Marsa Alam Diving

Quieter than other Egyptian dive destinations, Marsa Alam has few crowds and easy access to world-famous dive sites just offshore. Unguided shore diving opportunities offer the ultimate in diver freedom, whilst marine life such as resident spinner dolphins, dugong and endangered guitarfish will leave you coming back for more.

 

 

Diving in Marsa Alam

Marsa Alam, located on the western coast of the Red Sea in Egypt, used to be a small, quiet, fishing village but is now turning into a much more popular diving destination as there are some real dive site gems in this area and since the airport opened there at the beginning of the 2000s. Despite it growing as a dive area, it is still not as busy as larger diving areas on the Red Sea, so divers can come here to avoid the bigger crowds. There are world famous dive sites here, along with a big collection of large marine species for divers to spot here.  Marsa Alam is also known for having unguided shore diving opportunities which give divers a lot of freedom to explore these dive sites at their own pace and in their own ways. There are multiple house reefs, so depending on which dive centre or dive centre is chosen, will depend on which house reef will be the divers main reef during their stay.

Best time to dive

Divers coming to the Red Sea have the luxury to be able to visit, and dive, throughout the year. There are no extreme weather conditions which prevent diving and the temperature and visibility are great throughout the year. Visibility ranges between 10 and 30 metres, with 50 plus metres on the best days. Sea temperatures range between 19 degrees Celsius and 29 degrees Celsius. In the winter, divers dive comfortably in a 5mm long suit with hood and in the summer without any suit. There may be windy days in the winter months, but rarely does this affect the possibility of diving. 
 
Marsa Alam is a top diving destination to spot larger species which all appear during different months of the year. In the months of May to August, there are the highest chances to see Manta Rays, Dolphins, Dugongs and Sea Turtles. The sharks are around in the months of May and June which are also some of the most pleasant months, temperature wise, to dive here. 

Types of diving

Marsa Alam is known throughout for divers being able to explore the local dive sites unguided, which really attracts the confident and more experienced divers who like to do these dives in their own way. This is also a top location for Liveaboards with there being numerous to choose from. Some of the best dive sites are located further offshore and so done from the dive centres and dive resorts with day boat trips. Most of the dive sites here are suited to the more experienced divers, but there are also some relaxing local sites for dive courses and beginner divers.

What to see

Marsa Alam is a top location for spotting larger marine species. There are extensive, flourishing, coral reefs here which is the beginning of the food chain to help attract these larger species. Divers can admire the stunning, colourful and lively coral reefs, the schools of reef fish and other reef creatures living here, including Sea Turtles and Crocodile Fish. Out in the blue, divers need to keep an eye open for Dolphins, which are regularly spotted here. Dugongs which like to also visit some of the local house reefs are a unique experience, Whitetip, Silvertip, Grey Reef and Bowmouth Sharks, Hammerhead sharks, Tuna, different species of Rays and Barracuda are also local residents here. That’s not even it! There are also stunning Whale Sharks and Manta Rays which have been admired here. It really is an absolute top diving destination to spot larger species and be absolutely amazed by their majestic beauty. 

Best places to dive

Elphinstone is a world renowned dive site, once voted in the top 10 dive sites in the world, and located around 12 kilometres from the shore of Marsa Alam, but worth every minute it takes to get there. It is an incredible 375 metre long reef in the middle of the Red Sea with drop offs which reach down to 100 metres. There are currents over some of the reef to do drift diving and out in the blue divers can spot numerous shark species including Hammerhead Sharks, Whitetip Reef Sharks, Greytip Reef Sharks and the elusive and adorable Thresher Sharks. In March and April Manta Rays also fly around this dive site. The shark spotting here is very regular which is what makes it an even more attractive dive site for divers interested in the larger species. It is important to note that this dive site is suited only for more advanced divers as there is always the chance for unexpected currents and in general the depths are deeper. There is even something for technical divers; the Sarcophagus Arch which is located between 52 and 65 metres. 
 
Dolphin House, also known as Shaab Samadai, is a reef surrounding a lagoon with crystal clear waters. There is a large pod of Spinner Dolphins, around 60 individuals, with which divers and snorkelers can swim; and absolutely special experience for many. This is a local marine park which is strictly protected so that everyone follows the rules and keep the reef and its life in pristine condition. This is a great dive site for less experienced divers and experienced divers alike, with depths ranging between 12 and 40 metres. It is reached either by day boats or liveaboards. 
 
Abu Dabbab is one of the house reefs and this is one of the top spots to see the elusive Dugongs which is not an experience divers can have in many other places. You can see them grazing alongside the Sea Turtles on the Sea Grass. There is even a chance to spot the very rare Guitar Shark here. The depths range between 4 and 18 metres so suitable for divers of all levels.