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REEF DIVERS,
976 JUSTICE MAHOMED STREET,
BROOKLYN,
PRETORIA, 0181,
SOUTH AFRICA

+27 12 460 9229

+27 12 460 9398

September Red Sea trip, Egypt

Unforgettable 9 nights in a traditional camp with 12 incredible dives in various dive sites that can keep even the experienced divers interested. Flight from JHB-OR Tambo, Airport taxes, visa fees and all transfers are included. Tanks and weights will be provided for all the dives by Desert Divers (we will be diving with them).

Let’s be clear about this – Camels can’t dive! What they can do, is take you on unique diving adventures you won’t find anywhere else in the world. And if you have non-diving (or freediving!) friends and family, they’ll have just as much fun as the divers. The two day Camel Safari is also included.

Our accommodation will be Sindbad Camp in Dahab, Egypt. Breakfast not included.

SinbadSindbad Camp is a traditional and authentic Dahab Camp and supplies plenty of the hospitality and a good vibe. If you’re looking for a good time relaxing on the seafront in a nice Bedouin camp atmosphere and you don’t mind small, clean and simple rooms.We have the biggest swimming pool right in front of us, it’s called the Red Sea and contains some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth.Early morning swims and snorkel awaits you. 

Chilling areaSindbad Camp has a location that dreams are made of. Right on the beach, with a view across the Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi Arabia that is clearly visible on the horizon. There is almost always a cooling breeze blowing each day to ward off the heat from the glowing Sun. 

We have a camp restaurant that is open from early in the morning till the early evening. It is not Haute Cuisine, but very tasty and we serve the best coffee in Dahab.

An upgrade on accommodation can be organized.

Trip Itinerary - Unbeatable Price R 15 999.99 (Subject to changes in exchange rate and airport taxes ):

R 10000 non refundable deposit required with booking - balance to be paid in full 20 days prior to departure. 

BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW! 

Wednesday 06 Sept 2017 - depart OR Tambo

Thursday 07 Sept- Arrive Cairo Intl. 

  • Flight to Sharm el Sheik Airport
  • Transfer to Dahab
  • Check in at Sinbad camps
Friday 08 Sept to Sunday 10 Sept

Two dives a day at various sites - including the famous Blue hole, Canyon and Lighthouse reef.

Monday 11 Sept

One morning dive

Tuesday 12 Sept

One morning dive

Wednesday 13 Sept & Thursday 14 Sept
Ras Abu Galoum Camel Diving Safari
 Camel safari

These are the most popular Camel Diving Safaris – 2 dives a day, and a glorious night under the stars.

Ras Abu Galoum is a remote Bedouin fishing settlement & Protected Area, stretching from the Blue Hole in the south to Ras Mamlah and Nuweiba in the north. It’s home to 5 or 6 families, and summer retreat for many Bedouin who come and go from Dahab and Nuweiba.

It’s also home to one of the area’s most beautiful coral gardens. The reef is stunning. Octopus and turtles are common, plus rays and a huge variety of reef fish and invertebrates.

  • Day 1. There’s no better time to leave on safari than early! Depart Dahab 6-7am. Travel by jeep for ½ hr, and then meet your camels!
  • Load tanks and equipment onto the camels, a quick lesson in camel driving and we’re off! 1 hour trek along a beautiful stretch of the Aqaba coastline. Relax & enjoy the ride!
  • Unpack, a 2nd breakfast now that we’re awake, and time for the first dive.
  • All of the diving on safari is from shore. Kit up, buddy check, descend and enjoy!
  • More tea, lunch and time to explore. 
  • Relax, snorkel, walk on the beach or go to the Laguna for an afternoon swim.
  • Around sunset, we will get ready for our Night dive. When we finish, dry off and gather round the fire for dinner and a perfect night under the stars.

Galum

  • Day 2. There’s nothing like an early morning swim! Wake up with sun, walk a few meters and you’re in the cool blue waters of the Red Sea. Finish your swim and breakfast arrives, with fresh baked Bedouin bread.
  • Fresh food prepared by our Bedouin hosts and drinking as much of the sweet Bedouin tea as you can manage!
  • Pack up the camels after the 2nd dive and start the journey home. By camel to the road, and jeep to Dahab. You’ll be planning your next trip to Dahab within hours!
  • Two days

Friday 15 Sept

No diving , shopping in Dahab and chilling before transfer to Sharm. on Saturday.

Board flight to Cairo for late evening flight to JHB- OR Tambo international

Saturday 16 Sept

Fly out fro Sharm. to JHB

Sunday 17 Sept

Arrive in JHB- OR Tambo international

 

DAHAB DIVESITES:

Bells to Blue Hole 

 Blue hole

One of the premier dives sites here in Dahab is the Bells, a spectacular wall dive of amazing beauty. The Bells is a large vein of rock that has eroded out leaving a deep gash in the reef that drops to 45 meters formed where a deep groove cuts into the reef top just north of the Blue Hole. The groove of the Bells breaches the reef table and a clear blue pool is formed; this is where the dive is started. As you drop through this pool, you will emerge on the reef wall at about 12 meters. The groove disappears to re-emerge deeper at 28 meters. The open water here is some of the clearest, deepest blue you will see. The wall itself descends down into the blue to over 200m which only adds to the anticipation experienced when emerging through the chimney. It is vertical and in parts overhanging, with a rich growth of black corals and sea fans.

