Well known for its reputation as a site to spot dolphins, Shaab el Erg is a 5 km long horseshoe-shaped reef with a sheltered lagoon. There are several good dive sites around the reef that, besides dolphins, are home to a wide variation of marine life, including turtles, moray eels, napoleon wrasse and sting rays. Diving the site ‘Dolphin House’ covers a section of the outer reef, as well as the channel that the dolphins use to swim in and out of the lagoon.
Situated in the open sea and subject to weather conditions, Careless Reef consists of two pinnacles situated on a plateau, with drop offs on all sides. The pinnacles are great places to explore and spot marine life. Early in the day divers may even encounter a reef shark.
Abu Ramada is a small island that offers several excellent dive sites. Popular with beginners and try-divers, Gota Abu Ramada is a site that offers calm conditions and a sandy bottom. The reef makes for a pleasant dive with plenty of tropical reef fish, like butterfly fish and yellow goatfish. Abu Ramada North makes for an adventurous wall dive. Divers descent to a plateau at 22 meters, from where there are drop offs on both sides. Nicknamed ‘the Aquarium’, this popular Hurghada dive site is home to a stunning population of schooling fish, including banner fish and barracuda.
A heaven for the avid wreck diver, the reef of Abu Nuhas harbors four wrecks within recreational diving limits. The name of this site, meaning ‘father of bad luck’, refers to the large number of ships that have hit the reef in the past on their way to the Suez channel. The Marcus is a great wreck for beginners, starting at 5 meters at the bow and descending to 26 meters at the stern. Wine ship ‘the Carnatic’ broke in two and now lies on its side between 12 and 24 meters. The wreck has a huge bronze propeller and, with over 140 years at the bottom of the ocean, is beautifully covered in corals.