Egypt Scuba Diving: Safaga
Panorama Reef lies approximately 1 hour east of Safaga and is therefore a popular site for Safaga daytrips. This reef has a lighthouse on the northern section and deeper plateaus to over 30 metres to the west and the south-east. The south plateau is the more interesting dive site and the most likely spot you will visit if your liveaboard itinerary includes a dive at Panorama Reef.
Dropping in from the dive platform of your Egypt liveaboard, you will make your way to the drop-off where the reef drops from around 10m to well over 40m. You will encounter a very healthy wall here covered with soft corals and table corals. Notably there is one section where there is a cluster of anemones almost arranged in a vertical line along the wall. You can spend some time here watching the mature male and female anemonefish guarding their home and the smaller, immature males lurking behind the protective folds of their host anemone. Also look out for the gaping mouths of moray eels along this section of the wall. There are also many giant clams of varying sizes scattered over the wall and sloping reef.
As you make your way towards the south east-plateau the reef will be on your left shoulder. The steep wall of the drop-off gives way to a sloping reef that becomes a sandy plateau which varies between about 23m and 32m. Look out for nudibranchs and blue-spotted rays in the sand as well as scorpionfish sitting well disguised on the reef.
Often your dive will focus early on reaching the far northern edge of the plateau where several gorgonian fans reach out into the blue and mark where the plateau drops away into the depths. If you sink down on the outside edge of these gorgonians you can find a little cavern which is full of a mass of glassfish. Other common sights in this area include titan triggerfish, lyretail hogfish and bird wrasses.
Panorama Reef Reef Basics: Wall dive and reef flat
Depth: 10 - 40m
Visibility: 20 - 35m
Surface conditions: Usually calm, can be rough
Water temperature: 23 - 30°C
Experience level: Intermediate
Number of dive sites: 1
Diving season: All year round
Distance: 20 km (1½ hrs) east of Safaga, 70 km (4½ hrs) southeast of Hurghada
Access: Egypt liveaboards
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