Egypt borders to the Red Sea which offers outstanding diving opportunities. The Red Sea is 1200 miles long and up to 10,000 feet (3000 metres) deep. It is surrounded by barren desert, a sharp contrast to the abundant plant- and animal life found below the sea surface. There are more than 1,000 different species of fish living here and over 500 different hard and soft corals have been identified. You will also have the opportunity to observe fascinating water mammals such as turtles and dolphins.
Diving takes places all year round, but if you want to dive in really warm water July to September is the best time to come, when the average temperature is 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27°C). The coldest month is February, with water temperatures around 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20°C). A 3 mm or 5 mm wetsuit is recommended November – April. Air temperatures peak in August when they can reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit or more (40°C). The land climate is considered more pleasant during the winter, with a modest 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20°C) average. The underwater visibility is great, usually better than 100 feet (30 metres).
The most popular destinations for divers in Egypt are Dahab, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Nuweiba/Taba and Sharm El Sheikh. There are more fish per square metre in the Northern Red Sea than anywhere else in the world. The variety in size, colour and shape is also astonishing. Some fishes are tiny, almost invisible to the naked eye, while others can be up to 6 metres. Examples of bigger fishes found in the Red Sea are sharks, rays, barracuda, tuna and groupers. Smaller fish found around the reefs are often very colourful and display striking patterns, like the blue, white and yellow Royal Angel fish with its zebra like pattern, or the black and yellow Striped (Racoon) Butterfly fish. Several of the popular dive sites have large intact shipwrecks of varying age.
The red sea is very important for the Egyptian economy and measures have been taken to protect the Red Sea from pollution and harmful activities. Today, 52% of the shoreline is protected and under EEAA control – Egyptian Environmental Affair Agency. Gathering coral, or anything else, to keep as souvenirs from your diving trip is strictly forbidden along the whole Egyptian shore line, not only in the protected areas.
One of the most popular protected areas is Ras Mohamed not very far from Sharm el Sheik. Fishing, built permanent boat moorings and floating pontoon are banned in the area, mainly in order to protect the reef from anchors and trodders. The access points for diving are also limited. The Egyptian government is today demanding compensation from every ship that lodge it self on the reef due to bad navigation. The money received from these penalties is re-directed back into Ras Mohamed to promote further research and conservation. While diving in Ras Mohamed you will have the opportunity to witness the effects of some very innovative methods of coral generation. One of them involves placing a wire mesh on the reef and connect the wire to a light electric current. The current encourage the formation of a calcium carbonate crust on the wire mesh, making it easier for corals to find a suitable surface to grow on. Ras Mohamed is directly adjacent to the Suez Canal, but has been fortunate enough to avoid any bigger oil spills. One of the biggest risks for the reef is the rapid growth of nearby city Sharm el Sheik.