Best Diving in Egypt

Egypt has world class diving. The water is warm, never falling below 22 oC even in winter and reaching 29 oC, or even more in southern Egypt in the summer.

Corals at Marsa Shona, Egypt, Red Sea
Corals at Marsa Shona, Egypt, Red Sea

10 Best Dives in Egypt

According to divers' votes. My favourite? Elphinstone.

Dive Egypt's best sites by liveaboard

Best time to dive Egypt?

Low season is December to February because of the cooler water, and June to August because of the heat, which makes for quieter dive sites. In the winter months you are also more likely to see Oceanic White Tip sharks at Elphinstone. Warmer water in summer lures the hammerhead sharks into Egypt - Daedelus reef is the place to go to see these. The winds are often weakest during full moon, which makes for calmer diving. Likewise the summer months are the calmest and the best for deep south liveaboards

Corals in, Egypt, Red Sea
Anthias, soft corals and fire coral in Egypt's Red Sea. Photo: Garry Frazer.

Currents in the Red Sea are normally, like the wind, from north to south. But there are many exceptions to this.

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Diving areas of Egypt

Turtle, Egypt, Red Sea
Photo: Garry Frazer.

Do I need a Wetsuit to Dive in Egypt?

Yes. The dives are often an hour long. In the summer months I wear a 5 mm web site. During January and February, if you are prone to getting cold, you'll need a 7 mm suit with hood.

Anthias, Egypt, Red Sea
Shoal of anthias on a wall in the Red Sea. Photo: Garry Frazer.

Do I need Visa?

If you are travelling to Sharm El Sheikh or Dahab on the Sinai you don't need a visa. Further south, like Hurghada or Marsa Alam, you do. This costs $25 and you can buy it at the airport when you arrive. If you have no dollars you can pay in Euros or pounds. There's no need to buy a visa from an agent in arrivals who often charge more than the US$25 for the visa. However, in the Red Sea airports the queues for the agents may be shorter. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Egypt.

Hammerhead sharks
You can often see Hammerhead sharks at Daedelus reef in the summer. Photo: baechi/Pixabay.

How do I get to Eygpt?

You can generally fly direct to Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada or Marsa Alam. If there are no direct flights from your country to the Red Sea, fly instead to Cairo and change there. This is straightforward as long as you book straight through with EgptAir for both legs of your journey. Your luggage will be automatically transferred and you will be directed where to catch the connection. In this case buy your visa from the bank kiosk in Cairo airport - you will need it to get through security to the ongoing flight.

Red Sea clownfish in its anemone
Red Sea clownfish in its anemone. Photo: Garry Frazer.

How much to tip in Egypt?

Egypt has a culture of tipping. Tip everybody at least 10% unless you receive bad service. If you have no Egyptian pounds you can tip in Euros, dollars or pounds. As a rough guide, per person, tip as follows.
Driver taking you to the hotel: 20 LE (Egyptian pounds)
Dive guides/boat staff: 10% of dive costs
Waiters: 10 LE per meal (they don't receive any service charge included in the bill)
Housekeeping: 10 LE per night
Luggage porter in hotel: 10 LE per bag
Taxi: funnily enough taxi drivers aren't generally tipped, but at least 10 LE if they have been helpful
Restaurants outside your hotel - service charge is often added but this doesn't go to the staff: tip the waiters as well.

When tipping do so discretely, fold in the palm of the hand and pass across for example.

Don't be surprised if an Egyptian asks you to convert a number of coins to a bank note. The banks will only exchange notes and so people need a friendly tourist to change their foreign tips for them.

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Your Comments

Great website! Iím an AWO diver, but my wife only snorkels because of ear problems. Can you recommend an area to dive from a live aboard that would have easy access to shallow coral? 1M? She's very advanced, but open water with 3M coral is not very interesting. She likes to take lots of photos. Thanks
Greg Mockford, 5 May 2021

Thanks for getting in touch. An Emperor fleet boat might be your best bet - they offer free snorkelling kit to non-divers and so should be able to recommend good areas and cater to your wife.
SCUBA Travel Team


Red Sea Contents

Diving Egypt

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