The Red Sea's Legendary Southern Waters
Many of Sudan’s varied dive sites hold an almost mythical status with divers from around the world. A few of them are steeped in historical significance and most of them play host to a formidable range of marine life.
The development of Sudan as a dive destination has been restricted in the past by relatively difficult access to Sudan’s coastal waters. The country’s reefs therefore remain uncrowded and are well preserved.
From Angarosh to Sanganeb
The warm, crystal clear waters of Sudan support over 400 varieties of coral and over 1500 species of fish, turtle and shark. Schooling fish are encountered in copious numbers. Barracuda, Spotted Stingrays, Moray Eels and huge Parrott fish are all regularly seen. Sudan’s coastal waters are also recognized as one of the best places in the world for Shark enthusiasts to encounter schools of scalloped hammerheads alongside many other species of shark.
In the early 1960’s, Jacques Cousteau placed Sudan firmly in the psyche of divers worldwide with his experiments in living underwater. The wreck of Conshelf II provides a fascinating window into this unique chapter of diving history.
Close by to Port Sudan, the World War II wreck, the Umbria, is one of the best preserved wrecks in the Red Sea and can lay claim to being one of the world’s great wreck dives.
Although conditions at dive sites vary greatly, there are a number of deep and drift dives making Sudan a destination that best suits experienced divers. It is a pre-requisite that divers are qualified to a minimum of Advanced PADI Open Water, or equivalent, with a minimum of 50 logged dives.
Please note that liveaboard itineraries can change without notice. The itinerary will depend on several factors including, but not limited to, weather, diving ability of guests & the number of other boats already present at the various dive sites. All dive sites visited are subject to weather conditions and are at the discretion of your dive guides and vessel captain.
Although conditions at dive sites vary greatly, there are a number of deep and open water drift dives making Sudan a destination that best suits experienced divers.
It is a pre-requisite that divers are qualified to a minimum of Advanced PADI Open Water, or equivalent, with a minimum of 50 logged dives. Itineraries offered by Royal Evolution coincide with Sudan’s best diving seasons.
Egypt to Sudan itinerary
Egypt to Sudan (Suakin, Deep South) itinerary
There is no departure tax when leaving Egypt or Sudan.
Passports: Passengers travelling to Egypt and Sudan must have six months valid on their passport from the date of departure from Sudan. It is your responsibility to check and ensure that your passport is valid and you fulfil any entry requirements. British nationals should visit www.fco.gov.uk
You will require a minimum of four blank pages in your passport. Guests from other nationalities should check with their respective consular office.
On arrival on the boat, the Sudanese entry visas, taxes and fees will have to be paid in cash, as these are not included in the cost of your holiday. The cost is currently €400 + $155. These fees have to be paid in these currencies.You will receive the paperwork at time of booking and are required to return the visa information form for Sudan as soon as possible. A minimum of 6 weeks may be required to process your paperwork.
When you return back to Marsa Alam's Port Ghalib at the end of your trip on Royal Evolution, a further Egyptian visa will be purchased for you. This is included as part of the local payment made.
Recommended vaccinations are yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, tetanus and meningitis C. Some guests are advised to take antimalarial tablets.
Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure with your local GP or travel clinic.
Further information regarding vaccinations for travel to Egypt and Sudan can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider.
MV Royal Evolution
Royal Evolution - Rebreather Friendly!
"This liveaboard has to be one of the best I have stayed on.
The diving deck is very good and uncluttered (albeit we were just 16 people). The rooms are very spacious, clean, the food delicious. The staff really helped me with my rebreather diving. I think I've been spoilt now as other liveaboards will have to live up to this standard!
Thanks for a great holiday,
MV Royal Evolution
"Well, weren’t we lucky to get allocated a main deck cabin…. The 4, 2 twin, 2 double are lovely and very spacious. Definitely worth a bit extra.
Sunday 1/ Monday 2 January - 9.5 hour passage, at night. Did a final high octane pre-breakfast dive at Angarosh then moved the short distance to Merlo for a pre-lunch dive. The afternoon had the rigmarole of offloading the Sudanese crew, getting the Customs Officer out to inspect and back to port, all done by Zodiac, so we could not dive but most enjoyed snorkelling and walking on a tiny sandy “islet”. We moved a short distance to Masharef Reef, did a night dive then ropes were off straight after dinner. We sailed from 20.30 to 06.00 on Monday 2 January. We were heading north, into the wind and into a big sea, some of which was broadside on, to the starboard side… guess which side I was on!
