Tiran & Brother Islands

   

Overview of tour / diving spots

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After arrival in Hurghada, transfer to the boat in Hurghada, dinner and departure the next morning.

After the check dive at the area around Hurghada you start directly in the afternoon after the 2nd dive. Which dive sites will be first, depends on many factors such as Wind and weather conditions! Should it go first to the Brothers, “the big brother” impresses you with its steep walls and two wrecks – the Numidia and the Aida.

The “little brother” doesn`t rank behind him on fish life at all. He impresses with its colorful hard and soft corals in many overhangs. Large fish, such as thresher sharks, hammerhead sharks, grey sharks or oceanic whitetip sharks provides you on both “brothers” with exciting dives. Then it goes to the Reef’s of Tiran.

 

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                     Some impressions of what there is to see on this tour:

Possible dive sites on this tour:



After 90 minutes drive from Hurghada, you can reach Shaab el Erg, the first dive site on the Safari. Shaab el Erg is an extensive reef, in the shape of a horseshoe. This formation is open to the south with a shallow lagoon, which is full of ergs. The whole lagoon can be dived.

Very popular are the northern tip, the eastern wall or the southwestern tip - Gota Shaab el Erg.

Between Gota and the main reef is a small canal; on the south and west side is a large sandy plateau with innumerable towers and coral heads. The domiciled dolphins pass several times a day this channel. They can be seen all year round here.

Mantas can be observed from January to March on the northern tip.

On the plateau that surrounds Gota, you can find scorpion fish, groupers, snowflake moray, blue spotted stingrays and many triggerfish. .

Under the table corals you can see from time to time white tip reef sharks.
In the sand you find cone snails, shells and sole. Along the shallow reef you find frolicking nose unicorn fish, angelfish, bream, snapper and turtles.

The diving on Gota Shaab el Erg is dreamlike.
For photographers especially the coral heads are likely to be interesting. They are not part of illustration and are in a southerly direction at 16m depth.

 

  

The reef Abu Nuhas is famous for its wrecks and is also called "ship graveyard".
At this reef 4 ships have declined, which are an attraction for divers from all over the world.

Who has not heard of the 4 wrecks lying on the north side of Abu Nuhas on sandy seabed?

 

 

  

Sha'ab Mahmud is a large lagoon about 10 meters deep, closed at the western side by a very interesting long coral reef.

The lagoon interior is a very good mooring and safari boats often spend the night here. Usually the anchor is thrown on the sandy bottom of the lagoon, close to a break in the reef, the Small Passage.

This break, that can be crossed only by a zodiak, offers the perfect occasion to visit the wonderful reef outside the lagoon.

Depending on tides, the current can flow into or out of the lagoon. The best condition is when the current flows into the lagoon, thus giving the opportunity to dive along the reef and then enter the Small Passage and be pushed towards our mooring by the current.

During this dive turtles may be encountered. Moreover, one encounters certainly trevally and barracuda.

As part of the Safari also Beacon Rock is visited. This reef is located at the southernmost point of the vast coral reefs of Shaab Mahmoud.

In an unhappy night of the year 1876, the cargo ship Dunraven who was traveling from Bombay to Newcastle, hit the reef. After the massive collision, the ship sank immediately and broke into two large parts, which are today on the reef Beacon Rock in 18 and 28 meters depth.

 

  

Ras Mohammed ist der südlichste Punkt der Sinai-Halbinsel und teilt das Meer zwischen der Meerenge von Tiran im Osten und der Meerenge von Gubal im Westen.

Das Kap hat seinen Namen von seiner Felsspitze im Osten, deren Konturen an ein in Stein gemeißeltes männliches Profil mit Bart – dem Kopf von Mohammed - erinnern.

Ras Mohamed ist einer der weltbekanntesten Tauchplätze und liegt an der Spitze des Sinai. Zwei kleine Riffe sind durch eine senkrechte abfallende Wand verbunden.
Nahe des Shark Reef, etwas nördlicher gelegen, befindet sich Anemone City, eine ausgedehnte, flache Riffzone mit zahlreichen Seeanemonen und ihren Rotmeer-Anemonenfischen sowie Dreifleck-Preußenfischen.

