Our starting point will be the marina of Hamata, located ca. 2 hours (165 km) south of Marsa Alam airport. This marina is lying the closest to St Johns reef, the reef that we will reach after ca. ten hours of navigation. But before going into detail on St Johns reef, we can drown ourselves on Reef Abu Galawa, whose main attraction is a small wreck that is very rich in marine life, and ideal for a check dive or as a night dive on the way back.
The large reef Shaab Sataya is also called Dolphin Reef because of the many dolphins in the area. This place was well known for its Roman remains, although, unfortunately, many have now disappeared because of some mindless visitors.
The second reef, Shaab Claudio, is consisting of a maze of caves that are easy to enter given the large openings on the surface of the sea, and has become famous for its beautiful scenery.
We will pass the tip of the peninsula of Ras Banas, which surrounds the ancient port of Berenice and will spend the night around the island Sirnaka, where a wreck is waiting for us.
St John’s Reef is a huge reef of 21 km by 13 km located under the Peninsula Berenice and crossed by the Tropic of Cancer. This area is offering many dive sites thanks to the many “Habili’s”, a name given by locals to indicate reefs that are reaching the surface and are offering a plateau between 60 and 80m depth and that are only accessible by liveaboard or mini safari. The drop offs, covered with gorgonians and black corals, are attracting large pelagic species: gray and white tip sharks, thresher sharks and hammerheads. Schools of manta rays, in the presence of groupers and wrasses, offer an amazing view.
On the reef, under the rays of the sun, a fairyland of colours are coming alive and make you want to stay as long as possible.
St Johns woods, Habili St Johns woods, Gotaa wasta, Habili Wasta, Abu Basala, Gotaa Hemera, Fendira Hemara, Little reef, The Nursery, Habili omran, Erg Om Aruk, Habili Gafar, Habili el Radir are some of the possible dives during your holiday.
After 2-3 days on st Johns, from Hamata, we will go further south, to the extreme south of Egypt on the border with Sudan and after 3 hours sailing south from St John’s reef.
Abu Fendira is still rarely visited, because of the many liveaboards departing from port Galeb,or even Marsa Alam, it is becoming a real journey.
Rich with schools of fish, you can easily spot turtles, stingrays and hump head parrot fish, clown fish and, if you have a good eye for it, crocodile fish and stone fish.
Several dives will let you discover the different plateaus covered with colourful fauna and flora. The impressive size of the table corals is housing some tenants for safety, and gorgonians are clinging on to the reef and moving with the current.
We will have to think of going back and resting our feet on the mainland of Hamata, the way back will go via Sataya and Claudia for a memorable visit to the dolphins, that is, if they wish to welcome you.
The final itinerary will be adjusted according to government approvals, weather conditions, levels of the divers and their wishes.