A long, thin body of water situated between the Arabian Peninsula and Africa, the Red Sea is an epic scuba diving destination. From wrecks to reefs, there are hundreds of amazing dive sites beneath its sparkling surface. Anyone who has held an Open Water certification for a while will recognize the famous underwater locations, such as Ras Mohammed Marine Reserve, the SS Thistlegorm or Yolanda Reef. This scuba diving destination is really a must dive.
Much of the diving in the Red Sea begins in Egypt. Located in northeastern Africa, Egypt touches both the Mediterranean and Red Seas. An ancient wonderland, Egypt is every bit as interesting to explore above the water as the Red Sea is below the water. The capital city, Cairo, has an estimated 25 million residents, making it the fifth largest city in the world. It’s also home to the fascinating Egyptian Museum and nearby, you’ll find the ever famous Pyramids of Giza. Approximately 80% of Egyptians are Muslim, while 20% are Christian.
In terms of diving, the Red Sea is full of life. From pelagics, like the oceanic white tip, down to macro species, like colorful nudibranchs, diving Egypt will make your log book look like a veritable who’s who of marine life. Diving is possible year-round, although be aware that water temperature and marine life changes from season to season. In particular, water temperature ranges from 20 degrees C (68F) in the winter to 29 degrees C (85F) in the summer. And air temperature ranges from 20 degrees C (68F) in January to 36 degrees C (97F) in July.
- Population: 80 million
- Capital: Cairo
- Major Airport: Cairo International (CAI)
- Electricity: 220V
- Outlet/Plug: Round, two pronged
- Currency: Egyptian Pound
Not yet convinced that Egypt and the Red Sea are your next scuba diving destination? Check out these fun facts and fall in love with this fascinating region.
- Cairo was named a sister city to New York in 1982, Ottawa in 1989 and Dallas in 1996.
- The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Did you know each side of the Great Pyramid rises at an angle of 51 degrees and 51 minutes? And each side of the Great Pyramid is oriented towards one of the cardinal points of the compass?
- The Northern Red Sea is considered by CEDAM to be one of the 7 Underwater Wonders of the World.
- The Red Sea is sometimes referred to as the "Underwater Garden of Eden.”
- The Red Sea gets its name from a red algae. When this algae is in bloom, the water occasionally turns slightly red.
- The salinity of the Red Sea is amongst the highest of all oceans in the world at 3.6 to 3.8%. You might need to adjust your weights accordingly.
- Some archaeologists believe the Gulf of Aqaba is where Moses crossed the Red Sea. In addition, Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai is believed to be built where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
- The Red Sea is home to over 1200 species of fish and 250 species of coral. Of these, 17% of the fish species and 8% of the coral species are endemic.
- 40% of the Red Sea is shallower than 100 meters / 330 feet. And 25% of the Red Sea is less than 50 meters / 164 feet deep. That’s a lot of area within recreational limits!
- The Red Sea is the northernmost tropical sea in the world, because its waters cross the Tropic of Cancer.
Ready to dive in? Click here to read more about diving Egypt.
If you’re itching to discover Middle Eastern diving, we have plenty of Red Sea diving packages to offer you. Check out these great options for the Red Sea liveaboard adventure of your dreams and get ready for a week of “eat, sleep, dive.”
We also have Red Sea diving packages that don’t involve sleeping on a boat. Many of the best dive sites are located close to shore, making dive resorts a great option. Relax by the pool, blow some bubbles and explore the local culture at these fantastic hotels.
Want to dive all the best spots in the Red Sea while enjoying the topside culture? Click here for the pre-packaged dive vacation option that we call Independent Journeys!