Vom Shark Reef lässt man sich mit der Strömung an einer Steilwand, die mehrere 100 m abfällt, entlang treiben bis zum Jolanda Reef. Die Wand ist komplett mit bunten Korallen bewachsen. Auf dem Weg zum Jolanda Reef erreicht man ein Plateau mit kleinen Blöcken und Koralleninseln. Am Riff angekommen sieht man die verstreuten Überreste des Jolanda-Wracks: Containerweise Sanitäranlagen für das Baugewerbe, die inzwischen vollständig vom Leben des Korallenriffs in Beschlag genommen sind.

Ras Mohammed hat wegen seiner strömungsexponierten Lage und der abgründigen Tiefen alles in sich vereinigt, was das Rote Meer für Taucher zu bieten hat. Man findet hier über 1000 verschieden Arten von Fischen, 25 Arten von Seeigeln, mehr als 100 Arten von Weichtieren und Krustentieren, 220 Arten von Korallen, davon 125 verschiedene Weichkorallen.

Das Gebiet um Ras Mohammed ist 1989 zum Nationalpark erklärt worden.

 

  

A long, long time ago in September 1981, the 'Loullia' ran aground on the northern slope of the Gordon Reef and hasn't sunk any further ever since. Although we can't have the pleasure of diving this wrecked cargo ship, we can find other pieces of wreckage such as drums or cables. Yet the easiest reef of the Tiran group with mooring sites also harbours hazards – please never underestimate the current!

Details

The Gordon Reef – the southernmost reef in the Straits of Tiran – measures approx. 900 metres in length and the top of the reef is just half a metre below the water's surface. This is also the reason why we cannot visit the 'Loullia' cargo ship which was stranded here on its way from Panama on 29 September 1981. But who needs sunken cargo vessels when there are whole treasures waiting for us to discover all over the Gordon Reef.

An unmanned lighthouse still stands in the southwest and in the north the barely recognisable ruins of a lighthouse offer the perfect object to search for, presenting one or two challenges. Sandy mooring sites with depths of two to ten metres exist in both the south, the east and the west.

In the southern part, it's all about the pleasure of diving, as the drop-off ledge ranges between 25 and 30 metres before plunging to 50 metres. In the remaining area of the reef, the dive suddenly proceeds steeply downward, all the way down to depths of 300 metres.

And now we finally come to the colourful part of the tour: in the 'amphitheatre' (a sandy basin), if we're lucky we might just run into scalloped hammerhead sharks that at first sight will leave us utterly speechless. Unlike their counterparts, the 'kind' whitetip reef sharks, also grant us an audience here time and time again. It's not for nothing that this sandy basin is also called the 'shark pool'. As a general rule, the blades of grass emerging from the sand are Red Sea garden eels offering further highlights other than just fire coral and gorgonian.

Hotspots

Cable and drums: To the west of the amphitheatre, the current has done its work, washing up drums and cables which the ocean and its inhabitants have in the meantime made their own. The scattered pieces of metal to be found here are fragments of an old lighthouse.

Barrels: To the east of the amphitheatre, huge sunken barrels can be found which small fish like to use to play hide-and-seek.

Sandpit: It doesn't sound spectacular, but you'd be mistaken: it's the Gordon Reef's sandy plateau. Due to the shallow waters here, this area is teeming with garden eels and one or another snorkelers. It's precisely here, where you might feel safe, that you must pay the attention to the current.

Facts

Current: S in the morning, S at midday, N in the afternoon

Visibility: J, F, M, A: 25 m; M, J, J, A: 20 m; S, O, N, D: 35 m

Temperatures: J, F, M: 24°C; A, M, J: 26°C; J, A, S: 28°C; O, N, D: 26°C

Depth: 10 m to 50 m

Tour 1– drifting with the zodiac

Depending on the current, we start at the wreck and then work our way towards the southern plateau either on the left or right shoulder of the reef. We float past a myriad of vibrant-coloured coral, spot garden eels on the sandy sea surface and perhaps even some tuna, whitetip reef sharks, masked puffers and ... dolphins! Decompression takes place over the plateau.

