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World | Red Sea | Diving Nuweiba & Taba:

Nuweiba & Taba overview


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Nuweiba & Taba dive site map


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Scuba Diving in Nuweiba and Taba, the Red Sea


Water temperature:

21°C (70°F) in February - 27°C (81°F) in August

Suit:

A shortie is sufficient in July and August and 3mm wetsuit for the rest of the year. Those who feel the cold will prefer a 5mm suit from November to March

Visibility:

10 - 30 metres (30 - 100 feet)

Type of diving:

Coral outcrops, wall dives

Marine life:

Turtles, blue spotted rays, jacks, groupers, seahorses, moray eels, lionfish, pufferfish, boxfish, stonefish, clownfish, shrimps, coral

When to go:

Any time of year, although the summer months of July and August can get stiflingly hot, especially if you plan to go on coach excursions

How to get there:

From the UK - If going on holiday to Taba it is possible to get direct flights to Taba airport. For Nuweiba, there nearest airport is at Taba, followed by Sharm El Sheikh airport.
As with all of Egypt, visas are required. These can be obtained in advance, but it is just as easy to get one on arrival at the airport. They cost $15.


Nuweiba

Nuweiba

Nuweiba is situated on the Sinai Peninsula about 185 kilometres north of Sharm El Sheikh and only 80 kilometres south of Eilat in Israel. It is also only a ninety minute ferry ride from Jordan. Diving in Nuweiba is mostly from the shore as there is a lack of jetty facilities or safe anchorages for boats. There are house reefs and coral gardens covered with the usual Red Sea reef fish which are ideal for less experienced divers. There are also two marine parks: Ras Mumlach and Ras Abu Galum with steep walls and drop offs that make stunning dives for those who are more experienced or for those who want to gain experience. Diving in the Parks means an additional fee has to be paid, but this is well worth it. It is also possible to have day trips to Dahab to some of the more popular dive sites. Hire of weights and cylinders should be included in the price and additional equipment is available for hire.

There are the usual hotel chains along the beaches but there is also the possibility of staying in Bedouin camps in the desert for a more rustic approach to a holiday. The scenery around Nuweiba is impressive with pretty beaches and the Sinai Mountains as a backdrop. The mountains provide an ideal location to go hiking and in less than an hour's car journey you can be at the beautiful 'Colour Canyon' a deep, narrow path eroded into colourful sandstones of the mountains. When not diving, hotels can arrange excursions to Israel and Jordan, and trips to Mount Moses and the 6th Century St Catherine's Monastery. Jeep or camel safaris into the desert are also popular and don't forget it is possible to snorkel, swim or relax on the beach or at the hotel. The local village provides an opportunity to go shopping and Bedouin traders sell their homemade jewellery.


Taba

Taba is located at the tip of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. It is lies just inside Egypt near the border of Israel, and used to be part of Israel. Taba is a less popular or well developed resort than Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada and is consequently much quieter. Although there are plenty of excursions on offer (see the Nuweiba excursions above), these mostly involve long coach journeys and if you are going on holiday here expect the diving to take up most of your time. There have been some hotel chains built recently along Taba's coastline, however there are still Bedouin camps for those preferring simple accommodation.

The benefit of diving from Taba is that you have access to the reefs around Taba and those of Eilat in Israel, which is only a short distance away. Many of the dives are shore dives. One of Taba's main attractions is Pharaohs Island, with the ruins of a 12th Century fort built on top of it, built to protect pilgrims on their journey from Jerusalem to St Catherine's Monastery, and to levy taxes on Arab merchants. The fort was later occupied by Crusaders and then taken under control by Sultan Salah El Din. The reefs surrounding the island make good dive sites. There is also Nabq National Park of that extends over 600 square kilometres and is home to a selection of wildlife including herons, storks, foxes and gazelles.


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