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World | Diving Red Sea:

Red Sea overview




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Click here for printed guides of Red Sea Dive Sites

Travelling Diver site by site printed guides for the dive sites in this area, with maps, dive site illustrations and integrated log book

We have teamed up with Travelling Diver to offer you printed guides to the Red Sea. Text and illustrations of dive sites are provided by amongst others Rik Vercoe, our largest contributor to the region and one of the foremost authorities for information in the area with over 1000 dives undertaken in the region during his research.

  • Lightweight - ideal for airline baggage weight restrictions
  • Fits into your standard diving logbook binder
  • Recommended and approved by leading organisations
  • Click to find out more ...

Red Sea dive site map

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Scuba Diving in the Red Sea (Egypt, Sudan and Jordan)

Water temperature:

20°C (68°F) in February to 27°C (81°F) from July to October


3mm or 5mm wetsuit (November - April), shortie for rest of the year


20 - 60 metres (65 - 200 feet), 30 - 40 metres (100 - 130 feet) on average

Type of diving:

Reefs, walls, wrecks

Marine life:

Turtles, blue spotted rays, jacks, snappers, barracudas, lionfish, reef fish, colourful coral

When to go:

Any time of year, although if you are after really warm water it is best to visit the Red Sea between June and September. Air temperatures reach 40°C (104°F) in August and fall to 20°C (68°F) in the winter, which may also dictate when you travel

How to get there:

Entry visas are required when visiting Egypt. These can be purchased at the airport itself at a cost of about $25 USD / 15 GBP.
Sharm El Sheikh from the UK- Direct five hour flights from Gatwick and Manchester on Sundays. Transfers to hotels from Sharm airport take about 30 minutes
Hurghada from the UK - Direct five hour flights from Gatwick and Manchester on Fridays
Sudan from the UK – There are no direct flights from the UK to Sudan so a change in Cairo is necessary

the Red Sea - Courtesy of Simon Baker

Diving in the Red Sea is first class. The best of the reefs are absolutely stunning with a real diversity of life. Combined with the interesting wreck diving, a holiday to the Red Sea can be a trip of a lifetime. Diving is a serious business here and the industry has bought a lot of money to the region. Dive operators are beginning to realise how vital the protection of the reefs is and marine parks have been set up as protected sites in order to preserve them and the communities they support. Divers are charged an extra 5 USD to dive in the parks, money that goes back into the preservation of the reef. The whole of the Red Sea is protected with a ‘look but don’t touch policy’, and feeding of fish, wearing gloves, fishing and littering is not allowed. The Red Sea is saltier than other oceans so you will require a little more weight than normal sea diving.

Before visiting the Red Sea it is necessary to decide whether you want to be doing day diving or if you would prefer to dive from a liveaboard. This really depends on the sort of diving you want to do and whether you want to spend your entire holiday diving or if you would prefer to combine it with other activities. If you want to see some of Egypt whilst on holiday or if you have non-divers with you, then chose your resort according to what you would like to do above water. It is important to note that non-divers will have holidays that are strongly resort- or pool-based. See the break down of what each resort in the Red Sea has to offer on our regional overview pages.

Liveaboards are great for parties of divers who want to do a weeks solid diving and get a real taste of the varied dive sites in the Red Sea. They enable you to reach sites that are further from the resorts and be in and out of the water before they become crowded with day boats. Divers wake up at the dive sites and relax in between dives by sunbathing, reading, writing dive logs or sleeping. Liveaboards range from basic to luxurious, dependent on how much you wish to pay for them, but all prices normally include packages of two day dives and one night dive, cylinder and weight hire, and food. Other than water tea and coffee, drinks generally have to be additionally paid for. It is stipulated that divers must have completed at least fifteen dives prior to diving from a liveaboard.

There are a number of liveaboard options open to you dependent on where you would like to dive in the Red Sea. The Northern Safaris take you from either Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh to the wrecks at Sha'ab Abu Nuhas, across the Straits of Gubal, to the Thistlegorm and to Ras Mohammed. Liveaboards also depart from Hurghada to explore the Safaga region and visit Panorama Reef, the Salem Express, Abu Kafan and Sha'ab Sheer. To visit more pristine, remote reefs and to increase the chances of seeing bigger fish such as sharks, liveaboards are also available from Marsa Alam in Southern Egypt and from Port Sudan, Sudan.

Red Sea Reef Prefix Glossary






Also a reef, however always downcurrent from another main reef. A Sha'abrour will always share the same name as its parent reef i.e. it is always affiliated to another reef. An example of this is found north of Hurghada where the reefs of Umm Gamar and Sha'abrour Umm Gamar can be found.



Piece. This prefix is used when there are other reef pieces in the same reef chain - i.e. this is a 'piece' of that reef, island or chain.



Pinnacle (singular)

El Aruk


A group of pinnacles (the pleural of Erg)



A submerged reef which never breaks the surface.



An enclosed bay, usually at the end of a channel and generally smaller than a Marsa.



An open bay or gulf, generally bigger than a Sharm.



A head or point of land or reef. Always coastal, never applies to islands.



Throat or neck. Usually applies to a thin outcrop of reef from a main reef or island. Also applies to outcrops on the northern side of islands or reefs. Not used for coastal features.



North or windward side of a reef or island.







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