- The name says it all. This tour shows the Sudan at its best. From Shaab Rumi, the reef of Jacques Cousteau, the Wingate Reef where the Umbria lies, until the south to Shaab Ambar, you‘ll find a stunning, pristine underwater world.
The east side
In the occasional current, nice drift dives can be carried out on this side. The reef wall drops steeply into the deep blue. At the southern end of the east side, the diver will find a narrow incline from 20 meters. Small step-like projections nestle into the slope at a depth of 30 or 60 meters. The entire wall is beautifully overgrown and huge gorgonian stretch their fans into the current. Jewel groupers and butterfly fish are close to the reef. Shoals of copper snappers and mackerel roam along the wall. Especially in the morning, large pelagic fish rise from the depths. In addition to various types of sharks, manta rays can occasionally be found on a dive. At the south end, in the area of the plateau approach, a small collection of anemones can be admired in the flat area. Due to the attractive south plateau, dives on the east side are rarely undertaken.
The north plateau
The frequently occurring north current ensures beautiful stone and soft coral growth on the three-level plateau. The first paragraph is in shallow water at a depth of 3 to 4 meters. Numerous doctor and various butterfly fish populate the sparsely vegetated reef roof. There is a sloping slope to a depth of 12 meters, which is partially populated with colonies of white and blue antler corals. At the foot of this slope is the second plateau. It descends steadily to 30 meters and is covered with numerous soft corals. The abundance of fish on the plateau is not as great as on the steep wall, on which numerous fish and other reef inhabitants fill the corals with lively life. Below a slope, the third step begins at a depth of about 60 meters, on the north end of which there is a larger coral hill. In the channel between the hill and the slope, silhouettes of hammerhead sharks can sometimes be seen. Especially in the period from late summer to autumn, they often go their way beyond the limits that can be reached by recreational divers. Shoaling fish, such as mackerel, copper snapper and Red Sea fusiliers, swim along the reef in the shallower area on the east side.
Shaab Rumi South Plateau with Precontinent II
There is a variety of colors and species that make a dive an unforgettable experience. The reef wall is very rugged on the upper 15 to 20 meters and forms numerous caves and crevices. Below this is the tongue-shaped plateau, which sinks to 30 meters. There is a small channel parallel to his approach. The outside, covered with numerous hard corals, drops steeply into the depth. At a depth of 55 meters, a narrow sloping slope hugs the southern end. The Big Boys pass this long foothill into the open water.
The southwest tip is an attraction of this place: In the open water, a school of bow-fronted hammerhead sharks often patrols. If you dive a little into the blue, with a little luck, these reserved sea creatures can be observed. However, care should be taken not to swim towards them frantically, otherwise the shy hunters will quickly disappear into the depths of the open sea. But be careful: The current can pull the diver very quickly into the open water without giving them the chance to reach the reef again on their own.
After an excursion to the southern tip, the plateau can be explored in all its splendor. In the middle is a mushroom-like, beautifully overgrown coral block. The bottom is covered with sea fans, leather and stone corals, on which dragon heads lurk for prey floating past.
At the southeast end, numerous whip corals can be admired, between which jewel flagfish scurry around. A large flock of baracudas circles over it.
An old shark cage is part of the Precontinent II project on the eastern plateau. Next to it is a plaque commemorating an Austrian diver who died in 1993. A very trusting swarm of sweet lips makes this shot a dream for every underwater photographer. With a practiced eye and a bit of luck, you can also spot a stonefish that lurks for prey well camouflaged. In the flat area, there can be encounters with gray reef sharks, which pull over the plateau together with white tip reef sharks. Sometimes dolphins visit the reef. Unfortunately, the excess of air used up too quickly limits every dive.
The south side with the southwest plateau
By far the most dives are carried out on the southwest plateau. The underwater life unfolds here a breathtaking splendor.
The south side forms a vertical reef wall down to a depth of 10 meters and merges into an inclined slope below. The slope bends vertically in the area of 35 meters. The upper area is rugged and forms numerous small caves and crevices. One encounters short-spined hedgehog fish over forests of leather corals. At a depth of about 50 meters, a small sandy step nestles against the reef before the wall below disappears vertically in the deep blue.
The southwest plateau connects to the west. Large table corals stand on its base, at a depth of 10 to 15 meters. Numerous whip corals rise from the bottom, some of which form entire forests. With such an abundance of species, it is difficult to decide in which direction the dive should continue. On the one hand, the vibrant life on the plateau attracts, on the other hand, gray reef sharks, black tip and hammerhead sharks can be found in the area of the edge, as well as on the entire outer wall of the reef. With a little luck, sea turtles or passing mantas can be spotted.
