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Diving Fury Shoals and Elphinstone Reef | The Red Sea, Egypt

For a long time, the only way to dive the far south of Egypt meant having to get on a liveaboard boat. However, new international flights direct to Marsa Alam have made the region far more accessible. There are several land based areas with good facilities as well as selection of diving liveaboards.

Furthest south, the Fury Shoals lie offshore from the developing resort area around Hamata town and close to the Sudanese border. Right by the coast there are shallow fringing reefs with huge groupers, tame batfish and friendly octopus. Further offshore, a string of fringing reefs parallel the coast. These have amazing hard corals that create fascinating swim-throughs and tunnels leading beneath the reef like some sort of crazy maze. There is a charming sail boat wreck on Abu Galawa Soraya. At Sha'ab Sataya the reef has deep walls while an inner lagoon has a resident pod of spinner dolphins.

Back towards Marsa Alam, this bay is famous for resident green turtles and a lone dugong. You could hardly miss the gigantic turtles – there are ten, nine ladies and a male, who all feed on the seagrass beds. While the turtles are easy to find, the dugong, is far more elusive and easily disturbed especially if there are a lot of snorkellers and boats about. Nearby Elphinstone Reef is an absolute gem. In the winter months access from the coast is limited but the reef is well known for attracting chevron barracuda and Oceanic white tips. This has to be the most colourful reef we have ever seen in the Red Sea, plastered with hard corals, soft corals, and every Red Sea reef fish that exists.

South Egypt dive photo gallery Scuba diving features

Fury Shoals
diving features
Hard coral mazes
Small shipwrecks
Abu Dabab
diving features
Elphinstone Reef
Shore diving
Top dive site Elphinstone Reef
Seasons All year round
Visibility 10 – 40 metres
Water temperature 20 – 28º C
Deco chambers Hurghada, El Gouna
Flights direct charters from from across Europe; scheduled via Cairo
Dive operators & accommodation Most are good, a few are not... try to get a reliable recommendation before booking liveaboards.

This area is still 'undiscovered' in Red Sea terms. Unlike the the reefs around Sharm el Sheik and Hurghada, these are nowhere near as crowded with day boats or divers, which is reminiscent of a very different Red Sea. This won't last long as the area is scheduled for more development. Land based facilities are limited but what is there is very good.

More diving destinations in Egypt
Complete reports on this area are in
Diving the World.

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Blistering summers mean that the water temperatures are high, the water is clear and the seas are busier, both with marine life and people. In the winter months, the conditions change due to the winds and rough seas. However, the reefs are much quieter both above and below the waterline. We dived here in December and found a slight drop in visibility and there were some currents on Elphinstone. The water was often rough so we stuck to dives sites closer to shore.

If we were to head to the Red Sea for a quick break, then we would choose this area simply to avoid the crowds found elsewhere. The diving was impressive and it is far more enjoyable to see any reef with only a handful of divers. We dived with Orca from both Hamata and Abu Dabab were very happy with the operations. Both were run with German efficiency despite the Egyptian day boats being, well, typically Egyptian.
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