Departing from Hurghada
Qualification needed: You must be a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent to join this safari, however non-divers (snorkelers) are also welcome on this trip - anyone who wants to learn about the wildlife of the Red Sea!
As with all diving activities, the dive guide has the final decision regarding any divers competency to complete any particular dive.
Why join this itinerary?
If you are interested in wildlife or just want to have a completely different diving experience in the Red Sea then this trip is for you! Add a new dimension to your diving in the Red Sea with a Mareefa Marine Life week. Mareefa is Arabic for "knowledge" and this itinerary will give you the opportunity to learn more about Red Sea wildlife by experiencing, hands-on, fascinating phenomena and wildlife like never before.
Alongside a week of spectacular Red Sea diving, there will be opportunities to encounter marine life fluorescing in the rays of an ultraviolet torch and see tiny plankton, the food source for creatures as diverse as corals and manta rays, through our onboard video microscope.
You'll also have the chance to hear talks from expert guides providing a surprising insight into how and why the reef ecosystem functions the way it does. Have you ever wondered why nocturnal creatures are often red, or why seahorses have long noses? This is your chance to find out!
The 'Mareefa' safari explores a variety of exciting reefs in the Northern Red Sea. Visiting the classic reefs south of the Strait of Gubal (including Gubal and Siyul Islands) as well as the stunning reefs of Safaga (including Abu Kafan, Panorama and Middle Reef).
Daily interactive workshops on various aspects of Red Sea ecology will teach you about wildlife in the Red Sea and carefully selected dive sites will give you the opportunity to experience hands on what you've learned.
**PLEASE NOTE** the itinerary below is an example of the planned route and dive sites cannot be guaranteed. All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.
This itinerary departs from and returns to Hurghada:
Day 1 - Start the week with a check dive then enjoy a workshop about fluorescence before experiencing it yourself on a special night dive.
Day 2 - After an early morning dive at Siyul, take part in a workshop teaching you how to easily identify different fish species. Put your skills to the test in the afternoon and night dives on the fish-filled barge at Gubal Island.
Day 3 - After two morning dives (one at Bluff Point and the other at Sha'ab El Erg - also known as Dolphin House) discover some bizarre and wonderful marine life in our weird fish workshop. There will be a dusk dive in the Giftun marine park.
Day 4 - Enjoy some beautiful dives in the Giftun marine park on the way south to Safaga. After your three dives you'll get to see some living plankton through our electronic microscope as part of our "Red Sea Under the Microscope" workshop.
Day 5 - Three stunning reef dives in Safaga followed by the final workshop of the week: Are there "Plenty more fish in the sea?"
Day 6 - Enjoy two relaxed morning dives close to Hurghada allowing you to cruise into harbour in the early afternoon. Take advantage of an evening onshore to purchase souvenirs and enjoy Egypt's famous hospitality before your journey home the next day.
Siyul Kebir - This island is surrounded by a beautiful reef that is famous for its critters and can surprise with larger visitors. With regular frogfish sightings and the opportunity to see rare pipefish, shrimp, sea moths and marbled snake eels, this site is a dream for macro lovers. Pods of dolphins often visit and the resident zebra shark is seen from time to time. By night, slipper lobsters and many types of crustaceans can be seen surrounded by a forest of basket stars, a real treat!
Abu Kafan - Safaga's most famous reef dive, Abu Kafan combines two stunning plateaus (north and south) with spectacular wall dives on the east and west. With some of the best coral to be found anywhere in the Red Sea and a cacophony of wildlife (including massive schools of fish and the occasional pelagic visitor) this reef is a treat for any diver.
Gubal Island - At the gate of the Straits of Gubal is 'Bluff Point', which gets its name from the turbulence created by strong currents that beat the eastern wall of the island. The wreck of the 'Ulysses' lies on the reef 300m north of the lighthouse, starting at 5m and sloping to 25m. 'The Barge' wreck, south of the lighthouse, provides divers with a fun and unusual night dive. The wrecks skeleton creates protection for all types of night creatures.
Giftun Marine Park - Just outside Hurghada lies the Giftun marine park, made up of two islands and several reefs. With stunning drifts on the outside of Small Giftun Island and many stunning coral gardens and pinnacles in the channel inside this is a delight for wildlife lovers.