Ras Muhammad diving site information tours, prices and online booking
Ras Muhammad diving site lies about 20 km south of Sharm El Sheikh. In fact, it is on a slim peninsula towards the most southern tip of Sinai. Moreover, Ras Muhammad can accessed from both resorts and live aboard diving cruises. The name in fact derived from a wind-carved cliff in the area, which resembles the features of Prophet Mohammed, believed that has been visited in the 7th century. Furthermore, the area surrounded by fringing coral reefs which emerged after a change in the coastline 70,000 years ago. Ras Muhammed park characterized by vertical overhangs at least 100m deep. The combining waters of varying salinity from each gulf has resulted in a spectacular array of reef and pelagic fish.
Moreover, it diverse coral reef and luxuriant sea walls. It is ideal for some unforgettable Red Sea scuba diving on the Sinai Peninsula. In fact, it is due to its location on the Sinai Peninsula at the juncture of the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. Because of its exceptional beauty and scientific significance, the Egyptian government declared Ras Muhammad a protected area in 1983, at the time with an area of only 97 km². The park extended to 480 km² today because of local awareness and the rangers who patrol the grounds and surrounding seas. Diving allowed in designated areas only and visitors must leave the park by sunset. In fact, the sites be one of only a few popular tourist areas in the world that has no effluent discharge in to its waters.
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Ras Muhammad indeed is the most spectacular diving area near Sharm El Sheikh. Shark & Yolanda Reef are the prized diving spots of Ras Muhammad. These reefs offers an opportunity to spy every single species of fish of the Red Sea, right here in the Sinai Peninsula. The sites are best dived as a drift starting from Shark Reef and continuing to Yolanda Reef. These are 2 twin mountain-like peaks rising up from a sandy sea bed that is spread out deep below the surface. There is also a smaller reef called Satellite Reef beyond Yolanda Reef which you can explore all around depending on the strength of the current. Not far from Anemone City, the site’s eastern side is a sheer and vertical wall. Moreover, it illuminated by swarms of orange and purple Anthias.
Furthermore, it also features black and white pullers dancing about the purple and orange soft coral trees. Keep an eye out in the blue when cruising past Shark Reef for the grey reef sharks which give this reef its name. A menagerie of Pelagics can seen here, including hammerheads and gigantic tuna. An ever present school of barracuda and snappers are residents of Ras Muhammad and it’s a great place for scuba divers to see Napoleon wrasse. The other side, facing the west, is much shallower and constitutes part of the plateau that surrounds Yolanda Reef. There are literally thousands of jackfish, batfish and all kinds of sting rays. Moreover, there are giant moray eels and lyretail hogfish on the densely corralled saddle.
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Watch out for scorpion fish, rarely seen on the other dive sites but regularly spotted here. Finish your dive above the wreckage of the ‘Yolanda’, a wreck that made this reef its final resting place in the 70’s. Its cargo of British standard toilets, bath tubs and pipe tubes remain on and forever as part of the shallow reef. If the current is strong when you enter the water you might find yourself here quite quickly, and you can enjoy the humorous sight of so many toilets on the sea floor. There is a place where there are 7 of them lined up in a row – a favorite spot for comedy photographs but beware of the fire coral if you are in a shorty or you may get off the loo with a stinging sensation.
In fact, the site features sprawling highways and by-ways of hard and soft corals. It is a broad shoulder of reef just north of Shark Reef. Prolific anemones harbor a permanent populace of Anemone fish, but with plenty of other fish species to give it a truly cosmopolitan feel. In the shallow waters of Anemone City are the Heteractis sea anemones after which this Sinai dive site is named. Reef fish typical of the Sinai Peninsula are also present in considerable numbers. The majestic regal angelfish brightens up the underwater scene with its bright yellow and blue patterned body. Wrasse such as the cigar and Klunzinger’s wrasse are omnipresent, as well as yellowtail tang.