Tour 2 – from boat to boat

We leave the boat and stay on the outer edge of the plateau, at around 30 metres, until the plateau narrows. Here drift diving is also possible towards the north; the Zodiac crew will let you know in advance if this is possible. Otherwise, it's time to head back, floating over the barrels and the shallow sandy area. Big fish can be encountered in the blue water, but also eagle rays exist in the sloping plateau area. Nudibranchs and eels can be found in the shallow sandy area and the adjacent small blocks.

Tour 3 – southern plateau

Here, we can also make a round-trip dive from boat to boat and dive south to the sandpit. Take the turn to the 'amphitheatre' or 'shark pool', take a selfie with a scalloped hammerhead shark or eagle rays, dive west at the drop-off, say 'hi' to three garden eels and then take a turn back towards the boat past the fire coral.

 

  

The Thomas Reef is honestly one of the best diving spots in Northern Egypt, but the strong current can be quite challenging. With speeds of up to 12 km/h on the reef's edge, there's hardly enough time to say 'hello' to all the reef inhabitants. The Thomas Reef has no mooring points; drift diving is also recommended for the sake of protecting the coral. Warning: Undertows!

Details

Whoever likes diving in caves will burst with joy in the Thomas Reef which will win them over with its steep vertical slopes, many crevices and spectacular canyon. However, this dive is only for experienced divers: depending on the tides, the currents fluctuate greatly especially on the side facing the Woodhouse Reef. Not only are they fast, but they also cause undertows to occur.

Whoever's gutsy enough shouldn't waste any time and book the tour immediately. The Thomas Reef is simply a brilliant and unique place to dive. It's just 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious'! With its three rock arches, the canyon can rightly show off what it's got: fields of gorgonians and black coral regularly put on a show for their visitors and lionfish, reef sharks, barracudas, moray eels or other family members of the 1,200 other fish species living in the Red Sea often make cameo appearances. Underwater cinematography at its best!

Hotspots

Canyon: Diving sites such as the ones located in the Thomas Reef give us the necessary motivation to keep honing our diving skills. A very challenging dive that is rewarded with a rarely found underwater world. Scuba divers start off the first section by diving shallow and then traverse the first archway.

Gorgonians: Indonesia, Algeria, Tunisia ... gorgonians! At the southern corner of the Thomas Reef, the home of an infinite number of gorgonians – otherwise known as horn coral or sea fans – can be found. We can enjoy this lavish sight in depths of approx. 30 to 35 metres.

Western side: We can also find gorgonians and soft corals on the Thomas Reef's western steep faces. A very special highlight is the cave located approx. 25 metres below – not only do divers love it, but so do whitetip reef sharks.

Facts

Current: W in the morning, W at midday, E in the afternoon

Visibility: J, F, M, A: 30 m; M, J, J, A: 25 m; S, O, N, D: 35 m

Temperatures: J, F, M: 24°C; A, M, J: 26°C; J, A, S: 28°C; O, N, D: 26°C

Depth: 2 m to 80 m

Tour 1 – classical tour starting off on the southern corner of the Thomas Reef

The dive kicks off from the boat heading north to the sandy plateau at around 25 to 30 metres deep. Longnose hawkfish come out to greet us at the thickets of gorgonians. Aside from this the entire plateau is populated by majestic whip coral and black coral. A slight slope leads directly down to the canyon which plummets to depths of 35 metres and opens up to the eastern side.

Many are interested in knowing how deep the canyon goes and what can be found down below: the canyon extends downwards up to 90 metres. Awe-inspiring arches can be found between 40 and 80 metres and the floor is covered in sand.

Whether above or below the canyon, the classical dive continues on northwest to the western side. With strong currents existing divers are often forced to return back to the boat. There is one more highlight on the eastern side to briefly mention: the caves at a depth of five metres are actually a dental practice – barracudas and tuna come here every day for a dental cleaning. The toothbrushes in the Red Sea are known as 'cleaner fish'.

