- This tour is for “everyone” possible – experienced as well as less experienced divers. Beautiful reefs and interesting wrecks are on the program.
- After starting in our marina it is a short distance to Shaab el Erg (extra charge Marine Park fee) to the dolphins (if they are at home), then 2 or 3 wreck dives at Abu Nuhas.
- We will continue then to the famous Thistlegorm. On the way we pass in Gubal and Siyul to admire some great reefs and explore the underwater world at night.
- On our way to the south nearby Safaga we have the wreck of the 1991 sunken ferry Salem Express in the program. Then we continue to the beautiful reefs at Panorama Reef. At the end of the tour another “highlight” is waiting for us, the Elphinstone with its Longimani and Hammerheads and impressive drop offs.
On the eastern plateau, we have the pleasure of running into longnose hawkfish, lionfish under the table coral, barracudas, reef sharks, shoaling fishes and two cleaning stations: one at the centre of the plateau for young tuna, the other located close to a large block on the south side for surgeonfish. The 'cowardly triggerfish' also lives here too – however, that's a whole other story and one that is best told by the guides on site.
One single block stands in the southern area of Abu Dabab III. Here we can see bright red lionfish and during a night dive even gorgonians or gorgonocephalidae which feature beguiling branched arms. Whoever wants to see dolphins, loggerhead sea turtles or sharks is well placed in this part of the reef.
The famous 'Heaven One' – a safari boat which sunk on 27 April 2003 after a fire in the engine room – lies in the north. Not far from here, we can find a colony of sea anemones and a cave system.
The west side has some blocks and coral formations as well as sleeping reef sharks that like retreating here to get a little rest. Maybe they aren't even sleeping, but rather meditating – there are supposedly even some vegetarians among the sharks. We can then look along the edge of the reef for the remnants of amphorae.
From Marsa Alam, the boat travels north approx. one and a half hours to the Elphinstone Reef – a great excursion! Depending on the water level, the Elphinstone's high plateau lies at a depth between one and three metres. Strong surface currents and lots of boat traffic make it impossible to snorkel here.
Divers however can plunge straight into some challenging fun! The reef is known for its extraordinary biodiversity and, of course, also for sighting large fish. In the north, we dive down a sloping plateau from 18 to 40 metres, and in the south, down the underwater terraces . The west and east wall plunge steeply into the deep. The Elphinstone Reef has a total length of approx. 725 metres and a width of 140 metres.
Hard and soft coral in a myriad of colours make us rejoice under water – if we could, we'd jump for joy. Joining us are also turtles, moray eels, Red Sea percidae, whitetip reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks and honestly just about everything the Red Sea has to offer. If we don't see it here, then where?
Shaab el Erg
Shaab el Erg is an extensive reef, in the shape of a horseshoe. This formation is open to the south with a shallow lagoon, which is full of ergs. The whole lagoon can be dived.
Very popular are the northern tip, the eastern wall or the southwestern tip - Gota Shaab el Erg.
This dive starts at the north-eastern point of the tip and then goes along the coral wall to the south to the arcuate protected bay at the north side of the island Small Gubal. A strong current drives the diver in a southerly direction, so you should stay as close as possible to the wall.
Because of the mainly prevailing north current,
she laid almost exactly with the bow northwards, in line with the port anchor. The attack must have come all of a sudden at the unarmed coal freighter.
A bomb hit
on the starboard side at the height of the rear hold, which let the ship sink fast. Today the Rosalie Moller stands upright in a north-south direction on the keel, which lies in 50m on a firm sandy ground.
The Rosalie Moller is an unique experience,
even if the visibility at the wreck is often very bad (the upper deck lies at 30m), not only due to the depth at which it lies (for conditions in the Red Sea).
This dive is unsuitable
for beginners, as each dive reaches the Deco-limits and as the end of the dive is at the rope, this can be hard due to the often dominant swell and current, it’s a real exercise of one’s condition.
It was a tragic navigational mistake, which caused the demise of the Salem Express. The ship came from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and wanted to call at the port of Safaga. Only eleven kilometers away from the port of destination, the ferry ran aground at full speed on the westernmost coral block of the Hyndman reef.
A 10 meter long hole had been torn into the front part of the hull, whereby the enormous bow flap of the ship jumped up. Through these two openings, enormous quantities of water was able to penetrate and it sank in only a few minutes. From the 690 passengers only 180 survived the accident.
Abu Nuhas / Carnatic
The Carnatic on the journey from Liverpool to Bombay with 27 crew members, 203 passengers as well as a cargo of cotton, copper plates and 40,000 pounds Sterling in gold, in the night of 13. September 1869 on the reef Shab Abu Nuhas.
The ship at first, remained lying on the reef, however it broke apart on 15 September despite different rescue attempts and sank.
The exaggerated confidence in the stabilityof the ship affected itself fatally. Since the Carnatic had not been vacated, and both passengers and members of the crew remained on board, the ship dragged 27 people with it into the deep.
The survivors saved themselves firstly onto Shadwan island and were later saved from the Sumatra.
In October 1869a helmet diver saved the largest part of the gold freight as well as 700 copper plates. Also several dead bodies were discovered – a victim was still stuck in a porthole, through which he had tried to escape in vain.
There is still 8,000 pounds in Sterling which can still be found in the wreck. So far, nobody has found it – perhaps they have been secretly retrieved or has disappeared under the coral.
