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The Red Sea in and around Sharm El Sheikh offers some truly world class diving. From the sublime Ras Mohamed National Park, the world famous wreck of the S.S. Thistlegorm to the rugged beauty of the Straights of Tiran and the relaxing charm of the local dive sites, there is something to suit divers of every experience level.

The Dive Sites.
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Ras Mohammad is located about 12 km to the south of Sharm El Sheikh and was established as a protected marine and terrestrial wildlife reserve in 1983 by the Egyptian Environment Affairs Agency. As well as some stunning world class dive sites the area at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula also boasts some 0.9 hectares of mangrove and plays an important roll in bird migration, serving as a place of rest and nourishment for many species.

The reefs around the southern tip are predominantly fringing and hermatypic (corals in the order Scleractinia which build reefs by depositing hard calcareous material for their skeletons) which is home to more than 220 species of coral, 1000+ species of fish, 40 species of star fish and over 150 species of crustaceans as well as 43 different species of shark!

The dive sites here really are world class – Shark Reef and Jackfish Ally being among the top dive sites in the world. The wreck of the world famous S.S. Thistlegorm can also be found around the southern tip of the Sinai in the Gulf of Suez.

Visiting the National Park requires the payment of ‘Park Fees’ – currently 8$ – which will be added to your bill.

The Local Dive Sites are located just a short boat ride from either Na’Ama Bay Jetty, Travco or Sharks Bay. These sites vary in topography from flat sandy bottom, to wall dive to a mixture of both. Ras Umm Sid, for example, has elements of both a wall dive and a sandy bottom. It’s also home to a forest of fan corals and schooling barracuda and jack fish. Whale sharks, manta rays and even hammer head sharks have been seen there.

There is something for everyone in the local dive sites and just because they are local and mostly suitable for novice divers and snorkelers, that doesn’t mean you won’t find something interesting. The summer months sees migratory whale sharks and manta rays that come for the plankton blooms. In fact the local dive sites are often the best place to sees these giants.

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The Straights of Tiran is home to several dive sites, the most famous of which are Gordon, Thomas, Woodhouse and Jackson Reefs, all named after British cartographers who mapped the area many years ago.

Tiran island itself is actually part of the Ras Muhammad national park although there is some dispute between Egypt and Saudi Arabia over who actually owns the island. For now, it is administered by the Egyptian Government but has a contingent of personnel from the M.F.O. (Multinational Force and Observers) who are there to monitor the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt.

The diving here is quite different from Ras Muhammad with strong currents and shipping hazards to be aware of. To the East of the 4 reefs is the Grafton Passage which is the northerly highway for shipping and to the West is the Enterprise Passage.

Gordon reef is home to the famous wreck of the “Loulia” while Jackson reef is home to the remains of the “Lara”. The wind can be quite strong here which leads to a lot of surface swell on the windward (usually northern) side of the reefs. For this reason it is vital that all dives are finished on the leeward side of the reef as the boat may not be able to pick you up safely if you drift around the corner.

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