Tour 2 – drifting on the western and south-western side

A great tour if the current permits: we let ourselves drift down the western side, coming across large predators, turtles and shoals of fish in the open sea, until we reach the 25-metre deep caves along the first third of the way.

 

  

The human eye can see anywhere from 200 to 300 shades of colour. Whoever wants to see them all at once, simply needs to take a dive in the Woodhouse Reef! The reef has no mooring points and is situated in the Straits of Tiran north of the Thomas Reef and south of the Jackson Reef. Woodhouse Reef and Jackson Reef, however, are connected by a shallow bridge.

Details

The Woodhouse Reef is the longest of the four reefs in the Straits of Tiran. The reef top is approx. 1.2 kilometres long. In the saddle region, extreme precaution is to be taken as divers can be confronted by harsh currents pulling them down. The locals call this place the 'washing machine'.

Diving is mainly done on the eastern side where a plateau and canyon are located as well as ... interesting wreckage remains which aren't exactly a sunken wooden house! If we avert our gaze from this site, we might just get the chance to catch hammerhead sharks, grey reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, leopard sharks or eagle rays.

The canyon is too narrow to dive in with air; it's best to stay at the top. In the past, the curiosity of some divers has also been their undoing. But of course a snapshot for the kids can be taken – now where did Nemo live? That's right, in a sea anemone! They are located here too!

Hotspots

Canyon and plateau: The canyon area (please do not dive in here!) and the plateau itself offer the most to discover. The Woodhouse Reef is well-known for offering encounters with large fish – so keep your eyes peeled!

Facts

Current: S in the morning, S at midday, N in the afternoon

Visibility: J, F, M, A: 30 m; M, J, J, A: 25 m; S, O, N, D: 35 m

Temperatures: J, F, M: 24°C; A, M, J: 26°C; J, A, S: 28°C; O, N, D: 27°C

Depth: 0 m to 40 m

Tour 1 – from the boat to the canyon

In the northern third to the eastern side, the dive begins from the boat to approx. 28 metres below. During our visit, keep one eye on the plateau and the other on the blue waters, as not to miss any hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, leopard sharks or eagle rays. From here, the dive continues north to the face of the reef and the sandy ledge. Resurfacing slowly begins above the wreck remains. And remember not to forget to pay attention to the current during the entire dive.

It's best to head out early in the morning when the sun's rays first hit the eastern side and the sea anemones dazzle our eyes with the brightest colour red. Shoals of mackerel and tuna are often nearby for breakfast, too.

Tour 2 – drift diving

The best spot for us to drift dive in the Woodhouse Reef is in the less-often visited areas: in the southern part of the eastern face and on the west side of the reef. The steep faces are beautifully covered with vegetation and are usually where we can hope to come across large predators.

 

  

Whether it was Michael or maybe Samuel L., we don't know who gave the Jackson Reef its name. We can say with certainty, however, that 'Jackson' is the northernmost reef of the four reefs of Tiran and that it became famous when a Cypriot cargo ship ran aground at full speed on 4 December 1981. The Jackson Reef is very popular among divers, but above all for the great likelihood of catching sight of hammerhead sharks during the summer months. However, this dive can be quite challenging when there is a current. Mooring is available.

Details

The Jackson Reef resembles a triangle whose apex points north. It is exactly here where the famous shipwreck 'Lara' ran aground and sunk in 1981. Close to the 'Lara', hammerhead sharks can frequently be spotted swimming around the waters – and at pleasant depths of 10 to 30 metres.

The highly frequented diving site is not only a treat for divers, but for snorkelers can also get their money's worth at the 'Jackson Reef' since there are two shallower plateaus: the perfect choice for an underwater excursion with the whole family. In addition to the 'Lara', the remains of an old lighthouse also count among the reef's highlights.

With a little luck, reef sharks and hammerhead sharks can't only be seen, but also magnificent coral gardens, red sea anemones, clownfish, horsehead lookdowns, eagle rays, Napoleon wrasse, groupers or swarms of tuna. Watch, marvel and enjoy!

Hotspots

Plateau in the west: The plateau in the west is home to marvellous coral gardens which couldn't be anymore colourful. It's here where we will find bright-red sea anemones – and at a depth of only 28 metres.