The dive ends as you cross over a shallow saddle into the blue hole.

Dahab Canyon 

The Dahab Canyon is the classic canyon, an essential dive for all fanatics of caves and cavern diving. The Canyon is itself quite a phenomenon. Up to 10 meters high and virtually closed over at the top, it snakes its way up from the depths, to emerge in a large glassfish filled coral dome. The Canyon dive site offers an easy entry and exit point through a shallow, sandy lagoon. This leads out to beautiful coral gardens inhabited by Butterfly fishes, Unicorn fishes, Octopus, Puffer fish and of course Red Sea Anthias, which can only be fully explored after several visits. The Canyon itself is positioned about five minutes north-east from the exit of the lagoon. The entry to the Canyon is done through it largest point at about 20 meters. The progression through the Canyon is easy and the light effect caused by the sun rays is fantastic.

Coral Gardens

is located next to the Canyon with the same entry and exit. Instead of heading north as you exit the lagoon you will go south towards this beautiful rounded wall. You will make your way south along the wall with the clear blue water to one side where you may see one of our large Napoleon fish swim by. As you shallow up you will swim through a sandy maze with hard and soft corals. This site is great for underwater photography.

Eel garden

A truly spectacular site for coral, this site is very exposed and can only be dived on calm days. Entry is via a small winding lagoon that leads out onto a vast sand bank which is covered in garden eels. As we cross the sand bank the eels retreat into their holes and pop back up again behind us. As we come back along the reef edge you’ll see some of the brightest and most colourful coral in Dahab.

Lighthouse 

Situated at the Northern end of the bay of Dahab, is home to the confined water training area due to its large sandy slopes and gentle drop off. The Lighthouse offers a number of different dives depending on the route chosen, and the sprawling coral gardens offer an abundance of marine life and vividly colourful corals, extending far from the shore. The Lighthouse is made up of a large rocky wall that wraps around the point whilst heading north to the EelGarden. The wall and the sprawling coral gardens, which extend far from the shore, offer varying depth ranges down to 60M plus making it suitable for all. Larger aquatic creatures, alongside a spectacular variety of corals, make it a very popular dive site. The Lighthouse is perfect for beginners, this easy to enter site still has a fantastic range of coral and fish life and also makes an ideal first technical dive in Dahab to brush up on buoyancy and equipment configuration.

Islands 

This site is a favorite among guides and guests alike. A coral maze which truly shows the Red Sea coral at its best. Three giant pinnacles have grown together over the ages to create a playground of valleys and lagoons full of every reef fish you can imagine. One of the lagoons is home to thousands of juvenile barracuda, with trevally and large snapper always in attendance guarding their larder! An earthquake 10 years ago collapsed huge sections of the reef exposing holes and cracks that are rapidly filling up with renewed coral growth. This dive site never disappoints and as one of the shallower dives it is accessible to all certification levels.

Um Sid 

One of the sites in the Southern Oasis and is a dive guide favorite. The reef here juts out quite a way and drops down to a sandy slope covered in Garden Eels, the best dive is to enter on the right hand side of the reef and keep the reef to your left shoulder, looking out for blue spotted rays, Nudibranchs and don’t forget to look out into the blue for eagle rays!

Some History:

She set sail on her fourth and final voyage from Glasgow on 2 June 1941, destined for Alexandria, Egypt. The vessel’s cargo included: Bedford trucks, Universal Carrier armoured vehicles, Norton and BSA motorcycles, Bren guns, cases of ammunition, and 0.303 rifles as well as radio equipment, Wellington boots, aircraft parts, and two LMS Stanier Class 8F steam locomotives. These steam locomotives and their associated coal and water tenders were carried as deck cargo and were for the Egyptian Railways. The rest of the cargo was for the Allied forces in Egypt. The crews of the ship, under Captain William Ellis, were supplemented by 9 naval personnel to man the machine gun and the anti-aircraft gun.

 

Due to German and Italian naval and air force activity in the Mediterranean, the Thisslegorm sailed as part of a convoy via Cape Town, South Africa, where she refueled, before heading north up the East coast of Africa and into the Red Sea. On leaving Cape Town, the light cruiser HMS Carlisle joined the convoy. Due to a collision in the Suez Canal, the convoy could not transit through the canal to reach the port of Alexandria and instead moored at Safe Anchorage F, in September 1941 where she remained at anchor until her sinking on 6 October 1941. HMS Carlisle moored in the same anchorage.

