Egypt To Suakin | Dive the Red Sea

Egypt to Suakin Expedition - Red Sea

  • Water temp 23 - 30 C
  • Air Temp 23 - 35 C
  • Visibility 15 - 30m
  • Good for... Sharks, Reefs, Walls
  • Suitable for beginners No
  • Highlights The inclusion of the seldom dived Suakin area (southern Sudan) as well as the Umbria, Shaab Rumi, Angarosh make this a must see itinerary for advanced divers.

About Egypt to Suakin Expedition

Royal Evolution Statement 2nd August 2023

Given the current political situation in Sudan, we deeply regret to inform you that we are forced to cancel all of our Sudan trips for 2024. We are hopeful that the current situation will be resolved in due course allowing us to resume our signature itinerary in 2025

From the comfort of a custom built liveaboard, the Egypt to Suakin tour not only encompasses the Deep South and St Johns area of the Egyptian Red Sea, but also takes you right down to Suakin, Sudan. Suakin lies around 60 miles south of what is today Port Sudan and is best known to divers for the chances to see pelagics.

Departing from Port Ghallib, the Egypt to Suakin itinerary kicks off the week in Fury Shoal and St johns. A full day exploring the walls and pinnacles of St Johns ensues. Another night and you will awake in Sudan. you into Sudan, This is an area filled with lush coral reefs and tiny island that dot the horizon. Ambar, Masamarit, Kazam Mazamarit and Dahret Gharb are the hallowed names that attract those seeking seldom dived adventures. Sailing into northern Sudan brings the delights of the Umbria, Shaab Rumi, Sanganeb and Angarosh. The final leg of this stunning 2 week tour takes you back into St Johns before returning to Galeb.

This dive adventure is best enjoyed in our Spring when the water is at its ideal temperature for the best face to face of pelagic encounters. In Suakin keep one eye in the blue as hammerheads regularly school. Grey reefs and white tips sharks are common. The lavish corals and jaw dropping underwater scenery of Suakin are seldom seen but should not be missed. Tuna, giant barracuda, jacks and rainbow runners all visit the drop offs

This can be a challenging itinerary that is most suited to advanced divers. Egypt's Deep South is but a warm up for the more challenging dives further south. Sudan is a remote and wild dive destination where the rewards are great but should only be attempted by experienced divers (50 dives+). We suggest divers bring safety items such as a Dive Alert, Safety Sausage, Nautilus Lifeline (Nautilus Lifelines available onboard) and any other safety items you feel necessary. Dive computers are mandatory

As of April 2019, it is mandatory for all travellers between Egypt and Sudan to carry with them an international certificate of vaccination for yellow fever. Failure to bring this will result in your not being allowed to travel.

Updated Feb 23

In 2023 there is currently a fuel surcharge of €660/person for all Sudan trips & €760/person for all Deep south Sudan trips.
Please note that entry visas are required by all nationalities for Egypt and Sudan. Costs may change.

A supplement of €505/trip will be charged for all Sudan trips for Sudan local taxes, port fees, Marine parks & return Egypt entry visa. Sudan entry visa US$260/person for all Nationalities & US$310/person for American Nationalities.
The current Sudanese visas and taxes are paid per person paid locally - please note these costs are subject to change by the Sudanese authorities.

Please note you must have a minimum of 6 months validity from the cruise date - you must also have 4 empty pages for the visas and no Israeli stamps

It is strictly forbidden to take alcohol into Sudan

Royal Evolution

Royal Evolution Statement 2nd August 2023
Given the current political situation in Sudan, we deeply regret to inform you that we are forced to cancel all of our Sudan trips for 2024. We are hopeful that the current situation ... MORE

The following sample itinerary is a sample of how a typical itinerary will run. The exact order and dive sites visited however will be at the captain's discretion and will take into account diver experience, weather conditions and any applicable local permissions.

Day 1: Port Ghalib boarding 3 pm, boat departs the dock 6 - 9 pm after Port Authority clearance, sailing at night to Fury Shoel or St. John

Day 2: Diving the whole day at Fury Shoal, sailing after night dive to Shalalat

Day 3: Morning dive at Shalalat, sailing to Port Sudan

Day 4: Arrival early morning to Port Sudan for visa registration and local tax payment (approx 2- 3 hours), sailing to Umbria Wreck for two-day dives, one night dive. Sailing after night dive to the Deep South Habili Debssel (South Suakin)

Day 5: First dive at Habili Debssel, second dive at Habili Debssel or Karem Masmarit or Habili Luka , third dive at Habili Abou Eissa, night dive at Habili Kaab Eissa and overnight

Day 6: Sailing to Dart Abida , diving 1st and 2nd dives at Dart Habida and sailing for third dive and night dive to Dart Drarrka