The outer edge of the plateau begins at its base at 10 meters and sinks to about 33 meters at the extreme south-west tip. The strongly jagged outer wall runs almost vertically on it and forms overhangs. The entire splendor of the Red Sea unfolds on the plateau. A number of small coral columns, some of which are beautifully decorated with purple soft corals, invite you to look at and take pictures. A large swarm of Barakudas, loyal to the location, is circling. It is so trusting that a cautious diver can swim up to the arm length of individual animals. A huge swarm of mackerel is also common. Jewel flagfish appear in this coral garden in an unlimited number. A large number of sponges, leather corals, gorgonians and fire corals settle on the bottom. At the foot of the upper reef wall, a strip of sand stretches across the plateau, on which large green giant triggerfish have dug their eggs in the sand. Care should be taken there as they aggressively defend their nests. The reef wall above the plateau is so jagged up to 10 meters that canyons have formed. They are easy to dive.
An elongated plateau connects directly to the northern tip. There is hardly any diving because the highlight on the Sanganeb reef is the southwest plateau. However, eventful dives can also be carried out at the north end.
The approach of the plateau begins at a depth of 4 meters. Due to the waves and the frequently occurring strong currents, it is rarely suitable for diving. From its outer edge, however, you can beautifully observe the many small reef fish that swim around in the game of the waves.
Below the first step there is a sloping slope very nicely covered with soft and stone corals. It flows into a canal at a depth of 25 meters. The often strong current makes it impossible to swim against it.
In the northern direction, the plateau initially rises again to 20 meters, in order to then change into a steep drop. Shoals of barbed mackerel, fusiliers and copper snappers pass by on the outside. Below them, soft corals sway in the current.
A further plateau begins at a depth of 40 meters, which descends continuously to a depth beyond 60 meters in order to drop steeply below. At this level there are good chances to spot gray reef sharks and hammerheads. The sloping slope offers a magnificent sight. It is overgrown with numerous soft corals and fan corals stretch their bodies into the free water.
In the shallower area you can encounter a swarm of baracuda or large groups of double-spot snappers.
Wingate Reef with Umbria
Despite the dangerous situation in the port entrance of Port Sudan, the "Umbria" is not recovered. A prohibition zone is pronounced around the wreck with its davits, some of which still protrude from the water, and then left to its own devices.
Nine years after its demise, the "Umbria" aroused the interest of the then 30-year-old Hans Hass. His contacts with the governor of Port Sudan finally enabled him to dive on the "Umbria".
His photo and film material contributed significantly to the myth of the wreck. The "Umbria" is now one of the most famous wrecks in the Red Sea.
Located within sight of Port Sudan, it usually forms the start or end of a liveaboard trip. Even if the collective rage of many divers has left its mark here, the old lady with the explosive cargo has lost none of her charm. The sinking point can be easily recognized by the four davits that protrude from the water on the starboard side. The sediment-rich subsoil, the immediate location to the port entrance and the low currents often contribute to reduced visibility.
The wreck is inclined 75 ° to the port side. The three front holds are connected to the intact bow. The crew quarters and the bridge can be found amidships. To the stern are two more holds and the aft deck. Both the holds and the midship superstructures can be easily explored.
Due to the extreme inclination and the dangerous load, extreme caution is required when handling objects. If you approach the bow of the "Umbria" from the open water, the steeply rising bow Steven with the flag stick appears mystically in the greenish water.
The two anchor chains run to the bottom, the "Umbria" was at anchor when it sank. The anchor winch and the railing are covered with corals.
The decking is still in astonishingly good condition. The small hatches are an indication of the age of the ship. In the first hold, the entrance of which is on the foredeck, wooden boxes, electrical material and airplane tires are stored next to the ubiquitous ammunition. In the second, somewhat larger hold there are bombs, grenades and stick grenades. The detonators, which are kept separate from the explosive devices, are scattered around in almost every hold. The third hold is one of the most visited.
In addition to cement sacks and other building materials, wine bottles and jam jars can be found here.
A narrow port or starboard passage leads to the midships area on the first loading level, where there are three vehicles.
The Fiat 1100 Lunga were specially designed for off-road use in the Italian colonies. Unfortunately, quite a few divers left their mark on the vehicles. The fine sediment quickly reduces the visibility to zero, so that if possible this part of the ship should be visited with small groups at larger intervals. The midship section with the bridge and its superstructures can also be easily explored by snorkeling. On the starboard side 4 empty davits protrude from the water. On this side there is also a single bathroom with a toilet, bathtub and a sink made of enamel.
The huge machine room can be accessed either through one of the open skylights behind the chimney or through the workshop accessible from aft. The multi-storey room is easy to dive in the upper sections, the lower ones are reserved for experienced divers.
