Friday, January 27, 2023

Liveaboard Diving In Egypt

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Liveaboard Diving in Egypt is part of the Ultimate Guide to Liveaboard Diving

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While Egypt is known to be the land of sand, home to ancient pyramids and history, it also grants access to a world underwater that offers an array of dive sites, thrilling drift dives, pelagic encounters, and vibrant coral reefs!

The Red Sea is considered one of the seven underwater wonders of the world; some of these wonders lay many nautical miles offshore; this is where liveaboard diving in Egypt comes in and is a must-do for any diver!

Red Sea Liveaboard Routes

North Routes

The northern route of the red sea is a paradise for any diver interested in wreck and reef diving! This route focuses on diving at world-renowned dive sites such as Ras Mohammed national park and the straits of Tiran. 

This route also focuses on wreck diving, where divers can explore the famous wreck of the SS Thislegorm or Dunraven. 

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Wreck of the SS Thistlegorm is one of the wrecks you can see when Liveaboard Diving in Egypt
Wreck of the SS Thistlegorm is one of the wrecks you can see when Liveaboard Diving in Egypt

Southern Routes

The southern route offers a miscellany of dive sites to explore, so much so that it is divided into three different itinerary categories and would most likely have you return for more red sea liveaboard adventures!

The southern route, more popularly known as the B.D.E route of the red sea, is a must-do for any avid diver! 

The B.D.E route is a national park home to the dive sites: Brothers, Daedalus, and Elphistone following St John’s reef and Sudan.

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Big Brother and it's famous lighthouse in the Red Sea, Egypt
Big Brother and it’s famous lighthouse in the Red Sea, Egypt

What to Expect From the D.B.E Dive Sites

Daedalus Reef

Being a remote location, Daedalus Reef is a pristine dive site and is considered one of the best to visit on Red Sea liveaboard trips. Due to strong currents, predatory fish like trevally, tuna, and hammerhead sharks are common sightings on this reef, with the potential to encounter some elusive thresher sharks as well!

Brothers (Little & Big)

Only accessible by Egypt liveaboards, this dive site is one of the most notorious sites among divers and offers sheer walls covered in vibrant soft and hard corals where an array of pelagic fish roams in the blue.

Elphinstone Reef

Elphistone maintains a diverse and healthy marine ecosystem followed by a beautiful underwater landscape. Elphistone can exceed any divers’ expectations by offering schooling fish, big pelagics, sharks, and healthy reefs, to name a few.

Hammerhead sharks can be seen when Liveaboard Diving in Egypt
Hammerhead sharks can be seen when Liveaboard Diving in Egypt

The DRZ route

This route is ideal for eager divers who want to dive and see it all! 

The DRZ route covers more of the popular dive sites in the red sea and also includes Daedalus reef.

It also visits:

Zabargad

The island of Zabargad is a beautiful dive spot; it boasts a big mountain reaching out of the water and is surrounded by a lagoon and circled by a reef, here you can explore wrecks and an abundance of corals and reef fish.

Rocky Island

Rocky island is home to a fringing reef circling the whole perimeter of the island and drops into plunging depths! While most of the reefs’ features and life are found above 12 meters, keep an eye in the blue for any pelagic life, and be aware of strong currents.

St John’s Reef

In the southern part of the Egyptian waters lays St John’s reefs, a reef system full of tunnels and swim-throughs, along with steep walls and shallow reef flats. The adventurous landscape of this reef system offers something different from the other dive sites in the Red Sea, and it also offers a variety of pelagic species.

When Is The Best Time for Liveaboard Diving in Egypt

Autumn (October)

October is arguably the optimal time for diving in the Red Sea. The weather gets cooler; however, the water temperature remains warm and abundant with life. This time of the year is also the most reliable for shark encounters on offshore reefs. Take into consideration that this is the peak season for tourism.

Summer (June)

From June-September, the climate is much warmer, and the water can warm up to 28-29C. Towards the end of summer, the water visibility becomes clearer, and the chances to see big predators are bigger. With some luck, divers can even stand a chance to encounter whale sharks on dives!

Winter (December)

From December to March, the water visibility is great, and the water and air temperatures cool down. This is a good time of year to get a good discount on trips potentially; during this period, you could stand a rare chance to encounter thresher sharks! It is also a good time of year to see the elusive thresher sharks!

Spring (March)

During March- June, the water temperature drops to its lowest at 22-23C.

As of May, the conditions begin to warm up again and make for great diving with good visibility, lots of life, and fewer tourists.

What Type Of Marine Life Can You See Liveaboard Diving in Egypt?

The Red sea has something to offer for any diver and offers a variety of dive sites, from coastal bays with rich coral reefs and seagrass to offshore reef systems, wrecks, drop-offs, and more!

Divers can expect anything from colorful and vibrant marine life, such as sharks, pelagic fish, turtles, dugongs, and rays.

How Many Dives A Day?

Liveaboard itineraries are scheduled for four dives a day, including night dives when it is allowed, night dives are not allowed in marine parks, but you can do a night dive at a dive site outside of the marine parks. Traveling to dive sites is normally done at night or at surface intervals.

Types of Liveaboards in the Red Sea

The most commonly found boats in the Red Sea are wooden, steel, or single-hull motor yachts uniquely set up for scuba diving. Most boats provide a spacious, shaded level for relaxing between dives, and during the evenings, there is an inside dining area. These liveaboards also offer a diving deck with easy access to the water or tender and comfortable single or double rooms for guests.

Cuisine Onboard

The meals on board are cooked with local produce and are often fused with a hint of Arabic origin. With this being said, the cooks always aim to ensure that every meal is different and delicious!

Should divers have any dietary requirements, they can inform the agency in advance, and the cooks will make sure that they cater accordingly. Egypt is a Muslim country, so most boats do not stock alcohol. Feel free to check in advance and bring your own.

Dive Certification Requirements

While the red sea is accessible for divers of all levels, it is advised for divers to at least have their advanced open water certification or equivalent when looking into booking a liveaboard trip.

Most exciting dive sites are deeper than 18 meters, and there can be moderate to strong currents on the dives where divers will look for bigger marine life.

Nitrox certification is also beneficial as most liveaboards can dive with Nitrox. Some liveaboards even offer a Nitrox course for divers who don’t have their nitrox certification.

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Other Useful Information For Liveaboard Diving in Eygpt

Entry into Egypt

Egypt is open to most world citizens; make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after arrival.

Upon entering Egypt, you will need a tourist visa. You can obtain this visa upon arrival at the airport. The cost for a single-entry tourist is $25.

Currency

Egypt’s currency is the Egyptian pound. In some places, you can pay with U.S Dollars or Euros too, but it is advised to pay with Egyptian pounds.

Culture

An estimated 90% of Egypt’s population is Muslim. In some parts of Egypt, they take their religion very seriously, so women are advised to cover their heads with a head scarf or similar.

Transport and Getting Around

Airport and other transfers are usually included in your liveaboard booking.

If you want to go sightseeing before or after your liveaboard, the most common transport is a taxi, and Uber works reliably in Hurgada.

Camels are available for tours too!

Crew Tips

Tipping your liveaboards crew at the end of your stay is customary. Usually, two envelopes will be passed around to the guests, one for the boat crew and the other for your dive guides. Be sure to have cash ready for the tip.

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If you are ready to find your next Liveaboard holiday, check out our partner Divebooker.com which has all you need to find & book your liveaboard holiday at your fingertips.  Book your next liveaboard holiday today.

Read more in our Ultimate Guide to Liveaboard Diving

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