Sudan is a low profile tourist destination, due in part, to its history of political instability. However, in recent years, scuba diving tourism has very much been on the rise. Word has begun to spread about wonderful, colourful reefs, booming shark populations, uncrowded dive sites, large schools of fish, some incredible wrecks, and the ruins of an underwater village, Sudan's liveaboard diving is nothing if not unique!. It is also quite an easy destination to get to and you can choose a liveaboard trip to depart either from Port Sudan or from the Egypt's Port Ghalib.
Many liveaboard divers venture further south to Sudan after they have been to Egypt once or more, so visitors tend to be more experienced and the diving more unusual. The topography varies very much from site to site and includes pinnacles, steep walls and interesting caves. The excellent visibility means that encounters with sharks and manta rays are both common, and there are great photo opportunities.
Cousteau's Conshelf - This is your opportunity to investigate a piece of scuba diving history as you explore Jacques Cousteau's experimental underwater village of the 1960's. Oceanauts stayed here in Sudan for a month as part of his "underwater living" project and to dive around this shallow site is a completely unique and unforgettable experience.
Sanganeb Reef - Beneath this lighthouse island is a nutrient-rich reef which showcases some of the best elements of liveaboard diving in Sudan. Large schools of barracuda and jacks swirl around your head. Sharks to look out for include whitetips, grey reef sharks and hammerheads. A beautiful vibrant reef also beckons you to marvel at the robust corals and innumerable colourful reef fish fluttering above it.
Given the nature of the diving, including deep dives and wrecks, Sudan is a liveaboard destination favoured by scuba divers who are intermediate to experienced rather than recently qualified. It is suitable for those who have already dived Egyptian waters or those who wish to experience the Red Sea far from the crowds.
For the ultimate adventure of a lifetime, you can combine your Red Sea diving expedition with a tour to discover the historical sights of Egypt. Take an overland tour of Cairo to visit the pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and the national museums, or a Nile River cruise through the Valley of the Kings: Egypt antiquity tours.
Liveaboard diving cruises run throughout the year round in Sudan, but conditions differ from time to time. Hammerhead season is January to April, whereas manta lovers might plan for August to October. Most other sharks have no defined season and can be sighted any time during the year.
You can expect visibility in the 20 to 35m range, yet some sites have lower general visibility. The dry season of November to June usually enjoys better visibility than the May to October rainy season.
Water and air temperatures peak (31 to 33°C) between June and September. December to March is when the coolest water (24 and 27°C) is present. There is less wind in the Sudanese Red Sea than to the north, meaning surface conditions are generally calmer, although November to February is the period with the most unsettled surface conditions.
Liveaboard cruises which visit only dive sites within Sudan, i.e. those named Sudan North and Sudan South, start and end their trips in Port Sudan. There are direct flights to Port Sudan (airport code PZU) from Khartoum (Sudan), Cairo (Egypt), Dubai (UAE) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia). Khartoum has direct flights from many cities in Africa and the Middle East, so most visitors transit through there.
Sudan visas for Port Sudan only are normally arranged for guests by us on behalf of the boat operator as part of the reservation process (although guests can do it themselves if they prefer). They are valid for international arrivals from outside of Sudan only. The visa fees are payable upon arrival in Port Sudan, cash USD, exact amount only. The visa is valid only for the duration of your tour and only in the Red Sea State.
If guests arrive in Port Sudan from another Sudanese city, such as Khartoum, they would need to obtain their visa from a Sudanese Consulate or Embassy.
You can view which ports the various boats use on their trips in the 'Departures & Prices' section of each boat's web page. Whichever ports your boat uses, normally the boat operator provides a transfer to the boat from the local airport or hotels (if you overnight beforehand). We will send you full departure details during the booking process.
Note that you must have a Yellow Fever vaccination to visit Sudan since you would be expected to show evidence of it when entering another country from Sudan.
We recommend you take out insurance to cover diving and travel activities, including trip cancellation. See our insurance programme for a competitive quotation:
If you plan on staying in Egypt before or after your Sudan liveaboard diving trip, you can find a large range of accommodation options at hotelscombined.com, our affiliated hotel reservation specialists. Browse their website, use their on-line chat to ask questions, then simply use your credit card to make your booking:
All bookings carry a 'Low Price Guarantee' to ensure you get top-dollar value for money.
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