Halfway between Port Sudan and Sawakin, about 35 nautical miles off the mainland coast, lies Hindi Gider. It forms the northwestern boundary of the northern Sawakin group. The sandy island is covered with green vegetation in the center.
It can be recognized from far away by its unmanned lighthouse. It consists of a 27 meter high steel construction. Its cone of light is visible at night for up to 10 nautical miles. Its purpose is to warn ships on their way to and from Port Sudan of the many shallows in this region.
The reef wall drops steeply and in small gradations into the deep blue.
The drop-off is beautifully covered with stony and soft corals. Huge fan gorgonians stand in the current to filter plankton from the water. Small feather stars have made a home for themselves on them.
In the shallower area there is an extremely rich underwater fauna. Shoals of vermillion seabass and butterflyfishes are standing on the wall. In many small crevices you can discover cleaning stations with their numerous visitors. Encounters with whitetip reef sharks, blacktip reef sharks and hammerheads are not uncommon.
The east side
The reef wall is very rugged, especially on the first meters, forming many small caves and crevices. Numerous black spot snappers and various butterfly fish swim around between the corals.
South of the lighthouse a soft coral garden has developed. It is unique in its colors and shapes. Different species of the Red soft tree coral grow close to each other and sometimes hang down from overhangs in bizarre shapes. Underwater photographers will find countless interesting subjects. The entire wall is covered with a magnificent carpet of soft and leather corals.
- Despite this fascinating diversity, do not miss to turn your eyes to the open water, where you can spot both pelagic schooling fish, such as tuna, and solitary fish, such as silvertip sharks, all along the drop-off.