Egypt Itineraries:

Project Shark: Simply the Best


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The aim of 'Project Shark' is to highlight the global issues facing sharks, with a Red Sea focus, as well as enjoying some of the most spectacular reefs that the Red Sea has to offer.

Taking in the world-famous marine parks at Brothers and Daedalus, this thrilling itinerary of spectacular drop offs is perfect for divers keen to glimpse some big animals at these remote off-shore reefs.

QUALIFICATION NEEDED: The currents at these fantastic dive sites are what make its sightings so exciting but also means that this itinerary is not suitable for inexperienced divers. For your safety, we ask that divers must be a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent and have logged a minimum of 30 dives to join this safari. Please note that night diving and snorkelling is prohibited in the marine park where you will normally spend three or four days of the trip depending on the route. To get the most out of these superb dive sites, many dives will be from a RIB.


Itinerary Checklist:

Common sightings: Large fish and pelagics
Reefs: Deep drop-offs and exposed plateaus
Wrecks: None
Night dives: Normally one or two during the week but not guaranteed
Experience required: Moderate
Amount of travelling: Several overnight sailings

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Itinerary: Simply the Best

Learn about the biology and behaviour of sharks within the Red Sea with nightly lectures from a representative of the "Red Sea Sharks" trust.

Founded by our expert dive guide and marine biologist, Elke Bojanowski Ph.D, in her quest to track and collect basic population data on oceanic whitetip sharks (Carcharhinus Longimanus), in the Egyptian Red Sea.

Elke began the Longimanus Project in October 2004 and since this date she has been actively collecting underwater photographs and video-clips of Oceanic Whitetip Sharks for catalogue, review and analysis. Since 2012 the project has expanded to become Red Sea Sharks (www.redseasharks.org) and increased its scope to include Grey Reef and Silky Shark catalogues and monitoring for many shark species.

**PLEASE NOTE** the itinerary below is an example of the planned route and dive sites cannot be guaranteed. All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides. Adverse weather can affect this route which includes several overnight sailings.

This itinerary can depart from and arrive to either Port Ghalib or Hurghada, which will influence the order of the itinerary and the dive sites available at the start and end of the week. Please note that ports are subject to change.

Day 1 - Visit dive sites local to your departure port for three dives (a check dive, practice zodiac dive and night dive) before heading out to the marine parks.

Days 2-5 - We normally plan to spend a day each at Big Brother, Small Brother, Daedalus and the Elphinstone area.

Day 6 - After a week of drop-offs, enjoy two relaxed morning dives local to your arrival port allowing you to cruise into harbour in the early afternoon. Take advantage of an evening onshore to purchase souvenirs and enjoy Egypt's famous hospitality before your journey home the next day.

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Itinerary Highlights:

Brother Islands
The northernmost part of Egypt's offshore marine park is made up of two islands 60km away from the coast and 140km south from Hurghada. The larger island (complete with a lighthouse from 1883) is 400 metres long with a spectacular plateau on the south east corner which is dotted with coral mountains and famous for thresher and grey reef shark sightings. The western side of the island has two impressive wrecks which both lie almost vertical on the side of the reef. The most spectacular is the Numidia, a large cargo steamer which sank in 1901 and now lies on the tip of the island between 10 and 80 metres covered in soft corals and frequented by large pelagic predators. The smaller wreck of the Aida (sitting between 30 and 65 metres) was a lighthouse authority supply vessel which sank in bad weather in 1957.

The smaller island, whilst only a little over 200 metres long, hosts an incredible concentration and variety of marine life. There is a pristine fan coral forest, a massive collection of hard and soft corals and compelling overhangs to explore. The highlight is the fish life; with regular seasonal sightings of hammerhead, thresher, grey reef and oceanic whitetip sharks.

Daedalus
This huge tear-drop shaped reef rises from the sea bed in the middle of the Red Sea, 80km offshore and more than 300km south of Hurghada. Easily recognised by its zebra-striped lighthouse, this reef offers some of the most amazing dives in the Red Sea. The sheer walls are covered in over-grown hard coral formations and a variety of reef fish. Napoleon wrasses and turtles are often cruising by, but make sure you keep your eyes open on the blue! Daedalus is one of those places where anything can happen... oceanic white tip, grey reef and thresher sharks are often sighted, but Daedalus is most famous for its scalloped hammerhead sharks which can often be seen in large schools out in the blue during the summer months. The sheer size of this reef means that you can do several dives here and never get bored!

Elphinstone Reef
A Red Sea legend; a finger shaped reef, with north and south plateaus covered in hard and soft corals, unpredictable and exciting this truly is an awesome reef where hammerhead sharks are regularly spotted in the summer and oceanic whitetip sharks often congregate in large numbers during late autumn.

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Itinerary Map:

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Private Guides:

If you are uncomfortable diving independently in a buddy team, or this will be your first trip to the offshore marine parks and you're not a super-experienced diver; why not give yourself peace of mind and book an expert blue o two private guide for the trip? They will be there every step of the way to make sure you get the best out of your diving!

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Courses:

With a wide variety of marine life to see on this itinerary, why not complete your PADI AWARE - Fish Identification speciality course onboard to learn more about your sightings. You can also learn how to make the most of the currents by completing your PADI Drift Diver speciality course onboard. Contact our expert travel team today for more information.

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Thanks to Dray Van Beeck for providing the featured underwater images.

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