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Your Guide to Diving Red Sea
including Egypt (Dahab, South Sinai, Hurghada), Israel, Jordan, Sudan

All of Undercurrent's information on diving Red Sea, including articles, reader reports, Chapbook sections, ...

Diving Red Sea Overview

This body of water has been a main sea route from Asia to Europe for centuries and as such is well supplied with shipwrecks of all ages that have come to grief on the many coral reefs. Europeans flock to the Red Sea for excellent liveaboard and day boat diving and for this reason Egypt has the world's most burgeoning dive industry. Hurghada is a good point of embarkation, but divers also head farther south to Marsa Alam or north to Sharm el-Sheikh. Liveaboards get divers to the best Red Sea diving. Water temperatures can drop into the cool 60s during February and rise into the 80s by August and generally the diving is easy. The best diving is north of Port Sudan in Sudanese waters, and many liveaboard divers choose the option of less hassle by departing from Port Ghalib in Egypt, although the vessel must put into Port Sudan first to get the required paperwork. With no rivers and little rainfall, bordered by desert on both sides, the Red Sea usually has water clarity second to none.

Red Sea Seasonal Dive Planner

Red Sea (Egypt): It rarely rains in the desert but when it does it floods. The Egyptian coast is not tropical, but the Red Sea is unique in that it is heated by the submarine thermal vents of the African Rift, of which it forms a part of this far north. This explains why it has the most northern coral reefs of anywhere in the world.

Air temperatures in winter range from 60-75°F (15-24°C) and the water can drop down to 68°F (20°C), with the coolest temperatures occurring in February when it can be very windy, even drawing up sandstorms inland. Summer air temperatures slide right up past 100°F (38°C) with the water temperature rising to 85°F (28°C) but take a wetsuit anyway. The hottest month is August. If you are going to do any land exploration (and how do you visit the Red Sea without at least a peek at the pyramids), the trade-off for warm water is hot weather. The manta and whale shark season is from March to June

Sudan: The Sudanese coast has arguably the best diving in the Red Sea but the weather can be oppressively hot in the summer and the seas particularly rough and uncomfortable in winter thanks to a powerful wind (usually Force 8 or stronger) blowing off the desert. Surface water temperatures can get as high as 91°F (33°C) although it cools down to a balmy 84°F (29°C) at depth. The summer sea is calm.

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Diving Red Sea Reader Reports and Feature Articles

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Latest Reader Reports from Red Sea

from the serious divers who read Undercurrent

All Reader Reports from Red Sea

All 10,000+
Reports
Diverse Divers Report in Red Sea/Aqaba
"Great diving from Aqaba"
filed Dec 3, 2021 by S Hayashi (Experience: 251-500 dives)
5 stars

Diverse Divers is an excellent, professionally run scuba operation, based in Aqaba Jordan. The dive shop is modern and close to the doc... ... Read more


Red Sea Divng Safari/Marsa Shagra Eco Lodge Report in Red Sea/Marsalam
"first time after C 19"
filed Oct 6, 2021 by Michael Joest (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 36 reports, Top Contributor )
5 stars

Egypt, Marsalam, Marsa Shagra Eco Lodge My travel plans and attempt in September to fly to Madagascar, Nosy Sakatia again went down th... ... Read more


Emperor Divers Report in Red Sea LiveAboard
"Great diving at a very reasonable price - Nitrox is free"
filed Sep 21, 2021 by Gerald Canning (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 4 reports, Reviewer )
5 stars

We dove two charters back to back on the Emperor Elite. The crew was amazing - one of the hardest working crews I have ever seen. The... ... Read more


Aggressor Adventures Report in Red Sea LiveAboard
"An amazing time in the northern red sea"
filed Jul 28, 2021 by Steven Damsky (Experience: Over 1000 dives, 2 reports)
5 stars

This was one of the better trips I have had in a long time. First the diving was just amazing. If you love coral like I do, the Stra... ... Read more


Red Aggressor III Report in Red Sea/Southern Red Sea LiveAboard
"Awesome staff and very good diving"
filed Jun 13, 2021 by Lisa Jabusch and Steve Nieters (Experience: 251-500 dives, 18 reports, Contributor )
4 stars

We really enjoyed the crystal clear water and visibility. Hard corals were gorgeous and very healthy. There was a decent smattering o... ... Read more


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Complete Articles Available to Undercurrent Online Members; Some Publicly Available as Indicated

Diving Red Sea Articles - Liveaboards

Blue O Two a Casualty of COVID, 1/22
South Caicos, Jupiter, St. Vincent, Cozumel South Caicos, Jupiter, St. Vincent, Cozumel -- Publicly Available, Undercurrent subscribers are traveling again, 10/21
Harrowing Tales from the Red Sea Aggressor I Fire Harrowing Tales from the Red Sea Aggressor I Fire -- Publicly Available, errors led to the disaster and post-disaster mismanagement, 1/20
American Diver Dies in Red Sea Aggressor I Fire, 11/19
Why Are Red Sea Sharks Biting More Often? Why Are Red Sea Sharks Biting More Often? -- Publicly Available, 1/19