The wreck was again discovered in 1984, and since then is a popular goal for the dive boats from Hurghada. Since then it has been thoroughly plundered by souvenir hunters.
The “Carnatic” lies on it’s side at the base of the reef, in a depth of 20 to 27 m. In the centre the ship is badly destroyed, bow and stern are in good condition. The wooden deck has rotted away, so that one can safely penetrate the inside. The hull is densely covered with stone and leather coral.
Abu Nuhas / Chrisoula
After several owners it finally changed to the shipping company Clarion navy and got the name Chrisoula K. It was under this name, which she began her last voyage, which was on 30. August 1981, in the area of the reef of Abu Nuhas in the Red Sea, with a freight of cheap Italian paving tiles. By a navigational error of the captain, the ship hit the reef and sank on the night of 30. August.
The wreck lies today in a position which is optimal for divers, at a depth between 5 meters and 25 meters. The ship is in slightly inclined position, which is strongly damaged in the middle part, where it ran aground.
Abu Nuhas / Ghiannis
The rear half of the wreck lies a little bent, on the port side. Over the front of the Quarterdecks, rises the funnel with the large letters “D”.
“D” stands for the name of the shipping company: Danae.
Before the funnel lies the bridge deck, behind it different areas, an enormous winch, the bollard, the intact railing and also the framework, which supported a large awning in former times, which did not get damaged as it sank.
At the foot of the funnel, are narrow portholes, which lead into the engine room. The machines offer an impressive sight, with their long series of camshafts, valves and lines.
The middle ship area resembles a scrap heap, because steel girders are bent and torn up, and the side panels lie caved in on the sea-bottom. This area of the wreck is teeming with flat heads, scorpion fish and parrot fish. Also some groupers are at home here.
The north side of Shaab Sheer is a little less quiet, but the south side in right there like a lagoon and is usually very well protected. We can expect a strong current on the west side, which faces the 'South Safaga Channel'. Most divers appreciate the area between three and 15 metres because the brain coral garden looks almost like the landscape of the moon; despite this we find a wide variety of reef inhabitants.
Picasso triggerfish, orange-striped and yellowmargin triggerfish, parrotfish, scrawled filefish and sling-jaw wrasse are to be found here in large numbers. In the area of the north plateau and at the steep wall we can also see bream, humpnose big-eye bream, mackerels, red and black snapper as well as shoals of tuna and barracuda.
In 60 to 90 minutes we will have reached Panorama Reef by boat. The east and west sides drop steeply; to the north and south, however, we find very interesting plateaus with a whole lot of life and, what else, but a spectacular panorama. We can see unicornfish, barracudas and giant trevally. The west side is where we are most likely to see whitetip reef sharks and, particularly in the afternoon, grey reef sharks, moray eels every now and then, flatheads, eagle rays, dolphins, silvertip sharks, humphead wrasses and the famous turtle with the deformed shell.
Wonderful hill-forming corals, large table corals and thousands of anthiinae are to be found on the northern plateau at Panorama Reef. The current comes from the north to 95 percent, which means it is often quite ‘stormy’ here. The south plateau is more protected; it begins at a depth of 18 metres and falls slowly to a depth of 30 metres. Giant gorgonians grow up the chimney. The large field of sea anemones is also part of it, as are the almost obligatory sightings of stonefish.
Ras Abu Soma
"Ras", what means the "head" of Abu Soma, is the drop off that falls in the depth at the northern end of the bay of Safaga. In about 25 meters depth we find a plateau with many corals, especially table and hard corals.
Wind and current are at "Ras Abu Soma" not worth mentioning, so this dive spot is ideal also for rookies who want to see something more than just reef fish. In blue water there is a good chance to see barracuda, mackerel, snapper, tuna and bat and surgeonfish. From time to time even grey reef sharks or white tip reef sharks sighted at "Ras Abu Soma" - in spring as well leopard or hammerhead sharks, stingrays, violin or eagle rays and manta rays.
Should we really be dogged by bad luck, we will see just some boxfish. There are times when the big fish avoid "Ras Abu Soma". Why? This mystery was not yet to be aired.
But at the Plateau we always find interesting reef dwellers such as moray eels, octopus or cuttlefish at the reef slope and Clownfish in their anemone homes. Further south, "Ras Abu Soma Garden", a great coral garden - the turtles and milkfish love is.
This safari can start in Hurghada and end in Port Ghaleb or start in Port Ghaleb and end in Hurghada.
ATTENTION: The tour description is merely our suggestion. Which diving places on tour are dived is determined by many factors including the wind and weather.
After arrival in Hurghada or Marsa Alam transfer to the boat.
Check in, dinner and spending the first night onboard in the marina.
Departure in the morning.to Umm Gamar
Instruction on the boat,
Diving, safety and equipment briefing.
Two dives Umm Gamar and Siyoul Island
Night dive at Beacon Rock
Dive at Dunraven
Two dives at Thistlegorm
Dive at the Thistlegorm
Dive at Small Gubal Island
Dive at Ghiannis D.
Night dive at Abu Nuhas
Dives at Abu Nuhas
Dives at Panorama reef,
Dive at Elphinstone reef and Marsa Shona
Head to Port.
At least 20 hour safety rest before flying would be given to all participants.
Handing trip educational material/ videos.
Breakfast and check out latest at 10:00 am.
Transfer to the airport or hotel.