Ras Mohamed: Shark and Yolanda Reef

Location: Sinai
Description: reef/vertical walls/wreck
Depth: 10 – 40m

One of the most visited sites in the Red Sea – Ras Mohamed. It received National Park status in 1989 to protect its unique marine life. In the underwater coral gardens among giant corals swim grey sharks, barracudas, snapper fish, mackerel, tuna, morays coral fish and dozens if other school if fish. Thanks to the currents from Akaba Bay, large oceanic species also find food and shelter here.

There are many dives you can make here – all of which are drift dives – and they can be varied, depending on different factors. The most classic and most complete dive will allow you to visit not only Shark Reef, but the other two sites, Anemone City and Yolanda Reef, in one.

The dive begins northeast of Shark Reef on a line with a plateau commonly known as Anemone City, which lies at a depth of 12-20 m and just out like a large balcony  over the blue. After explore the Anemone City you must swim in the blue for a few minutes at a depths 20 m, which will lead you directly to Shark Reef, clearly recognizable by the unmistakeable profile of some gorgonians.

If you observe the blue you will easily spot schools of batfish, walls of jackfish, snappers and emperors and bluespine unicorn fish. After going a few dozen meters more, you will reach the sandy  and shallow saddle that connects Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef which silhouette takes shape right after a big gorgonian situated at a depth of 20 m and a second gorgonian at 14 m.

After having crossed this garden you will see – at a depths between 25 and 10 m – the remains of the cargo of Yolanda, a Cypriot merchant ship that sank here on the night if 1 – 2 April 1980 while on its way to Aqaba: containers, bathtubs, sanitary fixtures, wallpapers, cases of whiskey and even a BMW automobile that belonged to the ship captain.

 

Angarosh Reef

Location: Red Sea / Sudan / North
Description: Reef / Outside walls
Depth: 10 – 55 m

In the local language, “Angarosh” means “Mother of Sharks”. An appropriate name for this reef where grey sharks are regularly observed on the drift dives along the outside walls. The top of the reef is at 10 meters deep and the deeper flat area is at 40 – 50 meters. The site consists of two plateaus located respectively at 25 and 45 meters in depth that manta rays particularly appreciate. Rings formed by schools of barracuda are also visible from the blue. Angarosh reef suitable for intermediate divers. Start the dive away from the reef towards the blue and look for sharks. Return and swim along the reef, where you can find lots of reef fish and fantastic corals. The average visibility is 10-20 metres and access to the dive site is by boat.

Angarosh Reef

Dangerous Reef

Location: Red Sea / Egypt / St. John’s
Description: Reef / Coral Garden
Depth: 8 – 26 m

Dangerous reef is the most southerly of the St. John’s reefs dived from Egypt. This is one of the few dive sites in the Southern Red Sea that offer a reasonably shallow flat bottom. This makes it good for an overnight anchorage and night diving. This is a medium sized, diamond shape reef. The hard coral wall drops down to around 18 meters where there is a gently sloping sandy bottom with small coral heads. A family of napoleon wrasse and free-swimming morays are common in this area. The topography here makes for great swim-throughs. There are many breaks in the reef shallows that allow easy and safe penetration.

Small Gota

Location: Egypt / St. John’s
Description: Reef / Coral Garden
Depths: 60+ metres

Small Gota is a small circular shaped reef. Deep walls drop away vertically on all sides into the abyss and the upper reef is absolutely covered in colourful soft coral. Long pink and red whip corals stretch out into the blue and there are some magnificent gorgonian fan corals between 20 and 30m. The upper 20 metres of this reef is teeming with small marine life of all descriptions and tuna and trevallie cruise past, looking for any opportunity of a meal.

Large shoals of blue lunar fusiliers venture cautiously away from the reef only to dart back in tight formation at the first sign of danger. A whole family of humphead napoleon wrasse swim majestically around the reef perimeter. Current normally runs from north to south so if your dive boat is equipped with a zodiac or RIB the best option by far is to get dropped at the northern most tip of the reef and then spend up to an hour cruising with any current or gently swimming back to your boat mooring on the south side.

Finishing the dive in the top few meters of water, there are small fissures in the reef which are well worth exploring during your safety stops.

New reef maps

New coral reef maps published by Cassiopeiasafari! We are always looking at ways to improve our blog and having taken note of your comments over the past few months, we have drawn up 11 new dive site maps of our most favourite diving Wrecks and Reefs in Egypt. To take a look to our new wrecks and reefs maps click here…

 

Shaab Rumi: The best place for shark watching

If I had to name just one underwater dive route that would alone be worth the travel to Sudan, it certainly would be Shaab Rumi! Without a doubt it is one of the most picturesque dive sites in the Red Sea. This reef lies 48km from Port Sudan and encircles a beautiful lagoon which we can cross through a man-made strait (actually blown up by Cousteau). The outer reef, surrounding Shaab Rumi’s various dive sites, contains a place that makes this area unique.

Outside of the lagoon, about 100m from the entrance, Cousteau built his futuristic world, the Precontinent II, in 1963. If you wish to READ MORE about scuba diving at Shaab Rumi and it’s sharks click the link!

Scuba diving at Sha’ab Claudia

Location: Egypt / Marsa Alam / Fury Shoals
Description: Reef / Coral garden / Caves
Depths: 12 – 24 meters

Sha’ab Claudia (sometimes known as Sha’ab Claude) is a small reef with lots of disturbed water at the surface and can have quite large swells in the top 5m of water. To read more about scuba diving at Shaab Claudia click here…

Shaab Claudia