Strait of Tiran & Brothers
Experience the well preserved coral reefs of the Strait of Tiran coupled with arguably the best dive site in the whole of the Red Sea, Brother Islands. On this unique safari there is a chance that you could encounter schools of hammerheads and whalesharks as well as an abundance of other marine wildlife.
The Tiran dive area is found in the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba and is made up of four main reefs that form the top of an underwater bridge. These reefs, named after British cartographers (Jackson, Woodhouse, Thomas, Gordon), are world famous for their extraordinary diversity of corals and strong south westerly currents make them home to many large pelagic fish.
QUALIFICATION NEEDED: You 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 will only be allowed on some parts of this itinerary as it includes marine parks where this is prohibited.
**PLEASE NOTE** the itinerary below is just an example of the route taken and the order and dive sites are not 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.
This sample route is based on the vessel departing from and arriving back to HURGHADA however this itinerary can also be run from and to Port Ghalib and so therefore the order of sites can vary.
Day 1 - Shaab el Erg*, Abu Nuhas - cross to Tiran
Day 2 - Tiran
Day 3 - Tiran, Ras Mohammed - overnight sail
Day 4 - Big Brother
Day 5 - Small Brother
Day 6 - Abu Ramada. Giftun Island
Straits of Tiran: Only accessible by boat, the dive area is found in the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba and is made up of four main reefs that form the top of an underwater bridge. These reefs, named after British cartographers (Jackson, Woodhouse, Thomas, Gordon), are world famous for their extraordinary diversity of corals and strong south westerly currents make them home to many large pelagic fish...
Jackson Reef: This is the most northerly reef and on its northern edge lays the wreck of a freighter serving as a stark warning to ships in the narrow straights. Dives are usually conducted from the moorings on the south side which is sheltered from the main swell and currents. Moving northwards you will come across a forest of spectacular Gorgonia fan coral at about 20 to 30 metres as well as many different kinds of reef fish. This site can also be done as a drift dive heading from the mooring towards the East with the reef on the left where it is mostly wall diving with excellent corals.
Woodhouse Reef: This is the longest reef of the four in the Straits of Tiran. Home to reef sharks and Eagle Rays, it is dived as a drift dive usually from South to North. Jumping at the southern part of the reef is a wall to about 30m covered with coral from the surface all the way down. There is a canyon going along the reef at about 25m which spreads out into a coral garden with sand alleys.
Thomas Reef: This is the smallest reef in the Strait and diving here is governed by the weather as there are extremely strong currents. The ends are vertical walls with a large plateau at about 25m on the south eastern side. This plateau often has sleeping sharks on the sand patches and the colourful coral has a fence of Gorgonia fans at the end.
Gordon Reef: This is the most southerly reef of the four and has a different topography from the others offering both a shallow plateau area and drop offs. A huge variety of reef fish and big schools of groupers can be seen here and on the sandy bottom at 4 to 5 metres there is an eel garden area along with coral encrusted drums. The top of the reef, with its lighthouse, is also home to the wreck Lovilla which sits almost parallel to the wreck on Jackson Reef.
Abu Nuhas: Also known as the 'Ships Graveyard', this reef is dangerously positioned close to the busy shipping lanes of the Gulf of Suez. This reef has claimed more ships than any other in the area. On the north side are four wrecks laying on a sandy seafloor at the bottom of a steep sloping reef layered with table corals. On the south side is a safe anchorage for liveaboards and two ergs, known as Yellow Fish Reef.
Brother Islands: Brother Islands, or El Akhawein as they are called in Egyptian, are a pair of small islands situated just a short distance apart in the southern Red Sea. They offer fantastic wall diving with breathtaking underwater scenery.
Big Brother: A 400 metre long island offering fabulous wreck diving and wall diving. The wreck of the Numidia lies on the northern tip between 10 and 80 metres. The north-west side of the island houses the wreck of the Aida. Every section of this reef is covered with corals and life.
Little Brother: Little Brother is surrounded by shear walls covered in black corals, gorgonian fans and an abundance of hard and soft corals. Numerous sharks are attracted to area and grey and whitetip reef sharks, hammerheads and oceanic whitetips are often spotted here.
*Closed to the public from 15th May - 15th June 2013
Want to go? Check out the Schedules and Prices HERE
Thanks to (Dray Van Beeck)and Mike North for providing the featured underwater images.