Underwater Life

The Red Sea is a branch of the Indian Ocean that originates at the Straits of Bab al Mandab, between Yemen and Ethiopia, and then climbs northwest to where the Sinai Peninsula divides it into two long narrow gulfs: Aqaba and Suez.  It is the only tropical sea that is nearly an entirely closed system; no rivers flow into it and the influx of water from the Indian Ocean is very nominal.  These features along with the arid desert climate create a body of water with an extremely high salt content.  The Red Sea’s shallow reefs, mountains of coral, sheer drop-offs and coral encrusted shipwrecks make it a diver’s paradise.  Indeed, some say it is the best diving in the world.  In 1989 an international panel of scientists and conservationists selected the northern portion of this 1800km long body of water as one of the Seven Underwater Wonders of the World.

The most popular diving destinations fringe the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, notably the area near Sharm el Sheikh known as Ras Mohammed National Park, often referred to as the crown jewel of the Red Sea.  Another popular spot is located near the Straits of Tiran, which form the narrow entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba.  Here the currents sweeping through the deep narrow channel allow coral to grow prolifically and attract a cornucopia of marine life.  A large number of ship wrecks are located on the western side of Sinai in the Straits of Gubal.  However, those seeking adventure and virgin territory travel south to the four islands known as the Brothers, Zabargad, Rocky and Abu Kizan.  Access here is strictly regulated and is only recommended for the most experienced diver.  Those who have dived here will tell you that nothing else will ever compare.