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El Gouna and the Strait of Gubal are two Egyptian dive areas that offer shipwrecks aplenty, pristine coral reefs and colorful marine life. All divers will enjoy exploring the area’s many dive sites.

Diving in El Gouna & Strait of Gubal

Quick facts

The Strait of Gubal has been long sought after by advanced and technical divers because of its plethora of deep wrecks. Traditionally, the Strait has only been accessible by liveaboard from Hurghada or Sharm el-Sheikh. However, with the introduction of a new resort at El Gouna, divers can easily access the Strait of Gubal as well as a healthy variety of dive sites on the western side of the Red Sea within a few hours of their hotel.

El Gouna is home to the perfect classroom for beginners in its shallow lagoon as well as more challenging deep wrecks for technical divers. There are some 40 dive sites within easy reach. The most famous of these is the Abu Nuhas reef, the famous 'ship graveyard' of the Red Sea. The most famous of the wrecks found here are Carnatic, Chrisola and the Ghiannia. Divers will also relish the chance to visit Dolphin House which is home to a huge pod of dolphins. These graceful creatures often accompany divers on their way to see the hard coral gardens at the bottom of the bay.

Just two and a half hours from El Gouna, the Strait of Gubal (or Gubal Strait) is usually only accessed by liveaboard. However, some dive companies in El Gouna will take divers on a day trip to this challenging dive environment. Here you will find nearly 30 dive sites with healthy reefs and some of the best wrecks in the world due to the fact that this section of the Red Sea has claimed more ships than any other area. Of the wrecks, the SS Thistlegorm is the most famous. Other advanced wreck dives include the Dunrave, Kimon M., and The Rosalie Moller. For much of the diving in the Strait of Gubal, you may be required to be a certified Rescue Diver. This is due to the depth at which most of the diving occurs and the strong currents that ravage the area.

Luckily, diving in El Gouna and the Strait of Gubal is year-round. This part of Egypt experiences warm winters and very hot summers, however water temperatures can vary significantly in the Red Sea. Expect the warmest water temperatures to occur in August with an average of 82°F (28°C). The coolest water temperatures are recorded in February (72°F/22°C) when a 5mm wetsuit may be necessary to dive comfortably. Visibility is variable due to the region’s strong currents.

Both advanced and new divers will love El Gouna and the Strait of Gubal. It certainly offers a variety of dive sites to keep everyone entertained.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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What to see

You can expect to see a wide range of colorful corals and sponges as well as plenty of reef fish around El Gouna and the Strait of Gubal. Crocodilefish, trumpetfish, blue-spotted rays, clown fish, napoleon fish, and humphead wrasse are regularly seen.

Lucky divers might be rewarded with a turtle, leopard shark, reef shark or even a hammerhead at the more exposed sites. Barracuda, tuna and mackerel can occasionally be seen patrolling the area’s wrecks and stonefish, mothfish and lionfish stalk their prey among the corals. Nudibranchs and pipefish are plentiful for underwater photographers and vigilant divers might also identify a frogfish or stargazer.

Calendar

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Area

Both El Gouna and the Strait of Gubal are known for their excellent diving opportunities. Located in the northern section of the Red Sea, this region offers a fantastic alternative to both Hurghada and busy Sharm el-Sheikh.

The town of El Gouna, along the eastern shore of Northern Egypt is actually not a town in the traditional sense. Instead, it is a privately owned and operated vacation resort. Here you will find more than 18 hotels, two beaches, a hospital and a wide variety of tourist attractions. El Gouna is known as the most eco-friendly town in all of Egypt, and it continually works to be a memorable experience for all visitors.

The Strait of Gubal (also known as the Gubal Strait) is two and a half hours by boat from El Gouna. This Strait connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Suez and is traditionally a dangerous zone for ships. There are more shipwrecks here than in an other area of the Red Sea. However, it is an important shipping lane and the only way ships from the Red Sea can access the Suez Canal. Because of its accessibility from El Gouna and Sharm el-Sheikh as well as its variety of wreck sites, the Strait of Gubal has become a major diving attraction in the Red Sea.

Whether you decide to stay in El Gouna, dive the Strait of Gubal on a day trip or board a liveaboard for the North Red Sea, you are sure to enjoy a memorable vacation in this relaxing and adventurous part of Egypt.

Other attractions

El Gouna is a resort town with a wide range of tourist attractions. Other than diving, guests can also enjoy watersports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, waterskiing, parasailing and snorkeling. Two gorgeous white sand beaches are perfect for relaxing the days away. For history-lovers the Church of St. Mary and the Archangels offers an interesting insight into the area’s significant religious history. Other attractions include an archaeological museum, a small aquarium, a go-kart track, a paintball arena, tennis courts, two golf courses, horse stables and a football stadium. If you are in El Gouna during football season, don’t miss the chance to catch an Egyptian Premier League match.

Getting there

El Gouna is just 15 miles (25km) north of Hurghada International Airport which welcomes flights from European and African destinations daily. For those arriving via Cairo, a seven hour bus journey is necessary to reach this resort area.

Once in Hurghada, resort transfers, taxis and local buses allow visitors to move around.

The Strait of Gubal can be accessed by daily boat trip from El Gouna. However, divers may wish to travel to the area by liveaboard from either Hurghada or Sharm el-Sheikh in order to maximize the number of dives in the region.

UTC+02:00

Time zone

EGP

Currency

+20

Calling code

220 V

Electric volt

C, 

F

Plug type

HRG

Main airport
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