Marine life of the Red Sea and where to find it by Sonia Goggel

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0417 Red Sea collage.jpg

 

Cousteau named the Red Sea ‘The Corridor of Miracles’ and it does indeed live up to its name. Its soft coral walls and hard coral gardens covered in myriads of colourful fish, many of them endemic, its crystal clear visibility for most of the year and the intense light, make the Red Sea a truly miraculous place. And then there is the big fish and mammals department.

We may snorkel and dive with dolphins all year around. Bottlenose dolphins are very friendly and very playfully interactive with divers at Gubal, Abu Nuhas and Shaab el Erg; and we may snorkel with Spinner dolphins in southern lagoons like Sataya and Samadai. Swift underwater encounters with dolphins can happen in any reef though, for example at the Brother Islands, Elphinstone, Daedalus, Rocky and Zabargad, the Thistlegorm, the Rosalie Moller to name but a few.

Snorkelling and diving with the spectacular dugong is also possible, mainly in bays north and south of Marsa Galeb Port, where its main meal, sea grass, grows.

And then there are the sharks. White tip reef sharks can be seen all year round on most reefs.

Grey reef sharks are also a permanent feature of the off shore islands, aswell as most walls, even those that are close to shore.

The shy thresher sharks can be seen mainly at the Brother Islands and at Daedalus Reef, mostly in deeper water, and all year around. They tend to be off-shore sharks but they do come to the reefs to make use of the cleaning stations and to feed.

Individual hammerheads visit the Brothers but can also be found at reefs closer to shore like Tiran Straits, Ras Mohamed, outer Safaga Reefs, Shaab Sharm, outer Fury Shoal Reefs, St Johns, Rocky and Zabargad, all year round really. Some tend even to be resident to a spot, like the one we often see off the wreck of the Numidia at the Big Brother Island.

The north side of Jackson Reef at Tiran is famous for schooling hammerheads but Daedalus is definitely our schooling hammerhead hot spot, especially because they have been known to be quite interactive with humans, circling divers for long intervals of time. At Tiran the best time to see them is the summer months, while at Daedalus they are typically shallow from May to June and then get progressively deeper during the summer and autumn months and less visible during the winter. Due to strange current patterns, along with possible other reasons, the sightings of interactive large schools have been less frequent for about a year now.

Oceanic white tip sharks are common in the colder months, September through to June, at the off shore islands of Elphinstone and at St Johns Reefs but have also been spotted on many other walls, for example, around Sharm El Sheikh, or even at coral gardens close to deep water areas.

We also get whale shark and manta sightings that can happen all year around, especially frequently in the Sharm El Sheikh area and the offshore islands but can happen on any reef; I saw my first whale shark in the Red Sea on the shallow coral garden of Samadai Reef.

There are also occasional black tip oceanic sharks at Ras Mohamed, as well as tiger sharks on many different reefs like Elphinstone, Rocky, Panorama Reef, Carless Reef, among others. Silky sharks used to make frequent appearances at the Brothers and Daedalus but have been mostly replaced by Oceanic white tips.

So wherever you dive in this 'Corridor of Marvels' the chances are highthat you will make a memory that will last a lifetime.

Interested? Email us today or book  online.

 

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This page contains a single entry by Bryony published on October 21, 2018 7:41 AM.

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