Plateau in the east: In the eastern plateau, the remains of an old lighthouse can be visited and hundreds of species of fish in a variety of shapes and colours can be enjoyed.

Shipwreck and sharks: Upon visiting the 'Lara', repeatedly scanning the open sea is recommended to experience the pleasure of beholding hammerhead sharks.

Facts

Current: S in the morning, S at midday, N in the afternoon

Visibility: J, F, M, A: 40 m; M, J, J, A: 30 m; S, O, N, D: 35 m

Temperatures: J, F, M: 24°C; A, M, J: 26°C; J, A, S: 28°C; O, N, D: 27°C

Depth: 0 m to 50 m

Tour 1 – drift from the northern tip

We start at the shipwreck 'Lara' and depending on the current either drift with the reef on our right or left shoulder. Upon reaching the south side, special attention should be paid to the current.

Parts of the wreckage 'Lara' are scattered up to 30 metres below where we can linger in the blue water – the probability of sharks are swimming around here is very high. Afterward, a detour south can be taken and the west and east face of the reef can be observed. Jackson's steep face is like something out of a storybook, thanks to vibrant coral, countless shimmery fish, turtles, aquatic predators and numerous other marine dwellers. Due to the strong southern current, always remember to take the buoy with you and if necessary arrange a pick-up.

Tour 2 - southern area

From the shipwreck located at the heart of the southern area, the journey continues 30 downward to the large sandy channel at approx. 30 metres. Here the first groupers can be seen; some small sharks might also pass by. Further down, at a depth of 45 metres, a sand eel colony exists which can also be seen from above at 40 metres.

With the reef on our right shoulder, the outing continues to the home of the clownfish and red sea anemones. It's possible to dive right up to the corner of the west side, but then we have to watch that the current doesn't carry us too far. Otherwise, we might not make it back to the boat under certain circumstances.

The upper, shallower area is perfect for decompression and is adorned with countless fire coral. Damselfish, rabbitfish as well as surgeonfish and one or two turtles can also be seen here. With the reef on our left shoulder, it's time to slowly head back to the boat.

Tour 3 – from the mooring point to the east

Ever heard of the 'Oxycirrhites typus'? No? Well then certainly of the longnose hawkfish! From the boat, with the reef on our left shoulder, the dive carries on over the sandy plateau at up to 20 metres in order to visit the longnose hawkfish before the drop-off to the gorgonians. Fire coral pave the way into depths of 38 metres.

The remains of the old lighthouse and the exquisite blocks of hard coral can be found in the eastern plateau between eight and fifteen metres. Here, too, attention must be paid not to dive too close to the corner in order to safely return to the boat again. At the end of the plateau, barracudas and turtles can be encountered.



Ladies and Gentlemen, may we ask for your attention. A diving spot belonging to the world's top ten (!) will soon be ours to discover. Located 60 kilometres east of the coastal town of El Quesir, the Brother Islands (Big Brother and Little Brother) are home to two large cargo ship wrecks and up to three metre-long large thresher sharks with long, lance-shaped tails which can almost always be found here – a true rarity!

Details

The name Brother Islands comes from the company which did the electrical work for the lighthouse on the larger island. Both islands are of volcanic origin and sit atop a mountain ridge which plunges well over 1,000 metres in depth from the west side to the east side. The volcanic history can still be seen today: namely on the basalt rock, which is significantly darker than the reef structure itself.

Big Brother is 650 metres long and 180 metres wide. With the exception of the eastern plateau, we encounter a steep-faced reef in all directions. There's usually the chance for you to stretch out your legs on the island, smoke a shisha with the lighthouse keepers and purchase small souvenirs or simply to enjoy the view from the lighthouse! Depending on the mood of the military, this can quickly change however.

At the western end of Big Brother, we usually have to take large waves and a stronger current into account. Should the conditions allow us to dive in the afternoon, we may quite possibly have the chance of seeing grey reef sharks and hammerhead sharks swimming between the wrecks.

