Dahab has a huge variety of dive sites, from shallow coral gardens to deep drop offs and canyons. This is what makes Dahab so special, you can explore one type of topography on your morning dive and then see something completely different in the afternoon. Most of these sites are also easily accessible and are just a short journey from the dive centre. Almost all the coastline both north and south of Dahab has fringing reef, so you can dive virtually anywhere, in fact if you find somewhere easy to enter just jump in and explore! Our dive guides are familiar with all the best spots, but there’s always something new to find.
One of the premier dives sites here in Dahab is the Bells, a spectacular wall dive of amazing beauty. The Bells is a large vein of rock that has eroded out leaving a deep gash in the reef that drops to 45 metres formed where a deep groove cuts into the reef top just north of the Blue Hole. The groove of the Bells breaches the reef table and a clear blue pool is formed; this is where the dive is started. As you drop through this pool, you will emerge on the reef wall at about 12 meters. The groove disappears to re-emerge deeper at 28 meters. The open water here is some of the clearest, deepest blue you will see. The wall itself descends down into the blue to over 200m which only adds to the anticipation experienced when emerging through the chimney. It is vertical and in parts overhanging, with a rich growth of black corals and sea fans.
This wall dive ends when you enter the Blue Hole through a shallow saddle and exit.
The Dahab Canyon is the classic canyon, an essential dive for all fanatics of caves and cavern diving. The Canyon is itself quite a phenomenon. Up to 10 meters high and virtually closed over at the top, it snakes its way up from the depths, to emerge in a large glassfish filled coral dome. The Canyon dive site offers an easy entry and exit point through a shallow, sandy lagoon. This leads out to beautiful coral gardens inhabited by Butterflyfishes, Unicornfishes, Octopus, Pufferfish and of course Red Sea Anthias, which can only be fully explored after several visits. The Canyon itself is positioned about five minutes north-east from the exit of the lagoon. The entry to the Canyon is done through it largest point at about 20 meters. The progression through the Canyon is easy and the light effect caused by the sun rays is fantastic.
Coral Gardens is located next to the Canyon with the same entry and exit. Instead of heading north as you exit the lagoon you will go south towards this beautiful rounded wall. You will make your way south along the wall with the clear blue water to one side where you may see one of our large Napoleonfish swim by. As you shallow up you will swim through a sandy maze with hard and soft corals. This site is great for underwater photography.
A truly spectacular site for coral, this site is very exposed and can only be dived on calm days. Entry is via a small winding lagoon that leads out onto a vast sand bank which is covered in garden eels. As we cross the sand bank the eels retreat into their holes and pop back up again behind us. As we come back along the reef edge you’ll see some of the brightest and most colourful coral in Dahab.
Gabr el Bint ranks among one of the most attractive sites of North Sinai. We access this site by boat only and as it is less frequently dived than the other dive sites in Dahab which has left this site in pristine condition. Gabr el Bint means 'The Grave of the Girl' in Arabic. There are two dives possible here. The south side features a steep wall that drops down to about 60m cut by numerous chasms, sandy ravines and overhangs. The drop-off is adorned with healthy table corals. The north side is a far more colorful featuring a forest of gorgonians. Usually drop down to about 20-25m swimming along massive boulders protruding from the drop-off which attracts dense shoals of anthias and glassfish. After about ten minutes you will find some of the healthiest gorgonian fan corals in the Red Sea. Here you start to ascend and cross the saddle then start to head back along a sandy ledge which parallels to the shore. The ledge is riddled with exquisite coral heads that attract numerous reef species. There is a good change that you will spot turtles, eagle rays and vey rarely whalesharks at this reef.
Named after two huge pinnacles visible at low tide, this is another dive site perfect for beginners. A sloping sandy bottom dotted with hard coral pinnacles, with several gullies disappearing into the deep. As you dive take a look out into the blue as we often see passing eagle rays or tuna. This site also boasts Dahab’s one and only wreck – a peddalo sunk by some unfortunate tourists several years ago.
Lighthouse, situated at the Northern end of the bay of Dahab, is home to the confined water training area due to its large sandy slopes and gentle drop off. The Lighthouse offers a number of different dives depending on the route chosen, and the sprawling coral gardens offer an abundance of marine life and vividly colourful corals, extending far from the shore. The Lighthouse is made up of a large rocky wall that wraps around the point whilst heading north to the Eel Garden. The wall and the sprawling coral gardens, which extend far from the shore, offer varying depth ranges down to 60M plus making it suitable for all. Larger aquatic creatures, alongside a spectacular variety of corals, make it a very popular dive site. The Lighthouse is perfect for beginners, this easy to enter site still has a fantastic range of coral and fish life and also makes an ideal first technical dive in Dahab to brush up on buoyancy and equipment configuration.
