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World | Red Sea | Diving Safaga:

Safaga overview



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Safaga dive site map

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Scuba Diving in Safaga, the Red Sea

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 - 40 metres (65 - 130 feet)

Type of diving:

Reefs, walls, caves, wrecks

Marine life:

White tip reef sharks, moray eels, octopus, eagle rays, blue spotted rays, snappers, sergeants, goatfish, parrotfish, lionfish, butterflyfish, angelfish, damselfish and many types of coral

When to go:

Any time of year, but if you go in July and August be prepared for very hot air temperatures at well over 35°C (95°F). Around January and February the water temperature will also drop to a temperature that will require thicker suit

How to get there:

The most likely route into Safaga will be by flying to Hurghada and then getting a coach transfer down to Safaga which is about 50 kilometres away. See the Hurghada page for details of flights

Street in Safaga - Courtesy of Steve Schulz

Safaga is a sizeable Egyptian town that has built up around its port. The port is there because of Safaga's proximity to the ancient gateway through the Red Sea Hills to the Nile, used as far back as during the Roman Empire. An indication of the Roman roots in the area lies not far from Safaga at the old Roman city of Myos Hormos, just eight kilometres north of Quseir. Here there are archaeological excavations by the roadside which have exposed a large amount of pottery, as well as the remains of buildings. The Red Sea Hills make a stunning backdrop to Safaga, looming out of the Eastern Desert and cut by wadis that are filled with sand dunes and oases. Up into the hills there are abandoned phosphate and granite mines that used to be quarried in order to trade along the coast with India.

In and around Safaga, and at Soma Bay just to the north, there are a number of resorts that bring with them typical Red Sea resort activities such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, snorkelling, swimming and sunbathing. There is also a golf course on the Abu Soma Peninsula. Away from the resorts it is possible to take a guided trip into the deserts wadis and sand dunes, amongst which you will find traditional Bedouin camps where you can buy handmade jewellery and drink Egyptian tea. It is also possible to go on excursions to Luxor which is two hundred kilometres away across the desert then down the Nile. Within Safaga itself there are local shops and markets selling souvenirs as well as more traditional goods such as spices, local food and crafts.

Diving from Safaga is varied and interesting. There are less dive centres than in Hurghada to the north, meaning the dive sites are less crowded and the coral is in better condition. There is something for all levels of diver with shore dives on the house reefs for beginners and some deeper drift dives offshore for the more advanced. The coral reefs are characterised by pinnacles, slopes, grottos and overhangs and all are well populated with marine life. There is also the wreck of the Salem Express, a one hundred metre long ferry that sank in December 1991, sadly killing about five hundred of the passengers onboard who were making a pilgrimage to Mecca. To venture further a field, a liveaboard trip could be a better option for the more avid diver, otherwise day dives from boats or from the shore are available from most resorts.

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