7 things you didn’t know about 7 dive sites in Sharm el Sheikh

Otherwise known as… A light hearted look at 7 of Sharm’s top dive sites!

You may have been to Sharm many times and maybe you think that you are completely clued up about all the dive sites in this area. I intend to prove you wrong. Have a look at the 7 things you didn’t know as discussed with my fellow dive guides and boat captains here at Camel Dive Club.

1. The Alternatives – This dive site situated approximately a 50-minute sail from the southernmost tip of Ras Mohamed gets its name from trips to the SS Thistlegorm. Even though it is always sunny here in Sharm el Sheikh, it does sometimes get a bit windy. Therefore, if on a trip to Thistlegorm the trip sometimes has to turn around, then the alternative dive site was the Alternatives. (Also known as Saba Bottash, or the Seven Sisters due to the 7 coral pinnacles in this area). Does it make sense?

Thistlegorm photo: Andrew Slater

2. Ras Nasrani – We all know that Ras is Arabic for head or headland, even if you only visited Sharm once. Did you know where the Nasrani bit comes from? This dive site in the local or nearby area to Na’ama Bay gets the second part of its name from the Arabic word Nassarene. Still confused? This name was given to the divers that first started diving in Sharm back in the early 70’s and literally means Christians. This dive site is very famous for its high population of clams and stunning coral gardens.

3. Shark Reef – The depth of Shark Reef is approximately 750 metres (although I am not sure exactly as I have never been to the bottom). That is the equivalent of six football fields placed end to end. So as any good dive guide would say, if you see the sand put a little bit of air in your BCD!

4. Did you know that the distance between Na’ama Bay Jetty where the boats generally leave from, to Shark & Yolanda Reef, listed as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, is a distance of approximately 36 km? If you were to swim this distance instead of taking a 1 hour 30 minute boat trip on one of the beautiful day boats in Sharm it would take you roughly 12 hours of swimming non-stop! Phew.

5. SS. Dunraven – One of the prettiest wrecks that we have here in the Red Sea. A German oil company employee rediscovered this upturned shipwreck in 1977. Originally built in Newcastle upon Tyne, England in 1873, she sank on 22nd April 1876. Upon being unearthed, she was originally believed to be one of Lawrence of Arabia’s ships until a dinner plate finally identified the SS Dunraven.

6. Ras Bob – I think that most people would know that this dive site was named after the underwater cameraman Bob Johnson. Did you know that there was also a British TV advert filmed underwater there? For those of you old enough to remember, it was for a certain building society and featured a little boy free diving for a pearl. If you still look closely at the reef you can even see the remainders of where they attached the fake cement columns! Check out the link here to view the commercial.

7. Sodfa – No, I am not swearing at you. This dive site situated very close to the Jetty in Na’ama Bay, where our boats at Camel Dive Club conveniently leave from, literally translates to “By Chance” in Arabic. In the summer months, this site definitely lives up to its name with lots of sightings of Whale sharks and Mantas due to the notable amount of plankton there.

Photo: Erich Reboucas

So there you have it, 7 things you did not know about 7 dive sites in Sharm el Sheikh. Next time you visit, you will be able to give as good a dive briefing as your dive guide!

Inspired? Take a look at www.cameldive.com and book your trip!

This article was originally published by Scubaverse