Egypt's best national parks and the Red Sea reefs
Egypt dates the time of the pharaohs including Giza's colossal Pyramids, Great Sphinx, and Luxor's hieroglyph Karnak Temple with The Valley of the Kings. However, Egypt is more than a history. From the coral reefs of the Red Sea to beautiful desert landscapes that strip the Nile Valley. Egypt offers the best national parks, from playgrounds for diving to remote desert escapes.
National Park for divers
Ras Mohammed has 70% of the marine environment, and it is listed as one of the world's top 10 dive destinations. This national park includes more than 200 hard and soft coral species. Experienced divers enjoy diving along the sheer coral wall of Shark Reef, to the wreck of the Cypriot freighter Jolanda, which sunk in 1980. The largest fish spawning ground is Jackfish Alley, known for the blue stingrays and the shoals of jackfish. The dive site of this national park is easily accessed by boat on day trips from Sharm el-Sheikh or by the liveaboard dive safaris from Hurghada or El Gouna. Sharm is Egypt's most popular diving destination with a wealth of Red Sea dive resorts. It is home to the national park of Ras Mohammed that offers some of the best diving in the region. Shark and Yolanda Reefs have striking corals teeming with trevallies, jacks, and barracuda, while Anemone City has interesting underwater topography and plenty of anemones and clownfish. The Straits of Tiran offer fast drift dives along vast walls of coral, while the world-famous wreck of the SS Thistlegorm is a challenging dive with strong currents, but well worth the effort.
One of Egypt's best-known destinations for diving the Red Sea, the laid-back village of Dahab has something for everyone. Lighthouse Bay is perfect for beginner divers with amazing reefs featuring vibrant hard and soft corals, moray eels, curious parrotfish, and gobies.
A short drive up the coast take you to the Blue Hole, a magnificent 100 meter-deep chasm that offers excellent technical dives where you can spot large pelagics like barracuda and tuna. The nearby Canyon is a deep rocky crevice that is home to spectacular reefs, green turtles, and large schools of bannerfish.
Hurghada is the largest resort on the Red Sea and a diving paradise. Home to many reefs tucked into shallow, sheltered bays, it's a great spot for entry-level diving. Challenging sites for more advanced divers include impressive wrecks at El Gouna and Sha'ab Abu Nuhas.
Hurghada is the primary departure point for Red Sea liveaboards, which head out into the southern Red Sea. A day trip to the Giftun Islands promises stunning hard and soft corals, dramatic drop-offs, and interesting caves for experienced divers. You'll also see hefty napoleon wrasse, and schools of pelagic fish like barracuda and tuna.
Offering tranquil respite from the crowds at Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh, Marsa Alam is a fantastic spot for shore diving in the Red Sea and you can explore colorful reefs and see large schools of fish without spending hours on a boat. It also offers day trips to impressive dive sites, such as Elphinstone where you can spot white-tip and hammerhead sharks.
Don't miss a chance to dive with the resident population of dugong at Marsa Abu Dabab, one of the last populations in the Red Sea of these docile creatures.