Scuba diving in Sharm El Sheikh

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About diving in Sharm El Sheikh

by Scubacrowd

DSharm El Sheikh or Bay of the Sheikh is located on the Southern end of the Sinai Peninsula. The city has progressed to the most famous tourist destination in Egypt. It is known worldwide for its scuba diving activities as it is the gate to some of the most interesting dive sites of the Red Sea. It is also called the City of Peace for the number of international peace conferences that have been held there.

The crystal clear water, the exceptional reefs and the great variety of exotic fish have made Sharm El Sheikh a top destination for divers. The Ras Mohammed National Park is situated just to the south of the city and hosts dive sites such as The Alternatives, locally known as the 7 Pinnacles where you can find a chain of shallow reefs and an enclosed lagoon, the Jackfish Alley, also known as Fisherman's Bank where you can appreciate the sun shining down the reef and a great view of the big blue. The site should be dived by experienced divers due to the long swim and deep dive. Yolanda Reef, along with Shark Reef are two emerging reefs that are located about 20-30 m down. As the name suggest, who might see some sharks here. Dunraven is a wreck of 270ft steam and sail boat that used to carry spices, timber and cotton.

Sharm El Sheikh has all the services available for your scuba diving holiday: quality dive shops, dive centers and boats. In addition, many of them are run by Europeans, so any language you speak, there should be a dive center for you. Being close to the Red Sea, it has one of the most stunning underwater scenery and warm water making it the best place to dive. Beach seekers will always find things to do and a great place to enjoy here, where the water is clear and calm all year long.

As for the accommodation, a budget oriented market has developed but you will also find five-star resorts, with all the facilities you need.

Sharm El Sheikh has an arid climate, which means warm and dry weather, but summer months can sometimes be humid, but diving is possible all year round. If you have time to enjoy the landscape, a trip to the desert is quite unforgettable adventure.

Finally, getting to Sharm El Sheikh is quite simple as the city has an international airport to and from which many airlines operate normal and charter flights. If you are already in Egypt you can access by boat from Hurghada, by car or bus from Dahab, Cairo and Nuweiba.

You can usually find in this area dolphins, manta rays, green turtle, hawksbill turtle, eagle ray, white tip shark, reef shark, whale shark, white tip reef shark.

Dolphins: You can find these playful creatures all year long here at Sharm el Sheik. They are most of the time not threatened by human presence and have been known to protect swimmers from threats of sharks. They should not be chased or touched forcefully, let them come naturally. They are among the most intelligent mamals on the planet. They can be seen during or between dives so keep an eye out during your surface intervals in Egypt!

Eagle Rays: These majestic animals can be found in shallow waters on reefs or all the way down the depths to 80m. They are most frequently seen near Sharm el Sheik during May and June. They rarely interact with divers and will most definitely ignore your presence. They are open ocean dwellers and don't live at the ocean's bottom like other types of rays. They aren't dangerous to humans but they do have poisonous barbs on their tail and also known to jump completely out of water, landing sometimes on ships and boats passing by.

Green Turtles: Although endangered you will find them pretty often around coral reefs. They are harmless and are usually not bothered by divers' presence you might have a chance to get really close to them. Please respect them and don't attempt to ride them or touch them. They are most commonly seen in June and July. The long coral wall in Sharm el Sheik is the perfect place to spot some.

Hammerhead Sharks: These sharks are hunters, but they do not consider human as preys in general. They will however attack defensively if provoked. Its small mouth is designed for fish and many have dived with schools of hammerheads without any incidents. A whole school sighting is pretty rare in Sharm el Sheik as they are more open ocean dwellers. They are though sighted from time to time near the shores as a lonely hunter. They are pretty commonly seen during summer in Egypt.

Hawsbill Turtle: Similar to the Green Turtles they are common sights and are pretty passive to human presence. They have a sharp beak compared to the short snout on the Green Turtle. They are an even more endangered species as their eggs and offsprings are extremely vulnerable. They are most common during May and June.

Manta Rays: Manta Rays are often accompanied by cleaner wrasses to remove parasites near the reef. They are pretty passive towards divers but can be seen approaching sometimes to play with the bubbles generated by divers. It is recommended to stay close to the bottom and observe. If you're lucky, you will be approached by one. They are the largest of the ray family and have more triangular wings compared to others. In Sharm el Sheik they can be spotted from March to June, in late spring.

Whale Sharks: This species of shark has no teeth. They feed by filtering the waters by moving slowly, like a whale. They are docile and younger ones even play with divers sometimes. Do not swim infront or directly behind them. They are massive animals that can knock you out with their tail and fins. It is also not recommend to touch them as they are vulnerable to diseases.

Reef Sharks: Normally shy or passive, they are known to become agressive in the presence of food. They are often curious of divers when they first enter the water and may approach to check you out! They will however lose interest if they've seen other divers beforehand. Since Sharm el Sheik is a reef paradise, they are pretty common all year long. They prefer warm waters and will be seen around Egypt during early summer around May to July.

White Tip Reef Shark: They are quite common while diving coral reefs and aren't bothered by divers so you can get pretty close to them for some great photos. Like the Reef Shark they can be seen all year long.