Grates limit the numerous units. Wind scoops, loading booms, the broken chimney and a lifeboat lie on the sea floor towards the port side of the superstructure. In the direction of the rear there are two further holds. Some of them are spanned by the overturned loading booms. As in the front holds, ammunition, building materials and various war equipment can be found here. The one-story superstructure between the fourth and fifth cargo space houses the galley and some storage rooms. At the rear, the planking is missing. The red soft corals on the railing and the deck struts provide the necessary color. The rudder system and the exposed timing chain are easy to see. Below the railing, the huge rudder blade and the starboard propeller are impressive. The port screw has sunk into the floor. Under the rudder blade there is a huge artificial cave that can only be exited through two exits. The twilight contributes to a mystical mood.
More than 360,000 bombs and 60 boxes of incendiary bombs and other explosives are stowed in the 5 holds. Cars, aircraft parts as well as cement bags and other building materials.
The route leads the "Umbria" via Messina in Sicily to Port Said, from where it is to sail through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to East Africa.
After arriving in Port Said on June 3, it bunkers another 1,000 tons of coal and 130 tons of water. 23 British Navy soldiers and 2 pilots board here. In view of the impending entry of war between Italy and England, the passage of the canal is deliberately delayed. So the "Umbria" with her explosive cargo leaves Suez only 3 days later.
From now on she pursues the gunboat "Grimsby". It stops the freighter at Port Sudan on the grounds that it is in British sovereign waters. The "Umbria" anchors on June 9th at Wingate Reef.
Under the pretext of wanting to search the ship for contraband, Lieutenant Steves led 22 soldiers from New Zealand cruiser "Leander" on board. They immediately occupied the strategically important points and started a time-consuming search.
In the afternoon, Captain Muiesan in his cabin hears via radio that Italy will declare war at 7:00 p.m. and that the first acts of war can be expected from 12:00 a.m. the following day.
It is clear to Muiesan that he must not waste any more time so that the strategically important cargo does not fall into enemy hands. Together with the first officer Radolfo Zarli and the flight engineer Carlo Costa, he plans the sinking.
The inconspicuous evacuation of the crew is causing them difficulties.
Finally, Muiesan suggests Lieutenant Steves to conduct a rescue exercise, which he approves in the hope that he will be able to hold on to the "Umbria" even more. As the Italians begin the exercise, Steves receives news of severe water ingress throughout the ship on the bridge After a few minutes and with the ship's flank increasing, he realizes that he can no longer prevent the sinking.
On board the "Gimsby", Muiesan tells him that Italy was entering the war and that he had given the order to sink himself.
He then went to India with his crew before the outbreak of war in captivity.
It can be recognized from afar by its unmanned lighthouse. It consists of a 27 meter high steel structure. Its cone of light is visible up to 10 nautical miles at night. Its beacon is intended to warn ships on their way to and from Port Sudan of the many shoals in this region.
The reef wall falls steeply and in small increments into the deep blue. In 40 meters, a small shelf nestles close to the steep drop. Just a few meters from the reef, the bottom reaches depths of over 90 meters.
The drop-off is beautifully overgrown with stone and soft corals. Huge fan-shaped gorgonians stand in the current to filter plankton out of the water. Small feather stars have looked for a seat on them.
In the shallower area there is an extremely diverse underwater fauna. Shoals of jewel flagfish and butterfly fish are on the wall. In many small columns you can discover cleaning stations with their numerous visitors. Encounters with white tip reef sharks, black tip reef sharks and hammerheads are not uncommon.
The east side
The reef wall is particularly rugged for the first few meters and forms many small caves and crevices. Numerous black spot snappers and various butterfly fish swim between the corals.
A soft coral garden has developed south of the lighthouse. It is unique in its colors and shapes. Different types of spiky coral grow close together and sometimes hang down in bizarre forms of overhangs. Underwater photographers find countless interesting motifs. The entire wall is covered with a magnificent carpet of soft and leather corals.
The reef wall drops vertically up to 15 meters. It is interspersed with crevices and small caves that house numerous reef inhabitants. This is followed by a gently sloping plateau on which some wreckage of an unknown ship is scattered. The bottom is covered with colorful soft corals. Shoals of baracudas make their way over whip corals. On the outside, the plateau drops steeply into the deep blue. Remarkably large fan organs grow on the wall and offer attractive motifs to underwater photographers. You often come across whitetip and gray reef sharks.
Its step-like structure characterizes the south plateau. The first stage is 3 to 5 meters. Countless small reef inhabitants populate the light-flooded shallow water area. They include tawny boxfish, yellowblade nose doctor fish and various types of gobies. There are further steps at 13 and 20 meters. These are set with numerous small coral blocks. Stone corals, between which whip corals rise, dominate the bottom. Shoals of barbed mackerel swim above them. Occasionally whitetip reef sharks can be found. On the approximately 300 meter long plateau, as on the north side, stronger currents must be expected.
