Dive Site

Qita el Banna

Overview

Offshore from the mainland and far from other reefs, Qita 'el Banna rises like a needle from the sea floor, which is over 400 meters deep. It has an oval shape and the reef roof extends just below the water surface. Two small, beautifully overgrown plateaus are located on the north and southeast sides. The sides of Qita 'el Banna drop off steeply. A magnificent variety of hard and soft corals, as well as reef and pelagic fish has established itself. Especially at greater depths, there are good chances of encountering different types of sharks, such as hammerhead sharks. Wall divers will get their money's worth here. Due to the exposed location, currents can be expected more often.

Description

The southeast side
The strongly jagged reef wall overhangs in places on the upper 15 meters. Many small canyons have formed along the wall, in which soldier fish seek shelter. The outside of the reef drops steeply in waves. At 40 meters, it forms a small base to disappear almost vertically in deep blue. The diver can come across groups of giant sweet lips that pull along the slope - an attractive motif for underwater photographers.
At the south end of the wall, a sloping slope extends to a depth of 40 meters. There is a large cave below. White tip reef sharks rest on the partially sandy bottom of the cave. Colorful coral formations and the seemingly bottomless depth captivate the visitor. However, it makes you forget time and depth. Due to the numerous schooling fish, such as jewel flagfish, and the many small caves, the shallower area also has a lot of interesting things to offer.
At the southwest end of Qita 'el Banna, from a depth of 15 meters, there is a narrow plateau. This quickly reaches 25 meters to drop steeply on its outer edge. It is not an outstanding plateau, but a detour is still worthwhile.
West side with north plateau
The west side drops steeply to a depth of over 70 meters. The steep drop is interrupted at a depth of 40 meters by a small base. Similar to the east side, the reef wall on the top 10 meters is very rugged, which has created small caves. Various coral inhabitants can be discovered in these.
Shoals of reef fish, such as nose doctor fish or yellow-headed snappers, run along the entire reef wall. Large gorgonian stretch their fans into the current to filter planctonic organisms out of the water.
At the north end of Qita 'el Banna is a small plateau covered with coral heads. It begins at a depth of 10 meters, leads gently downwards and ends in a steep wall at its outer edge. If the diver gazes at this edge in depth or in open water, there are good chances of discovering large pelagic sea creatures.

Hotspots

  • Individual large barakudas circle, and white-tip reef sharks sometimes rest on the sandy bottom. With a little luck, black tip reef sharks or hammerhead sharks can be found behind the edge of the steep drop, as well as on the entire east side.