An ideal training site located only 20 metres from Poseidon Divers our guides know this reef like the back of their hands. The entry is via the beach which as you descend turns into a bed of seagrass bed – look out for our resident turtle! At the start of the reef is Roman’s Rock, a large pinnacle which attracts plenty of life including glassfish, pajama slugs, lots of lionfish and even large groupers. Another pinnacle as the reef turns southwards often explodes with life at dusk. Don’t for one minute think that this site is not worth diving as often large eagle rays, dolphins and moray eels are seen here more than any other site in Dahab. Our house reef also boasts beautiful table corals, schools of fusiliers and the occasional Napoleonfish.
Easy to enter even on windy days, this site is suitable from beginners upwards, a sandy bottom slopes down to the hard coral reef at 10 metres, the reef then undulates downwards until it meets the drop off at around 30 metres. We’ll usually continue southwards gradually getting shallower and end the dive in a sheltered lagoon perfect for safety stops. This site is popular for turtle sightings!
Napoleon Reef is now best dived from one of our boats. The reef here juts right out into the lagoon and catches some very strong currents, but with the currents come beautiful soft corals, the color of which you’ll see nowhere else in Dahab. As you drop down into deeper water this is where the larger fish hang out gently swimming against the current and some perfect examples of deep water black corals. Along with eagle rays, feathertail rays and turtles, we have been lucky enough to spot a hammerhead shark lurking around here! You’ll nearly always spot napoleon fish here – hence the name! As we are one of the only dive centre’s in Dahab with dive boats you are almost guaranteed to be the only group at this dive site.
An often overlooked dive site, it makes an excellent entry point for a slow drift down to towards the Canyon just down the road. A shallow reef wall about 12 meters deep that then gently slopes down towards the drop-off. The best dive here is to stay shallow and dive very slowly observing the wildlife that has moved out of the way of the busier Canyon.
A ‘secret’ site for a long time marked by a shoe on a pole, this dive site has an unusual entry point – a hole in the reef table with a 20m narrow tunnel leading out onto a fantastic pinnacle on the reef. We then swim around the pinnacle and head north across valleys and troughs. There is a sea-grass bed at this dive site where you can often find seahorses.
Really caverns instead of caves and they have actually eroded back underneath the shoreline underwater. This site makes for some fantastic photo shots and also gives you a good idea of what it feels like to be in a cave underwater without the risks. There is a fantastic red anemone on the southern side of the reef
This site is a favorite among guides and guests alike. A coral maze which truly shows the Red Sea coral at its best. Three giant pinnacles have grown together over the ages to create a playground of valleys and lagoons full of every reef fish you can imagine. One of the lagoons is home to thousands of juvenile barracuda, with trevally and large snapper always in attendance guarding their larder! An earthquake 10 years ago collapsed huge sections of the reef exposing holes and cracks that are rapidly filling up with renewed coral growth. This dive site never disappoints and as one of the shallower dives it is accessible to all certification levels.
Bannerfish Bay is also located a 20 metre walk from our Mashraba centre. This is our own personal muck diving site. Bannerfish Bay doesn’t have large reef walls or even a lot of corals but what it does have is lots of interesting life! Often seen here are seahorses; up to 3 on one dive, seagrass ghost pipe fish, frogfish, triggerfish, moray eels and of course tons of bannerfish! Bannerfish Bay is also a favorite spot for night dives often spotting squid, octopus, cuttlefish, lobsters and more! You will surely have plenty to write in your logbook after this dive!
A collection of three sandy lagoons marks the entry and exit to this dive site. The coral gently undulates as it slopes downwards, now and then rising up to isolated pinnacles. Turtles are a common sight here and if you’re very lucky a resident leopard shark. As we head back across the sandy lagoons look out for stonefish, sea moths and seahorses.
Um Sid is one of the sites in the Southern Oasis and is a dive guide favorite. The reef here juts out quite a way and drops down to a sandy slope covered in Garden Eels, the best dive is to enter on the right hand side of the reef and keep the reef to your left shoulder, looking out for blue spotted rays, nuddibranchs and don’t forget to look out into the blue for eagle rays!