Monday 2/Tuesday 3 January – 19-20 hours, day, night, day. 3 dives at Abu Fendera, so still in Sudan. Last dive over by 15.30, Ropes off by 16.30ish then a long, long, lumpy, bumpy journey north. More of the same weather conditions, too cold to be on deck unless dressed in full winter gear. This ended at around 11 the next morning –.
Tuesday 3 /Wednesday 4 January. – 21-22 hours, day, night, day. We were running a good 2 hours late by the time we got to St John, so just had time for one dive at Gota Soraya which was over by 12.45. The boat stayed put for kit washing etc and lunch, and set off around 14.30. Again it was too chilly for much deck time, though at least the sun was shining… the first time since 22 December!!
Wednesday 4 January - see journey time above! We ran later and later, finally getting onto the Customs and Immigration jetty at Port Ghalib just after 12.
So, prepare yourself, but if the sun is shining and the wind not blowing so hard from the north and it is not cold…it would be quite pleasant!!!
Umbria – Very silted and badly broken up. Not a patch on Thistlegorm, and much smaller. Viz not good so hard to get any decent photos, particularly if a mad Californian Psychotherapist is barging his way through with his giant camera. ( My fellow-guests were “Interesting”)
Conshelf- fascinating particularly as we had watched the original documentary before we got there. The viz is not great and the area round the buildings has not recovered but there is lots of interesting life and a large turtle!
Shaab Rumi for the schools of bumpheads, barracudas, jacks and trevallies, a hammerhead and eagle ray
Gota el Banna – for the school of 20+ hammerheads
And then there was Angarosh with its “hook on” currents! Great Hammerhead (my first), school of scalloped hammerheads. Large Grey , white tips, Great Barracuda stuff everywhere! Oh and of course the dive that started at 23.45 on 31 December and ended at 00.30 on 1 January!
MV Royal Evolution
The holiday was everything we had hoped for!
"The holiday was everything we had hoped for! Royal Evolution is a stunningly good liveaboard, the best I have been on. Very spacious, very quiet, very smooth.
The cabins are the largest and most comfortable that I have seen. They are furnished to a high standard, and there is plenty of storage space. Towels and bathrobes are changed frequently and are individually identified so that a diver can be sure that he has his own. Not even a hint of a smell from drains/bilges.
The food was excellent. In addition to three very good, varied and plentiful meals each day there were also snacks before the first dive, and between the 2nd and 3rd dives. The cabins were immaculately serviced early each day.
We enjoyed a fabulous variety of dive sites, including of course the Umbria and Conshelf II. The pattern was two main (signature) dives first, followed by a relaxed dive which in turn was followed by a night dive. We saw sharks nearly every day. We also got a look around the British-built Sanganeb lighthouse, full of interesting old engineering.
The guides and crew were great. Khalid helped with minor kit problems. Khalid and Linus between them gave a very thorough set of safety briefings. They are very wise to split them up. This lets each briefing be short and therefore easier to take in. It also allows each briefing to be given at the most appropriate time. Travel-weary divers do not need it all at once! Individual dive briefings proved to be very accurate, enhance in many cases by Khalid having dropped into the water to do a current check. A couple of us wanted to look in the RE engine room - absolutely no problem, and a very enjoyable and informative visit."
MV Royal Evolution
Best boat I have been on in nearly 20 years visiting the Red Sea
"Royal Evolution is the best boat I have been on in nearly 20 years visiting Red Sea. Very quiet and stable such that you often didn't realise she was motoring. Food was very good and chef making special efforts to work round my unusual food intolerance which was much appreciated. The boats whole operation was of a very professional and efficient high standard from the initial very thorough boat safety briefing onwards. All the Crew and guides were excellent, helpful, friendly and professional. Having 3 guides and smaller groups was welcomed. Diving was fantastic on pristine reefs largely all to ourselves. All manner of life from very small to 5 species of shark! I will definitely be back in the future. "