Diving in Egypt: Safaga
Part of the same reef network that sank the Salem Express, this is a site where you may find yourself doing a night dive, if your itinerary takes in the Safaga area. Your liveaboard boat will probably tie up close to the reef and its lights will illuminate the water making the nearby shallow reef visible. The reef's proximity means no zodiac is necessary, so this dive will likely begin and end at the stern of your boat. This is a very shallow reef network with a sandy sea floor at around 14m with the reef rising to a couple of metres below the surface.
You would be advised to quickly make your way out of reach of the lights of your liveaboard, or any others in the area since the nocturnal marine life will have already retreated out of sight in these illuminated areas. Along the sandy floor there are small clusters of life in the form of little bommies consisting of hard coral porites and acropora often adorned with Christmas tree worms and crinoids in full flare.
Life in the sandy areas can include blue spotted sting rays and flounders. Flounders are hard to spot being perfectly camouflaged against the sand, their location given away only when they move under the glare of your torch. There is probably more to be seen by diving over the reef section keeping your nose close to the action. Keen-eyed inspection can reveal spider crabs and the near-invisible decorator crabs (bejewelled with red, blue and green adornments). There are also large numbers of hermit crabs here, many with anemones attached to their shells. Care must be taken not to be skewered on one of the many black diadema sea urchins that cover the reef at night time.
Also keep an eye out for some of the Red Sea's more intelligent creatures which are more frequently spotted at night: cephalopods. Both octopus and cuttlefish are common sightings in the reef here, as are free-swimming squid in the water column. Few underwater encounters are as interesting as coming eye to eye with these most intelligent of reef dwellers and the same is true when diving in Egypt.
Hyndman Reefs Reef Basics: Sloping reef
Depth: 5 - 14m
Visibility: 10 - 25m
Surface conditions: Usually calm
Water temperature: 23 - 30°C
Experience level: Beginner
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: All year round
Distance: 20 km (1½ hrs) southeast of Safaga, 80 km (5 hrs) southeast of Hurghada
Access: Egypt liveaboard
View a map of:
• Southern Red Sea - Egypt
Back to diving in the Red Sea South index