On the eastern plateau, the thresher shark says 'Good night' to the spotted sea hare and encounters with grey reef sharks also occur here all the time. Beautiful depressions in the reef, which are covered in soft and hard coral, can be identified further down the north side. Mooring points are also located in the east area and around the boots there's a lot to see – from whitetip oceanic sharks to silky sharks.

Just as squirrels in the park learn to trust, so do Napoleon wrasse in famous diving sites – two specimens of this fish already accustomed to divers can be found west at any time of the day. Gigantic shoals of fish can be found in the south, near the jetty, which is used to supply the lighthouse. Mackerel, tuna and barracudas on the hunt usually rush past us in the water. Silky sharks or whitetip oceanic sharks as well as turtles top off this spectacular underwater picture.

Planning the Big Brother route is simple, as the current points us the way. For some, this dive – which must progress very quickly from the Zodiac due to the currents – is anything but a walk in the park. Many tour operators offer the use of SART or other similar devices. Especially at the large outer reef, it makes sense to buddy dive using such an electronic search and rescue system. Should we come across the countercurrent after exiting the Zodiac, it's best for us to resurface and then drive a bit further out and try once again. Safety first!

Hotspots

Numidia: The Numidia lies directly on the reef between a depth range of 18 and 80 metres. After making a navigational error in 1901, the general cargo vessel laden with train rails and railway engine wheels ran aground on the west side. The Numidia is one of the most beautifully covered wrecks around the world; the vegetation however suddenly stops at 40 metres.

Aida: The Aida, which is nestled against the south side of the reef at a depth range of 30 and 65 metres, has been there since 1953 when it hit the fringe reef whilst sailing in rough waters. It was meant to bring personnel to the lighthouse and supplies to the island. The wreck has been slightly damaged by storms which occurred at the beginning of 2010.

Eastern plateau: Big Brother's eastern plateau is the right place for anyone wanting to catch sight of thresher sharks and explore and dive an impressive steep wall. It's worth it to continually hone your own diving skills in order to be ready take on this challenging dive one day.

Facts

Current: N/W in the mornings, N at midday, N/E in the afternoon

Visibility: J, F, M, A: 30–50 m; M, J, J, A: 30–40 m; S, O, N, D: 50–60 m

Temperatures: J, F, M: 22–24°C; A, M, J: 23–38°C; J, A, S: 28-30°C; O, N, D: 28-23°C

Depth: 100 m

Tour 1 – thresher sharks in the morning

The best spot in the morning is the eastern plateau with its hills located at a depth range of 36 and 45 metres. Here we will encounter thresher sharks. Should the diver leader allow, we should take advantage of our no-decompression limit, diving in the no current zone, all the way to the small hill on the spur of the reef in the east and then heading west with the current along the beautifully covered steep wall.

Tour 2 – Aida at midday

If the waves allow, we travel there by Zodiac. The Aida starts around a depth of 30 metres. The upper area is brimming with glassfish and the cargo bays are open to explore. Afterwards, we return by diving above the scattered cargo and along the jagged reef wall heading east.

Tour 3 – Numidia in the afternoon

If the waves and current allow, we travel by Zodiac to the Numidia. It has very gorgeous soft and hard coral growing on the north side and it is one of the most beautiful wrecks in the Red Sea. The south side looks as if only two days have passed since the sinking of the ship. Countless colourful fish additionally sweeten our view. In this area, the current varies in strength and it usually flows from the north around the bend to the west.

Tour 4 – thresher sharks in the late afternoon

We take the last dive of the day on the north-east tip again, because when the light of the day fades in the late afternoon, that's when the predatory fish come out to hunt. We can frequently see yellowfin tuna, giant trevally, barracudas as well as thresher sharks at the tip of the reef. Here, it's enough to simply seek a spot to watch; there's no need to swim around much. A feature film starring predatory fish!

 

 

  

The smaller of the two 'Brothers' of the famous double reef is located in visible range of Big Brother to the east. The small island measuring 360 metres is uninhabitated. Yet things look very different under the sea: there's gorgonian forests, huge overhangs and the Shark Point – a cleaning station for sharks. It's not so much the sharks we should fear here, but rather the unpredictable current.