This coral tower drops steeply into the depth. The largest school of bow-fronted hammerheads known in the Sudanese Sea gathers here. You will also often encounter gray reef sharks and silver tip sharks.
On the eastern side, at a depth of 30 meters, there is a large cave in which white-tip sharks often rest.
During the ascent on the wall you can see a large number of cavities, which offer photographers a spectacular view of this habitat.
In the north-west a drop off is falling into the deep blue. The wall is beautiful overgrown with colourful gorgonians.
At the south-east lies a very nice plateau. A sandy area on which, when there is a mild current, you can find shoals of unicorn fish. Great barracudas coming to catch the weaker fish and the giant dog tooth tunas come herding their youngsters. Not to forget the sand eels and the small white tip reef sharks.
At the drop off, when the current permits, one will often be rewarded with the super stars: schools of hammer heads and the odd grey reef sharks!
The reef is colored with pink, yellow and red soft corals. The whole coral block is full of marine life, wherever you look. During the safety stop you can admire a few anemone sticks in the 5 - 6 m area.
Gold ribbon feliers pull predators such as tuna and due to the mostly strong current this place is a meeting point for hammerheads, white tip reef sharks and gray sharks.
On a detour into the blue water you can meet individual specimens or even schools of hammerheads and gray reef sharks. After returning to the plateau, continue the dive with the reef on the right.
We are now on the eastern ridge of the reef, swimming through clouds of fish who are absolutely indifferent to our presence. At the bottom at a depth of 45 meters there is a series of small plateaus that are richly overgrown with soft corals and gorgonians. Here you will also find different types of reef fish and schools with large buffalo-head parrot fish nibbling on corals.
Seil Ada Kebir
At the northern tip, the reef drops to a plateau in 20 - 25 meters - it is overcrowded with fish that are constantly living here.
The area is also populated by various types of reef sharks.
On this island, the powder white sand creates a perfect floor for different types of turtles. At the right time of year you can watch the turtles slowly crawling out of the sea to lay their eggs. Turtles are almost always guaranteed at this dive site.
Towartit Reef is 18 nautical miles long from north to south and 9 nautical miles wide from west to east. There are no exact nautical maps of the area and part of the reef group has not yet been mapped. For this reason, too, it has become a cemetery for numerous ships. Wreck enthusiasts will get their money's worth here.
There are marine signs on several reefs in the north to warn the ships of shallows on the way to Port Sudan. A dive site is just south of the northernmost sea mark.
Shielded from a long reef in the east and two small reefs in the west and south, you can anchor there.
In the interior, the sea floor sinks to a depth of 9 to 22 meters. On the outside near the northern tip, the bottom drops steeply to 80 meters.
Barra Musa Kebir
Barra Musa Kebir is overgrown with green bushes in the middle. Sea turtles use the beach to lay their eggs and there is an extremely attractive plateau on the south side. On the west and east side there are drop-offs that delight every steep wall diver.
The reef wall is jagged and falls vertically on the first 10 to 15. Lionfish are waiting in the reef crevices or under ledges for the night to catch prey. Small long-nose tufts are hiding in the branches of fan gorgonians. A two-stage sloping slope begins below the wall and is covered with coral heads. The numerous soft corals that populate the slope are noticeable. From a depth of 55 meters, the reef wall falls almost vertically into the deep blue of the open water. As on the other sides, different types of sharks can be found.
The reef wall falls almost vertically from the water surface to the base of the plateau. It forms numerous crevices and small caves populated by various sea creatures, and the plateau slopes downwards from a depth of 23 meters. It is studded with small coral heads that are covered with soft corals. From diadem sea urchins and hair stars to nasal doctor fish to giant moray eels, a lot of interesting things can be observed in the smallest space. With a bit of luck, you can spot a stone fish lying in wait, and at the edge, at a depth of 26 meters, the visitor reaches an almost vertical drop, which in some places forms large caves. Large fish are found especially at the southern tip.
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 Port Sudan transfer to the boat.
Check in, dinner and spending the first night on board in the marina.
Departure in the morning.
Instruction on the boat,
Diving, safety and equipment briefing.
Dive at Wingate Reef and Precontinent II
Night dive at Shaab Rumi Lagune
Two dives at Shaab Rumi south
Nicht dive at Sanganeb west
Two dives at Jumna Reef
One dive at Shaab Amber
Night dive at Shaab Amber
Shaab Amber south plateau
Sanganeb south plateau
Night dive at Sanganeb Lagoon
Two dives at
Sanganeb south plateau
Night dive at SS Umbria
Two dives at SS Umbria
Head to Port.
At least 20 hour safety rest before flying would be given to all participants.
Handing trip educational material/ videos.
Breakfast and departure.
Transfer to the airport.