Think about a panorama the place desolate, rocky desert meets beautiful, blue sea, and also you’ll be picturing one thing akin to Marsa Alam. This magical scuba diving vacation spot is situated on the Red Sea in southern Egypt, and over the previous few many years, diving in Marsa Alam has constructed itself a fame as a world-class scuba diving vacation spot.
With wholesome reefs, superb offshore dive websites and built-for-purpose dive resorts, it’s little marvel that avid scuba divers return yr after yr to this desert area. Marsa Alam is house to sharks, dolphins and dugongs in addition to native Egyptians devoted to defending the surroundings.
In 2019, I used to be fortunate sufficient to spend ten days diving and snorkeling round southern Egypt along side PADI Journey. Listed here are my prime six causes it is best to journey to and dive magical Marsa Alam.
The southern Egyptian coast is legendary for sharks. Throughout the fitting time of yr, you may spot hammerheads, oceanic whitetip sharks and reef sharks all through the area. Whale sharks additionally make the occasional look. For shark lovers, the southern Red Sea is a must.
Marsa Alam, particularly, is house to among the best shark diving websites within the Pink Sea. Elphinstone Reef is situated roughly 15 minutes from shore by speedboat however is seemingly a special world. Relying on the season, you possibly can spot hammerheads (spring months) or oceanic whitetip sharks (summer time and fall months) round this underwater plateau.
Even once you aren’t looking for sharks within the blue, Elphinstone is an attractive dive. Beautiful delicate corals cowl the wall, which drops to about 100 meters. A typical dive begins with a destructive entry, adopted by a drift alongside the wall after which 20 minutes looking for sharks on both the north or south aspect of the reef, relying on the present.
As a result of the currents at Elphinstone may be fairly robust and the character of the dive permits for little error, divers should have a complicated open water certificates and 50 dives.
One other in style tour from Marsa Alam is an space referred to as Dolphin Home (or Sha’ab Samadai). Dolphin Home is a extremely protected space that's often residence to a wild inhabitants of spinner dolphins. Bottlenose dolphins frequent the world as nicely.
Dolphin Home is an underwater cove that's cut up into three sections by native authorities. Part A is the part instantly contained in the cove. No swimmers, divers or boats are allowed in part A. Part B is demarcated by buoys simply outdoors of Part A. Right here snorkelers can work together with dolphins once they come out of Part A. No divers or boats are allowed in Part B. Outdoors of Part B, small boats can use the mooring strains and divers are allowed within the water.
A typical journey for scuba divers at Dolphin Home will start by tying the boat to the mooring strains and leaping in with snorkeling gear to see if the dolphins will come out of Part A. Then, divers can take pleasure in two pretty and straightforward dive websites close by. In fact, there’s all the time an opportunity a dolphin will come say hiya to the divers at both website.
Swimming with wild dolphins is a magical expertise that shouldn’t be missed on any go to to Marsa Alam.
Marsa Alam is among the greatest locations on the planet for swimming and diving with dugongs. There’s a small inhabitants of 5 to seven dugongs that stay alongside the Marsa Alam coast from Port Ghalib to Wadi Lahami Diving Village. These marine mammals, that are associated to manatees, spend their days feeding within the sea grass fields simply offshore, and they're typically noticed once they come as much as breathe or when they're swimming between grass patches.
As a result of the inhabitants is restricted however predictable, skippers within the space are expert at recognizing the dugongs. Subsequently, divers and snorkelers have an honest probability of leaping in with these loveable characters.
In reality, Emperor Divers, a PADI dive store situated in Port Ghalib, even gives an unique Dive with Dugong PADI Specialty Course.
four. Coral Reefs
Though we get tremendous excited by the large stuff round Marsa Alam, the world’s wonderful coral reefs are purpose sufficient to journey. A wholesome reef runs alongside the shore from Port Ghalib south, offering shelter to fish of each shade. Squid, turtles and rays are all straightforward to identify with snorkel gear, and divers can entry any variety of websites from shore. Of those websites, the Marsa Shagra House Reef and Marsa Abu Dabbab are agency favorites.
Additional offshore at websites like Sha’ab Abu Dabbab four & 5 or Lengthy Canyon, patches of coral pop up from the ocean flooring. For divers preferring a brief speedboat experience to their dive website of selection, these reefs are a sensible choice. Canyons snake their approach by way of these reefs, permitting for superb underwater images alternatives, too.
As well as, the Marsa Alam coral reefs boast straightforward diving that makes a superb setting for Open Water programs and even new scuba divers trying to get snug with their expertise.
Marsa Alam was traditionally only a crossroads with little to no improvement. It wasn’t till scuba divers confirmed up a number of many years in the past that the city started to blossom. The entire space has been developed with scuba diving in thoughts, so it’s little marvel that the reef and native marine life are extremely regarded and guarded.
At nearly any resort you go to in Marsa Alam, you’ll discover the seashore entry is restricted to a small space as a way to forestall guests from trampling on the coral reef. Big swaths of the shoreline are off limits to swimmers, snorkelers and divers.
Past defending the shoreline, native organizations, like HEPCA, are working to guard marine life, together with turtles and dolphins.
The world can also be house to an revolutionary recycling program, and the overwhelming majority of resorts in Marsa Alam are working to get rid of straws and different single use plastics.
Collectively these initiatives are working to create a more healthy underwater world.
6. Distinctive Dive Resorts
As an space developed by divers for divers, you already know Marsa Alam is about up for an optimum diving expertise. That is particularly evident on the area’s dive resorts.
A lot of the operations in Marsa Alam run an revolutionary “limitless diving” program. The thought is that you simply pay one worth for a day of diving, and also you make unguided dives on the resort’s home reef as typically as attainable. Often this implies you and your buddy will get about 4 dives in every day.
Then, whenever you need to go additional afield to websites like Elphinstone or Dolphin Home, you merely have to pay a small complement for the information and boat journey.
As well as, dive resorts ceaselessly supply all-inclusive packages because of the sparse geography, so that you don’t have to fret about trekking out of the resort for meals or drinks.
Altogether, these limitless diving and all-inclusive dive resorts make a enjoyable and enjoyable approach to take pleasure in a scuba diving vacation.
Many because of Purple Sea Diving Safari and Marsa Shagra Village for internet hosting me and displaying me the wonders of the native underwater world throughout my keep in Marsa Alam. Yow will discover extra details about my time at this dive resort on the PADI Travel Facebook page.
Are you able to dive into Marsa Alam? Contact PADI Travel to plan your journey as we speak!