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El Gouna Dive Sites - El Gouna, Red Sea & Middle East

El Gouna offers a variety of diving for all levels. See our dive sites guide for diving form El Gouna courtesy of Emperor Divers.

Abu Nuhas

About 2 hours cruising time from El Gouna lies the reef of Abu Nuhas - "The father of bad luck", so called because of the number of ships that have hit this reef over the years. The reef is to the north of Shaidwan Island, close to the main shipping channel from Suez and usually partially submerged making it dangerous for shipping.

Among the many ships that have hit the north side of the reef, 4 remain as diveable wrecks for recreational divers. Starting from the north they are:

Kimon M known as the "lentil wreck", the ship now lies against the reef with the bows pointing up the reef. The wreck starts at around 10 meters with a maximum depth of around 25 meters at the stern.

Marcus the "tile wreck", referred to in some guides as the Chrisoula K, another tile carrying ship, which is now believed to lie further from the reef in 65 meters. The bow of the Marcus is in 5 meters with the broken off stern in around 26 meters. This is a very easy wreck for the novice wreck diver due to the shallow area at the bow and the gently increasing depth down to the stern. The cargo of floor tiles can be seen clearly in the open holds.

Carnatic the "wine ship", which hit the reef and sank in 1869 on her way from Suez to India with a cargo of port wine and gold and silver bullion. The wreck is broken in 2 pieces and lies on its side on the reef with a depth range of 12 to 24 meters. The wreck is known for its huge bronze propeller and the beautiful corals that cover it after over 140 years on the sea bed.

Ghiannis D the "wooden ship," which was carrying a cargo of timber bound for Saudi Arabia. Stranded on the reef, the ship broke its back during a storm and sank in two pieces. The stern section has twin masts that reach up to 5 meters from the surface with the stern at 24 meters. The engine room can be visited by suitably qualified divers.

In addition to the wrecks it is also possible to dive on the other side of the reef at a site known as Paradise, which has a plateau with a huge coral garden and a drop off into deeper water.

Siyul Kebira (Big Siyul) is a small low lying island around one and a half hours north of El Gouna. The island has a reef completely surrounding it and has two main dive sites:

Siyul Kebira is a beautiful dive at the north east corner of the island where there is a chance to find leopard sharks sleeping on the sandy bottom. Turtles, giant puffer fish, lion fish and moray eels can often be seen here. The highlight of the dive is a small pinnacle at the turning point of the dive, which has lovely soft corals and is home to thousands of glass fish and small moray eels. The return to the boat is like swimming in an aquarium due to the abundance of marine life. When there is a strong north current this dive can be done as a drift, passing the pinnacle en route to the moored dive boat.

El Gilwa - on the south side of the island is El Gilwa, so called because the reef here is not contiguous and has sandy patches between large coral blocks. There are 3 separate mooring points here allowing 4 different dives depending on the direction of the current, or a drift along the whole area. The reef blocks are very beautiful with a wide variety of hard and soft corals and a huge variety of marine life. The central mooring allows access to a beautiful pinnacle covered in wonderful corals and vast numbers of glass fish. The observant diver has the chance to find the elusive sea-moths in the sandy areas around this pinnacle.

Siyul Soraya (Small Siyul)
Although, as its name suggests, this is the smaller of the two Siyul islands, it has a much larger reef surrounding it. A dive can be made on the south side of the reef, either a drift or from the moored dive boat. Alternatively the dive boat enters the lagoon through a narrow channel in the reef and the divers make their way back through the channel and dive on the outside of the reef.

Shabroah Siyul (Blind Reef)
The name means that this is a reef in the middle of the sea, but close to the island of Siyul. It is also known as Blind Reef because at high tide it is submerged and can be difficult to find. The sea around the reef reaches depths in excess of 50 meters, the reef gently sloping down to around 20 meters before dropping more steeply into the blue. There is the chance to see larger fish such as tuna and barracuda passing in the blue here. Small pinnacles along the drop off abound with smaller fish and there is a good chance to see lion fish and moray eels and maybe a crocodile fish hiding in he sand.

Ghayna
This dive site to the north east of El Gouna features a shallow plateau with many pinnacles, coral formations and a large coral garden. Only visited in calm weather, it is sometimes possible to see reef sharks here because of the infrequent boat traffic.

Shaab El Erg
Literally this means the corals and the pinnacles. This is horseshoe shaped reef over 5 km long directly east from El Gouna. The lagoon behind the reef is home to a large number of Bottlenose Dolphins and although they roam throughout this area of the Red Sea, this reef system is the best chance for divers and snorkelers to see them in the wild. There are seven or more dives possible here the most common being:

Dolphin House is situated at the northern end of the reef the dive site consists of the main reef the large coral block, or gotta, next to it and the channel between them. Two dives are made here every Thursday on different parts of the site. The channel is used by dolphins travelling in and out of the lagoon and a memorable underwater encounter is the highlight of a dive here. In addition this dive site is home to turtles, moray eels, napoleon wrasse, crocodile fish, rays, large shoals of goat fish, cornet fish, scorpion fish and many colorful corals can be seen on the reef, gotta and the small pinnacles found here.

Poseidon Garden
is on a large coral block in the lagoon behind the main reef. There is a very large coral garden next to the reef consisting of huge table corals and brain corals. Between and on the corals, clams of many sizes and colors can be seen, plus large numbers of masked puffer fish. Large shoals of banner fish and butterfly fish can always be seen here. This dive is also often done as a drift so that more of the coral formations can be visited.

Manta Point is a dive site is on the outside of the reef close to the lighthouse at the centre of the reef. Turtles, moray eels and most types of Red Sea fish can be seen here, possibly even a reef shark, as well as the possibility of Mantas in season.

Dive Holidays Sportif

Sportif Dive is a specialist tour operator offering a wide range of diving holidays all over the world. Our choice of destinations is extensive from established locations in the Red Sea, Maldives, Caribbean and the Far East to the exotic and unusual such as Rodrigues Island in the Indian Ocean, Wakatobi, Truk, Palau, South America & the Pacific. Whether you are looking to for a Learn to Dive course, group expedition or trip of a lifetime we can help. With over 30 years experience and a personal approach, we can advise on the ideal location to suit your needs, at a price to suit your budget.

Our extensive knowledge of the destinations means we can recommend the right location for you. Our diving centres are selected for their excellent standards of service and safety. Whatever your priority, whether starting out or wishing to dive a technically challenging site we can recommend a range of options offering the best diving for when you wish to travel. We can organise all your travel arrangements for you, pre-book equipment and diving packages in advance to maximise your time when you get there.

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Our consultants have many years experience in travel and are divers. They are able to closely match your needs and take time to recommend from a carefully selected range of accommodation and diving packages. With first hand knowledge, they are passionate about diving and travel and providing the perfect holiday for you.

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