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Destination Report
destination sharm el sheikh
Photos: Andrew Slater
The Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh situated at the southern If you don’t want to travel far to a dive site, or like the idea of half-day
point of the Sinai has some of the world’s most celebrated diving trips, you can opt to ‘go local’. Sharm’s local reefs are excellent for
attractions around its shores. The world famous Ras Mohammed training and photography, and at the right time of year throw up their
National Park is located at the very tip of the Sinai peninsula where own spectacular surprises. From the months of May to September it
deep water upwellings generate incredible coral growth, particularly is not unusual to spot the odd manta ray or whale shark passing by as
on the signature sites of Shark and Yolanda reefs. During the summer they follow the plankton.
months this area is also a hotspot for schooling snapper, barracuda,
batfish and unicornfish. Marine encounters recorded by divers
Over the past 25 years the face of Sharm has changed considerably,
on these life-filled sites also include whale sharks, manta rays and
transforming from a small fishing port to an international beach
dolphins.
resort. As a result of this growth, there are numerous accommodation
options on offer to suit every kind of budget. Divers can usually opt
Head north from Ras Mohammed to the Strait of Tiran and you for a diving and accommodation package for discount; however, all
will find a coral garden described by scuba diving pioneer Jacques dive centres will pick you up from any hotel in the Sharm area – five
Cousteau as one of the most spectacular reefs he had ever seen. The star or budget.
steep-sided walls of Jackson Reef are where you will find some of the
most beautiful coral cover in the Sinai region, including the famous
The town delivers on every level for the solo to family holiday
rare red anemone. Strong currents, most profuse at the edge of
traveller. There are some top class restaurants, chill out and party bars,
Jackson reef, attract an abundance of pelagic fish particularly during
as well as more secluded places where you can just relax by the sea.
the summer months. On the less windy and calm days of summer, For activities topside, the desert resort offers a huge mix of activities,
boats are able to dive the north side of the reef. Although far from from wakeboarding and water parks to desert stargazing and
guaranteed, the chance to see the resident school of scalloped traditional Bedouin dinners.
hammerhead sharks is well worth a dive in the blue water.
Wrecks are also a major pull for visitors, with one of the most
famous sunken diving attractions located just a few hours boat ride
For a full list of legal dive centres and safari boats operating
from Sharm. Voted time over as one of the best wreck dives, the
in Sharm el Sheikh see the CDWS website:
Thistlegorm alone attracts scuba visitors from all over the world to
www.cdws.travel
the northern Egyptian Red Sea resort.
42 www.cdws.travel
Issue 4 January - February ‘10
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