Details

The name Little Brother sounds cute, but this dive isn't for rookies. There are mooring points on the reef's south-east side, however, most dives start off from the Zodiac. Little Brother is 360 metres in length and 160 metres in width and it runs north in the shape of a wedge. Bordered by a protective fringe reef, the reef drops steeply down. In the south-east at a depth of 10 metres, there is a small reef spur which ends with an overhang at 37 metres. A lagoon-like wall leads to a large gorgonian garden here.

Boasting massive overhangs and large depressions, the reef extends to the north-west where a small hill has been formed at a depth of 40 metres – the Shark Point. During the morning hours, we often see grey reef sharks who've come to have their teeth brushed after a successful night of hunting. From the south-east to the north, Little Brother is shaped by a steep face, which exists between a depth of 25 and 40 metres.

Hotspots

Shark Point: At a depth of 40 metres, Shark Point is the 'place to be'! Here the TV programme of the National Geographic channel is bigger, better and live!

Gorgonian garden: Little Brother's large gorgonian garden captivates with its huge coral specimens which can be found in a wide range here.

Facts

Current: N (north side) W (south side) in the morning, W & S/E (north side) N/E (south side) at midday, E (north side) E (south side) in the afternoon

Visibility: J, F, M, A: 30–50 m; M, J, J, A: 30–40 m; S, O, N, D: 50–60 m

Temperatures: J, F, M: 22–23°C; A, M, J: 23–28°C; J, A, S: 28-30°C; O, N, D: 28-24°C

Depth: 100 m

Tour 1 – the gorgonian garden

We dive from boat to boat and in the process explore the south side. Under the nose of the reef, we may potentially see grey reef sharks and especially charming thresher sharks. Afterwards, we carry on to the gorgonian garden located at a depth range of 18 and 40 metres. Then it's back to the boat by travelling around the eastern tip.

Tour 2 – Shark Point

This tour sets off with the Zodiac on the south-west side. We are dropped off at the last lagoon here and should dive down as quickly as possible due to the crashing waves on the western tip. We descend protected by the current of the reef spur and head directly to Shark Point. When the current is stronger, we won't dive to Shark Point, but rather will stay at the reef. We dive back on the north side, running into a slight countercurrent due to some turbulence, until we reach the next inlet and then basically have the current behind us. The view into the blue is usually worth it!

Tour 3 – steep face

This dive varies: we can embark with the Zodiac towards the north and explore either the reef spur or the south. Another good alternative is to dive the south steep face from the boat and, if necessary, have the Zodiac collect us here. Warning: The spirit of the hunt can be witnessed on the south side when the light gradually fades in the afternoon.



The dive site Umm Hal Hal is approximately 400 meters southeast of the Middle Reef. Two Ergs (coral blocks) stand on the edge of a plateau. They reach up to 3 m below the surface and therefore do not provide protection against wind and waves. Therefor comes the name from the fishermen: Hal Hal what means "rough seas".

On the inside (west) the plateau is 16 m deep, while on the outside it drops to 22 - 24 m. About 80 m further east begins in 30 meters a steep wall, which is interrupted by overhangs. Hal-Hal is also known as Shaab Kweiss (Beautiful reef), but you could call any reef in the Red Sea like this, when the captain doesn`t know the name.

If you are lucky enough to be able to make this dive, you will be rewarded with a colorful, living reef.

It seems as if the fish never sleep - they move continuously in the struggle between eating and being eaten. Since the dive site is quite small, you can go around the Ergs at different depths for several times.

By getting to the drop off and looking for big fish, you should be good in the air consumption and have a good sense of direction.

The reef boasts with its soft corals and sea fans and with some isolated table corals.

Concerning the fish fauna, we find here the usual reef fish - these however in masses. Leopard groupers, turtles, mullet, scrawled filefish, longnose unicorn fish and white tip reef sharks, just to name a few.

At the upper edge of the Erg red mouth grouper are hunting lyretail anthias and not as usual glass fish. A school of bannerfish is searching for protection close to the reef.

