The Brothers have long been one of our favourite dive sites in Egypt but how well do you really know just what awaits on a dive there? Get the lowdown on one of Egypt’s most loved Marine Parks!
Strange as it might seem, but there are some real differences between Little and Big Brother in terms of the reefs. The walls at Big are covered in just about every kind of gorgonian and always seem to have more hard corals on in the deep. In contrast, the walls of Little Brother seem to be more soft corals, bright and colourful, and the gorgonians are simply enormous here. The gorgonian field to the south is a must see.
Sharks are the big attraction here. The north plateau of Little Brother is a shark cleaning station. Hang here to watch grey reefs or under the boat for close up silky and oceanic encounters (at night you can see them hunt in the boat lights). Jump onto the plateau at the back of Big Brother first thing in the morning (and we really mean early!) and head down to the mounds. Watch for as long as your deco time will let you and you might be lucky enough to see threshers come in to be cleaned. Hammerheads are difficult to predict but top spot sights tend to be on the Numidia, the north plateau of Little Brother and out in the blue down the inside wall.
The currents are always shifting around the Brothers, changing over the course of the day. This means you can dive the same walls so many different ways, depending on what the currents permit. As the light moves round guides will tend to stick to the sunnier sides of the walls where the colour is, but if you take a dive on the dark side, you can often find good numbers of grey reef shaks hanging in the current.
The Usual Suspects
Sharks are not the only attraction at the Brothers. A lot of marine life really does not move that far and if you dive the Brothers there are some familiar faces you might find on the reef:
- The hawksbill on Big Brother – this friendly chappie is easy to identify as he has a bright red shell covered in algae. Look closely and you can see the scratch marks where he rubs himself on the reef
- The bait ball – dive along the inside wall at Big Brother and just around the jetty you will find a big ball of swirling fish. There is some disagreement as to what they are but fun to dive through nonetheless
- Barracuda being cleaned – quite often in the shallows on the back of Little Brother you can find big barracuda right on the reef top with their mouths open to be cleaned.
- The napoleon on Little Brother – this is another friendly chap who loves to be photographed and has posed for many a shot over the years.
- Huge manta – there is a vast manta at Little Brother that sweeps past, often quite deep. He is huge with very clear markings.
Whilst many divers head to the Brothers for the pelagic action, the wreck diving there is no less impressive. One of the best wrecks in the Red Sea the Numidia could be diving time and time again without getting bored. At depth the wreck is eerily hanging over the edge of a sheer drop off. In the shallows corals have totally invaded and taken over. Currents permitting you can zig zag up from the mast up through the engine room (easy penetration) before finishing up watching fish zoom over the broken bow.
The Aida is a completely different wreck to dive. The massive engine block is stuck in the shallows at about 8m but half of the wreck sits around 30m. Here you can wend through the davits and explore the decks of what was once a delivery vessel. This is a small wreck but with bags of character. Once your computer tells you it is time to go, enjoy a relaxing drift along the wall.
Wet your dive appetite?