 

There was a large build-up of Allied troops in Egypt during September 1941 and German intelligence (Abwehr) suspected that there was a troop carrier in the area bringing in additional troops. Two Heinkel He-111 aircraft were dispatched from Crete to find and destroy the troop carrier. This search failed but one of the bombers discovered the vessels moored in Safe Anchorage F. Targeting the largest ship; they dropped two bombs on the Thisslegorm, both of which struck hold 4 near the stern of the ship at 0130 on 6 October. The bomb and the explosion of some of the ammunition stored in hold 4 led to the sinking of the Thisslegorm with the loss of four sailors and five members of the Royal Navy gun crew. The survivors were picked up by HMS Carlisle. Captain Ellis was awarded the OBE for his actions following the explosion and a crewman, Angus McLeay, was awarded the George Medal and the Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea for saving another crew member. Most of the cargo remained within the ship, the major exception being the steam locomotives from the deck cargo which were blown off to either side of the wreck.

In the early fifties, Jacques Cousteau discovered her by using information from local fishermen. He raised several items from the wreck, including a motorcycle, the captain’s safe, and the ship’s bell. The February 1956 edition of National Geographic clearly shows the ship’s bell in place and Cousteau's divers in the ship’s Lantern Room. Cousteau documented diving on the wreck in part of his book The Living Sea.

Following Cousteau’s visit, the site was forgotten about except by local fishermen. In the early 1990s, Sharm el-Sheikh began to develop as a diving resort. Recreational diving on the Thisslegorm restarted following the visit of the dive boat Poolster, using information from another Israeli fishing boat captain.

 

The massive explosion that sank her had blown much of her midships superstructure away and makes the wreck very accessible to divers. The depth of around 30 m at its deepest is ideal for diving without the need for specialist equipment and training.

 

Boots and motorcycles are visible in Hold No. 1. Trucks, motorcycles, Wellington boots, rifles, Westland Lysander wings, about twenty Bristol Mercury radial engine exhaust rings and a handful of cylinders and Bristol Blenheim bomber tail planes are visible in Hold No. 2. Universal Carrier armoured vehicles, RAF trolley accumulators, [and two PUNDIT lights can also be found. Off to the port side of the wreck level with the blast area can be found one of the steam locomotives which had been stored as deck cargo and the other locomotive is off the starboard side level with Hold No. 2.

The wreck is rapidly disintegrating due to natural rusting. The dive boats that rely on the wreck for their livelihood are also tearing the wreck apart by mooring the boats to weak parts of the wreck, leading to parts of the wreck collapsing.

Trip Add-ons:

Thisslegorm

The Thisslegorm is undisputedly the most famous diving wreck in the world. The clear, warm water and huge, easily accessible holds with war materiel makes this a divers dream.

Desert Day Trip, with midnight hike of Mt Sinai

Mt Sinai and Jebel Katrin (Catherine), the 2 highest peaks in the central Sinai range, are sites of great historical, religious and peaceful significance. On Mt Sinai, Moses received the 10 Commandments; and the Holy Monastery of St Catherine at Mt Sinai is the oldest continually inhabited Christian monastery in the world. In all its history, the Monastery has never been destroyed, and the monks live in harmony with the Muslim Bedouin of the Sinai.

  • The safari starts as a normal desert day trip, exploring mountains, dunes and hiking the DoubleCanyon
  • Towards sunset, gather for tea round the fire. Dinner, relax or nap in the Aresha
  • At midnight, depart for St Catherine (1 hr drive)
  • Meet the dedicated Mt Sinai guide from the Jebeliya Bedouin tribe, who will take you on the pilgrim path up Mt Sinai to see the sunrise.
  • Descend from Mt Sinai in the morning light, breakfast, then visit St Catherine monastery.
  • Return to Dahab by noon
  • Two days
Desert Day trip: Mountains, Dunes and Canyon

A day trip into the Sinai desert, traveling by jeep and exploring further on foot. Scramble the DoubleCanyon, play on the dunes and rest in the shade of beautiful sandstone mountains. Meet the people of the desert and enjoy lunch cooked Bedouin style.

  • 2 days
Cairo

The Cairo option may also be extended by extra nights.

In order to do any of the Cairo Excursions the early flight needs to be booked from Sharm to Cairo. You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to a hotel from where the excursions will take place. After your excursion you will be brought back to the hotel where you can have a refreshing shower before being transferred to the Airport for your flight home.

Please note that Cairo is huge and that traffic is a nightmare. Trying to see too much in a half day is too much. The Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx and the Khufu boat museum will take up all your time to do properly.

The Egyptian Museum is huge. From personal experience I would not link the museum and the Pyramids in one day – it is simply too much! Rather spend the day at the Museum and get to see the Tut Ankh Amon exhibit and spend the rest of the day shopping or enjoying a walk along the Nile.

Other attractions you might want to consider.

  • The City of the DeadThe Citadel
  • GarbageCity
  • The Step Pyramid
  • The Bent Pyramid
  • The Red Pyramid

I have personally been to these and know how much time is needed to experience these attractions fully. If you want to add a Cairo package we can customize it for you – private tour guides and smaller vehicles makes it easier to get around and see more of this historic city.

270 Euro Cairo trip optional. One night in Cairo hotel on Nile. Tour of Sakara, Giza and Darfur Pyramids included. Cairo taxi tour included. Nile boat cruise on Felucca included.

 

For any add-ons or upgrades on accommodation email: manie@reeftravel.co.za 

 

Cya!

BigB & ReefDivers team 

 

 

 

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