Available to the Public
MV Tempest, Red Sea, Egypt, great diving on a liveaboard we’d never recommend, 8/18
Our Picks for Top Red Sea Liveaboards, 8/18
Wooden Hulls, Tumble Dryers and Single Engines, 1/18
Fire Aboard a Red Sea Liveaboard, and a crew ill-equipped to deal with it, 6/17
Sick Divers, Macho Divemasters, travels in Egypt, Fiordland, Bonaire, the Bahamas... , 11/16
Egyptian Diving Market Sinks, 4/16
Red Sea Aggressor, Egypt, big critters will give you bang for your buck, 11/14
Fire Aboard!, how John Bantin escaped a burning Red Sea liveaboard, 8/14
Bahamas, Hawaii, the Red Sea. . ., one Micronesia resort worth visiting, another that’s not, 7/13
The Red Sea, Egypt, three great dive trips, three prices, 2/12
Andromeda, Red Sea, Sudan, Americans, you’re missing out on fantastic diving, 7/11
Curacao, Fiji, Papua, Maui . . ., dive sites where you can expect the unexpected, 4/11
Heaven Diamond, The Red Sea, Egypt, a desert oasis of world-class diving, 1/07
Three Perish in Red Sea Live-Aboard Explosion, 4/04
The Red Sea, North and South, for big fish action, avoid the day boats, 2/01
Sea Surveyor, Red Sea, 1/96
Red Sea: Poseidon's Quest, 8/95
Poseidon's Quest, 11/94

Diving Red Sea Articles - Land Based

Raja Ampat, Bonaire, Maldives, Cozumel . . ., and endless trash spilling into the water, 7/19
Bait al Aqaba Resort, Jordan, a Red Sea site worth seeking out for its wreck diving, 2/19

Available to the Public
St. Vincent, Maldives, Roatan, Belize, destinations for everyone, 4/18
Ambergris, the Red Sea, Raja Ampat, bad briefings, free flowing regulators, overflowing toilets, 9/17
“The Most Dangerous Dive Site in the World” Claims Free Diver, 9/17
Two Deadly Dive Sites, where Americans rarely go, thankfully, 1/16
Egypt? Now? Yes!, 11/14
Eritrea, Kiribati, Sipadan . . ., why to consider Wananavu, when not to consider the Odyssey, 9/13
Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Fiji, Truk. . ., plus unexpected cold water, and a liveaboard to avoid, 8/12
Yes, But Is Egypt Safe?, 2/12
At What Cost For a Third Dive?, not so charming at Sharm El-Sheikh, 7/10
Caribbean, Hawaii, Indonesia, Red Sea…, hidden travel charges, Hawaiian fish, and a good Caribbean site, 8/09
Flashing the Marine Life, 8/09
Serious Diver Impact on the Red Sea, 1/09

Red Sea Sections from Our Travelin' Diver's Chapbooks

Reader Reports filed for that year
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Red Sea Liveaboards

For Members Only

2022
(Red Sea)
2020
(Red Sea)
           

For Public

2019
(Red Sea)
2018
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2017
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2016
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2015
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2014
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2013
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2012
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2011
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2010
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2010
(Sudan)
2009
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2007
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2006
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2005
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2004
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2003
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2002
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2001
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2001
(Sudan)
       

Land Based Dive Resorts in Red Sea

For Members Only

2022
(Red Sea)
2020
(Red Sea)
           

For Public

2019
(Red Sea)
2017
(Red Sea)
2016
(Red Sea)
2015
(Red Sea)
2014
(Red Sea)
2013
(Red Sea)
2012
(Red Sea)
2011
(Red Sea)
2010
(Red Sea)
2009
(Egypt)
2008
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2006
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2005
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2004
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2003
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2002
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2001
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Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving Red Sea
including Egypt (Dahab, South Sinai, Hurghada), Israel, Jordan, Sudan

The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the world All books are available at a significant discount from Amazon.com; just follow the links. -- BD

Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide
by Gerald R. Allen, Roger Steene.

I was trying to pack light for a change. Surely the Solomon Sea would have good identification books aboard. Not so; the only book on the boat belonged to a fellow passenger. It was one that I had not seen before, the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide, by two of the best fish guys around, Gerry Allen and Roger Steene. The problem was this fellow passenger kept it in a plastic baggie most of the trip and I had to beg to see it. Great book, good traveling size, and it covers everything from fish, shells, marine plants, mammals, corals, and invertebrates to sea birds and more. Now I've got my own, and it won't do you any good to beg me to borrow it. This is one of two books that I will not travel to the Pacific without. Good for travel to the Red Sea, East Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Andaman Sea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii, it has 1,800 color illustrations in a 6x8 1/2 paperback format with 378 pages. $39.95.



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by Undercurrent

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You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.

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