|Dive area / region : Sharm El Sheikh - See the map||
|Best diving season : June • July • August • September|
|Recommended number of days to stay : More than 1 week...|
|Number of dive sites : More than 20 Dive Sites|
|Water temperature and wetsuit advice : 21-25C : Thin Wetsuit|
|Average visibility : 30 meters plus|
|Average dives depth : 15 Meters|
|Type of currents : Strong currents - drift diving|
|Months when these currents are present : N/A|
|General surface conditions : Very variable conditions|
|Wreck types : Recent world ships • Artificial wrecks • Airplane||
|Type of marine life : Jacks • Moray Eels • Tuna • Turtles|
|Presence of caves / caverns : Yes - Open|
Scuba Diving in Sharm El Sheikh
Written by Guest February 20, 2009 Hits: 2894 0
Suit: 3mm or 5mm wetsuit (November - April), shortie for rest of the year
Type of diving: Reefs, walls, wrecks
Sharm El Sheikh lies at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula in the Red Sea. It offers a variety of dive sites from reefs and walls to wrecks. The climate is hot, the water is warm and clear, and the reefs are covered in life. Diving is readily available everywhere and there are nearly fifty dive Centers in the region. More Europeans learn to dive here than anywhere else in the world and diving is ideal for beginners. Whatever your experience, dive Centers require you to do one local dive before they will take you on a boat trip in order to give you an opportunity to orient yourself to Red Sea diving.
Sharm el Sheikh, along with Hurghada, is where it all started. These where the first two destinations of the nearly 20-years-old diving history of the Red Sea. Diving sites in Sharm are world famous. A paradise for a perfect Red Sea diving holiday, Sharm has it all: hard and soft coral, turtles and dolphins, mantas and moray eels, napoleons and tuna, hammerheads, barracudas, reef and pelagic sharks, and much more, including the legendary World War II wreck of the Thistlegorm. The Sharm el Sheikh marine area is protected, as many other areas in Egypt, and diving centres here operate under environmental-friendly procedures.
Sharm el Sheikh’s dive sites are inside three national parks: Ras Mohammed, Tiran and Nabq. Starting from year 1983, local authorities, NGO’s and international bodies such as the European Community, have co-operated in the conservation of the underwater life of the region. Nowadays, regular checks and upgrades ensure the implementation of the parks’ regulations. Sharm el Sheikh is also a popular starting point for extended dive trips, also called liveaboards or diving safaris. From here you can join a liveaboard to the exceptional dive sites of the Straits of Gubal with the wreck graveyard of Abu Nuhas, passing by the fabled Thistlegorm, the Red Sea's most well known wreck, or a diving safari to the incredible sites around Tiran island. In Sharm el Sheikh there are more than 100 dive operators, with services ranging from scuba diving beginner certification courses to professional courses and technical diving, and providing guided dives to the area's outstanding reefs. Most resorts in Sharm el Sheikh have reliable and well-organised diving centres, officially registered at the South Sinai Association for Diving and Marine Activities, offering all sorts of scuba diving services, from entry-level courses to professional courses, introductory dives and diving packages, with one, two or more dives per day, for those who are certified. For the non-licensed diving enthusiasts, most centres offer free of charge pool intro’s, where visitors can experience the thrill of scuba diving on a one-to-one basis with a diving instructor in the hotel’s swimming pool.
The Sharm el Sheikh diving centres also offer experience programmes, where the visitor can try actual dives in the sea straight away, under the strict supervision of a diving professional. Sharm el Sheikh, with its wealth of drop offs, coral gardens and incredible fish life, is still a big favourite among divers in the Red Sea Riviera. Learning to dive is easy too, with the numbers of professional diving schools and good logistics. Most diving centres offer the full range of beginners’ courses, and many are also career development centres for the diving professionals. Also kids from 8 years on can enrol in children-dedicated scuba diving activities, such as the popular bubble-maker course, where kids learn to be familiar with water and scuba diving and have fun swimming around in a confined water area.
Diving in Sharm el Sheikh is performed either by boat or from shore: the coast is almost totally lined by fringing or barrier reefs, with very few sandy beaches; the more impressive dive sites are located though off the coast.
Ras Mohammed National Park, access is permitted only with an entrance fee (payable directly at all diving centers). Here are only a few of the most famous dive sites in Sharm el Sheikh: Island of Tiran, situated at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba, is an integral part of the Ras Mohammed National Park. Off its coast are four of the most famous dive sites of the Red Sea: Jackson, Woodhouse, Thomas and Gordon reef: an encyclopedia of the Red Sea. Ras Umm Sid, shore or boat dive with its impressive drop off covered with a Gorgonian forest. Unforgettable, both for the novice and the experienced diver. Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt’s first protected area, is a world-famous area with several top diving locations. Shark and Yolanda reef in summer are “the” Red Sea dive par excellence, with its abundance of hard and soft corals and a wealth of big game, from tunas to barracudas, trevallies, jackfish and sharks. Other world-famous dive sites in Ras Mohammed are jackfish Alley, Ras Ghozlani, Ras, Za’atar, Anemone City, Shark’s Observatory.
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