The land of the pharaohs is primarily known for its wonderful archaeological history, its impressive pyramids, and the rolling sandy dunes of the desert. However, what you may not have realised is that there is also a good deal of fun that can be had through scuba diving in Egypt. Those of you who have never traveled to this part of the world before may not know that the Red Sea is the perfect place to scuba dive as it allows you access to a variety of different forms of sea life that you may not have experienced in typsical ?Caribbean? dive sites, for example.
A Map of Dive Spots in the Red Sea
In fact, the Red Sea was once even selected by a group of various scientists as an important underwater wonder of the world. For experienced divers who are looking for something out of the ordinary, this means access to one of the greatest (and most intriguing) natural wonders known to mankind. It is the beauty and ethereal quality of the gorgeous blue water and coral reef ?mountains? that intertwine in intricate patterns as they grow up from the sea floor like a natural architectural wonder, which makes the prospect of scuba diving in Egypt something extra special.
When you go to your scuba diving adventure in Egypt, you should know that there are two main areas where you can successfully dive. Both of these have been set up to be main diving locations and they also have many shops where you can purchase or rent diving gear so that you can be sure to get exactly what you need before you venture out in the water. One is the more heavily populated Sharm El Sheikh and the other is a smaller village which usually caters to the more adventurous divers and has a variety of cheap gear, Hurghada. Since these areas are both very tourist heavy and are considered to be holiday resort areas, you will not have to worry too much about falling into some kind of trap or scheme.
A view over Sharm El Sheikh
In fact, if you are still worried about setting up your scuba diving adventure in Egypt properly, you should check with one of the hotels in the diving locale you most want to visit and see if they have any diving programs within their hotel. Sometimes the operators are either directly hired out by the hotel or they are closely affiliated with the resort and can be easily vouched for.
Also remember that if you are going to scuba dive in Egypt and you are not familiar with either the higher salt content of the Red Sea or are uncomfortable with using the metric system (some people, especially American visitors are unfamiliar with the metric system), you should discuss these things with the dive operator to make sure you fully understand what you are going to undertake. For example, you will need to know that in order to make sure you are diving safely you should not go deeper than thirty meters, or approximately ninety feet when that number is converted from the metric system.
Many people who have been scuba diving in Egypt comment on how spectacularly different it is to the other popular diving sites around the globe. For example, the reef structures often extend up into shallow waters and the marine life that lives among them is particular to the Red Sea. This means that you will be able to view specific types of fish, crustaceans and other beautiful sea life that you cannot see anywhere else in the wild; including an abundance of fish specimens that are not found in other areas that are frequented by scuba divers.
In short, going on a scuba diving holiday in Egypt is something that you must do at least once in your life if you are a serious diver. The scenic overlook and beautiful reefs contrast sharply to the sandy dunes on the shore?s background and make this spectacular diving location something that you should not allow yourself to miss out on. After all, there are not enough of these natural wonders left in the world so it is important that we see and share in our earth?s beauty in a responsible manner while it is still there to enjoy.
Egypt Diving Fact Sheet
Best Diving Months: All year round, although from December to March daytime highs reach mid 21C (70F), which makes for more comfortable diving.
Water Temperature: Water temperatures range from 25C(77F) to 30C(86F)during the year. The Red Sea has a high salt content so divers have increased buoyancy and will need additional weights.
Underwater Visibility: Due to the lack of regular fresh-water runoff, the visibility is excellent and normally excess of 30m (100ft).
Airport Info: Cairo or Tel Aviv with connecting flights to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh
Documents and Customs Regulations: A passport and visa are required. All travellers should have a round-trip or onward ticket.
Language: Arabic, English is widely understood in larger cities, and some French is spoken.
Health: Drink bottled water only and lots of it to stay hydrated in the arid climate. Food and vegetables that have been cooked or peeled are safe to eat, all others are suspect. There are no drug stores in Egypt so bring any medications you might need with you. No major vaccinations are required for travel to Egypt although a hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for long stays.
Climate: Distinct winter and summer seasons, with a short spring and fall. The hot weather begins in May with average temperatures of 36C(97F). Desert air can exceed 43C(110F). Even in the summer, Egypt's temperatures are bearable due to the low rainfall and dry air. The desert and the sea cool rapidly at night, so bring a sweater or light jacket as a precaution. Winter is from December to March.