At the drop of one can see snapper schools, schools of unicorn fish and small tunas, occasionally big tuna and, dependent on the season, a huge mackerel school.



Welcome to Panorama Reef, the most famous reef in Safaga; a steep face in the open sea with a plateau to the north and to the south respectively. The current here is usually very strong. What does that tell us? We have a good chance of seeing large fish here! In addition to this, a turtle called Quasimodo has been living here for years - but to be honest, she cannot help the shape of her shell!

 

Details


In 60 to 90 minutes we will have reached Panorama Reef by boat. The east and west sides drop steeply; to the north and south, however, we find very interesting plateaus with a whole lot of life and, what else, but a spectacular panorama. We can see unicornfish, barracudas and giant trevally. The west side is where we are most likely to see whitetip reef sharks and, particularly in the afternoon, grey reef sharks, moray eels every now and then, flatheads, eagle rays, dolphins, silvertip sharks, humphead wrasses and the famous turtle with the deformed shell.

Wonderful hill-forming corals, large table corals and thousands of anthiinae are to be found on the northern plateau at Panorama Reef. The current comes from the north to 95 percent, which means it is often quite ‘stormy’ here. The south plateau is more protected; it begins at a depth of 18 metres and falls slowly to a depth of 30 metres. Giant gorgonians grow up the chimney. The large field of sea anemones is also part of it, as are the almost obligatory sightings of stonefish.

Hotspots

Sea anemone field: On the south plateau we are spoiled with a field of sea anemones, where a multitude of clownfish and Red Sea dascyllus feel at home.

Turtle: As everybody is talking about her, of course we want to see Quasimodo too on our dive at Panorama Reef. The turtle with the deformed shell has been living here for years and will hopefully continue to live a long and happy life.

Tour 1 - drift diving


We start out with the Zodiac at the northern plateau and explore this first. There are always surprises hiding under the table corals and we might even see our first shark. On we go then either to the east or west side in a southerly direction; it does not matter where. Perhaps we will just play “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” or dive along the side that feels right. There should be enough current, otherwise the route may be too long for us under certain conditions. When we have reached the southern plateau, we will search for another stonefish and visit the anemone field. We surface at the boat feeling happy and satisfied.

Tour 2 –the south


We dive from the boat and find ourselves at the southern plateau almost immediately, which is protected by the current. Here we explore the giant gorgonians on the chimney at a depth of 30 metres on the east side and will probably find some longnose hawkfish in there. The splendour of the corals will astound us; we keep glancing into the open waters in the hope of seeing larger fish and will definitely pass by the anemone field before we surface again. Marlin and Nemo are waiting there for us!



This drift dive, one of the most fascinating dives in Hurghada, is especially suited to expert divers.

It begins several meters from the east coast of Giftun el Seghir, the smaller of the two military islands of Giftun, half an hour away from Hurghada.

The sensation of drifting in the blue with the current is marvelous. Even more exciting is the possibility of meeting the big and peaceful Napoleon fish, that approaches the divers with curiosity.

This unforgettable gliding flight leads to the vertical wall of Giftun Island, which drops to 90 meters depth.

Here we can choose to continue our dive at 20 meters depth or to go on to explore the famous tunnel cave at 46 meters depth. This sandy bottomed cave is very rich in gorgonians and has the possibility of quite interesting encounters.

However, the shallower path is very beautiful as well. It is on the eastern side of Giftun and is called "Gorgonia Reef" for its richness in coral life.

This dive ends in the lagoon south of the Giftun el Seghir island where the boat has moored. In this lagoon giant moray eels can be met on the lagoon reef which is rich in stone corals, fire corals and many other kinds of hard corals.

You will return in the afternoon (about 2 o'clock p.m.) to the harbor one (1) day before departure, and spent the last over night either on your boat or in your hotel. The next day you will be transferred either to the airport or your hotel. You must be a certified diver with at least 50 logged dives for the under water National Parks (Brother Islands, Daedalus, Rocky Island, and Zabargad). ATTENTION: The tour description is merely our suggestion. Which diving places on tour are dived is determined by many factors including the wind and weather.

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