters so it is recommended to add 4 to 5 more pounds to the amount of weight divers usually use.  Like most European diving, the scuba community here in Egypt uses the metric system so weights will be in kilos while air pressure will be in bars.  Most dive computers should be able to display both metric and imperial systems.

Many scuba divers turn their Red Sea diving trip into a major extended holiday in order to both dive and see the many wonderful ancient Egyptian sites such as the pyramids.

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