>>>Scuba diving in the Red Sea

Scuba diving in the Red Sea

Heaven for scuba divers is two thousand metres down in the depths of the Indian Ocean. Don’t be fooled by its name: its waters are crystal clear.
The first thing you need to know is that the Red Sea is not exactly a sea, nor is it red. In fact, it’s a gulf in the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia and gets its name from the algae that colour its waters a brownish reddish colour. However, do not fret scuba divers of the world, for its crystal-clear waters provide visibility of up to forty metres and are perfect for discovering the world beneath the waves: vertical walls, coral gardens, whale sharks, hammerheads and the terrifying longimanus shark, also known as the Oceanic whitetip shark, and many more. As well as its rich biodiversity, composed of over one thousand species of invertebrates, hundreds of types of fish and over two hundred and fifty varieties of coral, it hides other secrets: Shipwrecks and battle scenes that you can swim through and, who knows, maybe find some hidden treasure.

When to visit?

You can go scuba diving in the Red Sea at any time of year, although if you want to see whale sharks close up, which is one of its main attractions, you can only do so from the end of May until the end of July, in the northern area.

If you choose to visit, you have two routes to pick from: the north or the south. In the northern area lies Sharm el-Sheikh, one of the best destinations for scuba diving in the world, from where you can reach other places such as the Strait of Tiran or the Ras Muhammad National Park, where you’ll find everything from small coral reef fish to motorbikes and train engines. The latter two are part of the shipwreck of the Thistlegorm, which was sunk by the Germans in the Second World War and is today one of the favourite sites for scuba divers to explore. Another place where you can find shipwrecks is in Hurghada. There are several and from different ages which makes it awe-inspiring to float between so many different stories buried at the bottom of the sea, There are also coral reefs where bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, tuna fish, barracudas, and whitetip sharks swim.
The southern route is not as well-known as the northern one and is more focussed on professional scuba diving. It is famous for its coral reefs, which are better preserved than in the north. In Marsa Alam you can go in search of dugongs, sea cows, that can be found in seagrass meadows. From Marsa Alam you can also find other scuba diving points in the area, such as Elphinstone or Dolphin House, where people go snorkelling with the dolphins all year round. In the south there is also one of the most photogenic dives, in Shaa Claudia. Its caverns create a pattern of lights that are perfect for those who wish to document their experience on video.
To go scuba diving in the Red Sea you can book specialised cruises or book from resorts or hotels. Most people plan various scuba diving excursions, especially beginners, although there are excursions to suit all levels. Whilst you’re there, you can take a trip to Cairo and discover one of the most fascinating civilizations in the world first hand. You don’t need to part the waters like Moses did; you have several convenient transport options to take you there.

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