Northern Red Sea, Ras Mohammed and Strait of Tiran
Departing From Hurghada
The Northern Red Sea and Strait of Tiran provide some of the most historic wrecks like the Thistlegorm, Rosalie Moller, and Abu Nuhas. Ras Mohammed national park is full of pristine coral reefs as well as abundant marine life. The Strait of Tiran is the narrow sea passage between the Sinai and Arabian peninsulas which separates the Gulf of Aqaba from the Red Sea. These reefs, named after British cartographers (Jackson, Woodhouse, Thomas and Gordon), are world famous for their extraordinary diversity of corals and pelagics.
You must be a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent and have logged a minimum of 30 dives to join this safari.
As with all diving activities, the dive guide has the final decision regarding any divers competency to complete any particular dive.
The SS Thistlegorm is the most famous of the Red Sea wrecks. The British cargo ship (129m) was bombed by the Luftwaffe on 6th October 1941 in the area of Shaab Ali. She was transporting supplies destined for the British fifth army based in Alexandria, as well as armoured MGs vehicles, motorcycles, jeeps, trucks, rolling stock, aeroplane parts, stacks of rifles, radio equipment, munitions, and a plentiful supply of wellington boots. Now she is an artificial reef on a sandy bottom at 32m and home to an enormous variety of marine life with large schooling fish and providing a hunting ground for giant tuna and snapper.
The Rosalie Moeller, a British cargo ship transporting coal, was bombed and sunk in October 1941 by a German air attack. Now she lies 55m on a sandy bottom. The main deck lies at 35m. In the deeper part of the wreck are the huge rudder and propeller as well as ladders and handrails all along the main deck. Hard and soft corals cover the hull. This artificial reef attracts an interesting variety of marine life with barracudas, tunas, jacks, trevallies, glass fish, scorpion fish and groupers.
The Dunraven was a Victorian steam and sail ship carrying spices, cotton and timber from India in 1876. She hit the reef during a dispute between the Captain, his wife and his First mate. She sank beside the reef, upside down and broken in two parts, with the deepest part lying at 30m. Inside the wreck are schools of yellow goat fish and giant morays. The hull on the top is covered with corals and full of marine life, including schools of bat fish, nudibranchs, pipe fish and the very rare ghost pipe fish.
The Ras Mohammed National Park is located at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula. It was declared a protected area in 1983. The jewel in the is Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef. Shark Reef offers the chance to dive with grey and black tip reef sharks. It is also home to huge numbers of reef fish and some larger pelagics such as tunas. Yolanda Reef is named after the shipwreck. On the plateau (10–25m) are scattered remains of toilets and baths. Anemone City is a wonderful shallow dive at 12m. The dive sites in Ras Mohamed offer an abundance of reef fish life, scorpion fish, multiple macro critters, hard and soft corals.
Also known as 'Ships graveyard', Abu Nuhas is located close to the busy shipping lanes of the Gulf of Suez. Four wrecks are lying in a chain on a sandy bottom of a steep sloping reef covered with table corals.
Jackson Reef is the northern most reef in Tiran and is well known for the Cypriot cargo ship “The Lara” which sank in 1985; some remains of the wreckage can still be seen on the top of the reef. The west site has a forest of spectacular gorgonian fan coral in 20-30m as well as many different kinds of reef fish. The most spectacular and colorful coral garden is at the southwest site at 15m. It is very common to see turtles, white tips and grey reef sharks.
Woodhouse Reef is the longest reef in the Strait of Tiran and home to reef sharks and eagle rays. At the southern part of the reef is a wall to around 30m covered with coral from the surface all the way down. Along the reef is a canyon at 25m which spreads out into a coral garden with sand alleys.
Thomas Reef is the smallest reef in the strait. The ends are vertical walls with a large plateau at about 25m on the south eastern side. The plateau is covered in colourful coral and has a fence of gorgonian fans where you can find longnose hawkfish.
Gordon Reef is the most southerly reef of the four islands and has a different topography from the others offering both a shallow plateau area and drop offs. There is a huge variety of reef fish and the chance to see sleeping whitetip reef sharks on sandy patches. At 4-5m there is an eel garden. The top of the reef, with its lighthouse, is also home to the wreck Louilla which lays almost parallel to the wreck on Jackson Reef.