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With no mooring and a generally strong current, Ras Ghozlani done as a drift dive. In fact, it is the perfect way to appreciate the tranquility of this site. The preservation of its delicate beauty is thanks to the site closed off to divers by Ras Muhammad National Park for many years. One of the treasures of Sharm El Sheikh, it is by far one of the healthiest and most diverse coral sites in the Sinai region. Located at the mouth of Marsa Bareika, this site consists of a steep slope covered by coral heads. Dropping down to 15 meters, the reef wall descends gradually as you go deeper with abundant fish life all across the reef. Pufferfish, eagle rays, groupers and Napoleon-fish dot the reef, and keep your eyes on the blue for some pelagic action.
A deep dive, Ras Zaatar located on the northern tip of the Ras Muhammad peninsula. The reef here is similar to but more contoured than Ras Ghozlani. It made up of a steep wall which extends very deep down to house a large variety of marine life. The wall features a series of vertical undulations and indentations. It creates a number of chimney-like structures which make the wall an interesting experience. In fact, it is with ever-changing light and overhead vistas. A few large caves and overhangs provide cover to glass sweepers and a range of soft corals. You’ll find hundreds of longnose hawk-fish flitting around the black corals. In fact, they found deeper along the wall. The wall covered in soft and hard corals. It is with a preponderance of Sessile xenia (Anthelia Glauca) and Broccoli soft coral (Lithophyton arboretum).
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Around the corner heading into Marsa Bareika, the wall gives way to a sandy slope scattered with many coral bommies that create a coral garden home to a variety of glassfish, lionfish and some large Malabar groupers. Also look out for Sohal Surgeonfish (Acanthurus sohal), and Blue triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus). In and around the wall you can spot Red Sea Anemone-fish and fire Dart-fish plus Forskkal’s Goatfish foraging in sandy patches. In fact, many pelagic fish visit this area of the park. So, make sure when you dive here to look out for skipjack tuna and barracuda. The site in fact also features jacks and eagle rays as well as black-tipped reef sharks. Jackfish Alley (Fisherman’s Bank) is a shore dive and is located only a short distance from the beach.
Most often done as a drift dive. You can start at a white mark on the cliff from where you drop down to a cave at about 5 meters. In fact, it is is full of glassfish. Towards the south, lies a sandy coral-covered plateau buzzing with marine life. It is one of Ras Muhammad’s most photographed coral pinnacles as it’s swirling with glassfish. Further south, the plateau narrows into a sandy gully. Coral growth is good overall and the fish population is excellent. White tip reef sharks can often be found by alert scuba divers, taking an afternoon nap on the sandy plateau. You could see sharks in large numbers at Shark Observatory from the nearby observation cliff on the peninsula. Yet, most sharks have long ago been moved to the great “Shark Heaven in the Sky” by the shark trawlers.
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However, despite the absence of hundreds of sharks, Shark Observatory is still a fantastic dive. The location is literally a vertical wall that extends down to 90m. Moreover, it slops outwards only at its foot. There are numerous caves which are home to sweeping schools of glassfish. Furthermore, there are very impressive overhangs and huge gorgonian fans. Coral growth is excellent, with a variety of both soft and stony species. Moreover, it extends upwards in very interesting formations. The site features swarms of pelagic fish such as jacks, trevallies and barracuda. Moreover, it also features a selection of die-hard resident sharks. In fact, they still make the Sinai Peninsula’s Shark Observatory a fantastic dive.
Ras Muhammad facts:
- Ras Muhammad Reef Basics: Wall diving, drift dives and a wreck.
- Depth: 5 – 40m.
- Visibility: 10 – 40m.
- Currents: Moderate – strong.
- Surface conditions: Generally calm.
- Water temperature: 20 – 28°C.
- Experience level: Beginner – advanced.
- Number of dive sites: 12.
- Diving season: All year round; warmest water: June to Aug.; colder waters: around Feb.
- Distance: 16 km (1 hr) southwest of Sharm El Sheikh, 65 km (4½ hours) northeast of Hurghada.
- Access: Resort daytrips and live boards.