They say a picture paints a thousand words, but just sometimes it's the words that paint the picture. Read this insightful TripAdvisor review of diving in Hamata from a recent guest and enjoy the imagery!
“The Hidden Gem of Egypt”
After diving numerous times in Egypt in both El Gouna and Marsa Alam, I read about the promise of pristine diving in Hamata and decided to take the plunge in trying somewhere different.
Having dived with Emperor Divers in El Gouna and Marsa, I booked with them directly to stay at the Zabargad Bernice Resort, Hamata.
Communication with Emperor was first Class (as always). On Arrival at Marsa Alam Airport we were greeted by Emperor Divers as promised, and travelled to Hamata in a comfortable air conditioned minibus. The journey was as promised - About 2 hours, and on arrival at the hotel we were greeted warmly, given refreshing drinks and shown to our rooms where we found more snacks and water waiting for us.
Information from Emperor Divers was waiting for us at reception with the information about where to be, and what to bring for the next days diving.
The bungalow style rooms are exactly as advertised - Very clean, fully air conditioned, electronic safe, comfortable beds, and satisfactory furniture. A Fresh bottle of water was provided daily without any extra charge.
The hotel has only recently re-opened and is under new management, as such there were not many guests onsite however the food choice was fantastic, and the staff could not have been more helpful or more professional. If there was something you wanted, you only had to ask, and it would be provided.
Pool area and general resort is very clean and tidy - Pool area and beach area has plenty of loungers and shades, and Bob's bar is right next to the pool should you need any drinks.
There are some areas which are still being developed and these are fenced off, but no work was being carried out while we were there so this was not an issue.
The Jewel to this Hotel is having both Emperor Divers, and a stunning House Reef on site. The Dive centre is perfectly placed near the house reef, and the initial registration, before the first days diving was completed quickly and efficiently.
Transfer to the Day boats is a 5 minute drive away, and the boat that we used for the Day Diving was outstanding. We were on the Emperor Boat 'Emperor Asmaa' - A stunning boat with sun deck on top, middle shaded deck with comfortable areas to sit and chat, lower deck with large dive deck and large salon with dining facilities for 20 guests.
Below decks and on the middle deck were excellently appointed cabins, which we did not use as we were only Day diving - However when used as a Safari boat, Emperor Asmaa would make a fantastic boat with outstanding facilities, on board compressor and plenty of hot water.
The crew and guides were (as with all other Emperor staff) extremely professional, helpful, and safety considerations were always top of the list. The food that the chef produced was absolutely stunning. You could not ask for a better boat and crew.
The main difference in diving @ Hamata compared to El Gouna or Marsa Alam is the pristine coral reefs. Dive 1 almost blew me away with the amount of both hard and soft corals. Somehow, every dive got better - Where ever we went all we saw was pristine and unspoilt coral reefs. When you come across a pillar rising from 18/20 metres, right up to 5 metres and know that you could spend ALL of a dive on just that pillar then you know you have come to the right place.
The Emperor Staff and Guides were extremely knowledgeable about the area and dive sites, and great at guiding, and showing us round the delights of Hamata. The Fury shoals is easily reached by Day boat, and the Dive on Shaab Claudio has been recorded in my logbook as the best dive to date. For every dive we were the only dive boat on the site giving us the possibility to experience diving at its best. Local wrecks are well worth a visit providing fantastic protography oportunities and once again stunning corals and fish life.
For those who want to spend a day diving from the house reef, then the same experience is possible. A new jetty as just been opened allowing you to walk out to the reef from the dive centre. Once again, the house reef has pristine coral, and so much fish life, that you could dive the house reef every day, and still see something new on every dive.
Once again Emperor Divers have surpassed by expectations, and on return to the UK I have already started talking to my local dive operation to get them to run 1 or 2 holidays to Hamata with Emperor Divers in 2014. If I had the choice, I would not look at any other dive company to dive with in Egypt - Emperor Divers are the dive company to dive with.
Please -If you dive there - Look after the reefs - Then we will have many more years of diving the pristine coral Reefs that Hamata has to offer. For Photographer, then Hamata is a dream come true - Enjoy it while its so pristine and quiet.
Want to dive here? Visit today and find out more!