Day 7: Sailing to Habili Kaab Miam (South Suakin) for two dives, third dive at Habili Dahret Abid or Dahrt Ghab and night dive, then sailing to Sha’ab Jumna

Day 8: Diving two dives at Shaab Jumana sailing to Sanganeb for third dive and sunset light house visit and night dive

Day 9: Morning and mid-afternoon dives at Sanganeb North & South plateau, sailing to Shaab Rumi for afternoon and night dive

Day 10: Diving the whole day and night dive at Shaab Rumi and overnight

Day 11: Sailing early morning to Angarosh for two dives and Abington for afternoon dive, a night dive at Ras Shagara. Sailing to Habili Ghadban

Day 12: Morning dive at Habili Ghadban, then sailing to Pfeiffer Reef or Abu Sayif Reef (North Sudan) for second and third dives , sailing to St.John

Day 13: Arriving early morning to St. John for morning and mid-afternoon dives, then sailing to White Rock for afternoon and last dive. Sailing to Port Ghalib.

Day 14: Arriving to Port Ghalib at approximately 7:00 AM and disembarkation at noon.

Dive Site Descriptions
Abington - Marked by a lighthouse, this reef only just breaks the surface and is rectangular in shape and currents are common. If you like turtles then Abington reef is the place where you are likely to see these inquisitive creatures. They are truly delightful and seem to always enjoy having their photographs taken! The reef is also well known for schooling hammerhead sharks

Angarosh - Angarosh means 'Mother of Sharks' and is appropriately named because of the number of sharks that are found in this area.
Angarosh has two plateaus, the shallower plateau at 25m (80ft) and the other plateau at a depth of 45m (150ft).
Angarosh is a superb dive site to encounter sharks as they swim effortlessly all around the site. There are also schooling barracuda, other reef fish but the site is most famous for its Manta Rays.

Sha'ab Rumi - Some 25 miles North East from Port Sudan this reef has a plateau at 9m (30ft) and continues with a steep drop-off.
This is where Jacques Cousteau and his team mounted an underwater base in order to study the effects of long term underwater stays of a diver. The underwater expedition was named 'Pre-Continent II' and was set up in 1963.

The incredible outcome of this expedition was that once fully saturated, the diver could conceivably stay down forever, given enough air to breathe and most astonishing was that this experiment took place in 1963, by scientists who obviously had knowledge well beyond their years.

The remains of his expedition are still at the site and it is well worth a dive to take a look at the equipment which was left behind. South of Sha'ab Rumi is a plateau at a depth of 23m (75ft). Here you will find numerous sharks, barracudas, jack fish, bump head parrot fish and almost anything else that you can imagine! Shaab Rumi is a 'must' for all visitors!

Sanganeb Atol - Sanganeb is located about one and a half hour north of the "Umbria". This reef rises from a depth of 800m (2600ft) all the way to the surface.

The Sanganeb coral reef is truly a beautiful place to dive or snorkel. The reef itself has one of the richest soft and hard coral displays in the Red Sea. The British built a lighthouse on the reef and nearby there are caves and gullies for the avid diver to visit. There are two Sudanese men who take turns to live in the lighthouse (they rotate every 4/5 weeks) and love to welcome visitors. You can climb to the top of the lighthouse and look out over the coral reef in crystal clear water.

Every person who has climbed the lighthouse comes back with a different number of stairs that they have climbed - they never seem to agree on the number of stairs. Due to the fact that the reef extends all the way up to the surface, Sanganeb is great for snorkeling.

The South plateau along Sanganeb is a fabulous dive site with soft and hard corals, schooling Jacks, Barracuda, Tuna and Snappers are abundant. Grey reef sharks cruise close by with an occasional White Tip reef shark swimming past. Occasional Hammerheads, Silky and Oceanic White Tips are encountered here as well as Manta rays.

The North plateau is an outstanding dive. This is a deeper dive with the deepest part at 45m (150ft). Here schooling Hammerheads are common. It is also normal to see Grey Reef Sharks, Silvertips and White tips. The yacht anchors inside the lagoon where there often is a huge pod of dolphins and we usually get in the water to snorkel with them.

Shaab Ambar - Shaab Ambar is a massive reef system stretching over 5 nautical miles with a lagoon in the center which is perfect for a night dive at the overnight mooring. At the south-east end lies a very nice plateau with a vast sandy area and when there is a mild current the massive amount of unicorn surgeon fish are mindless of divers, great barracudas are seen hunting and the giant dog tooth tunas come herding their youngsters, not to forget the weary garden eels and the small white tip reef sharks. At the drop off, when the current permits, divers will often be rewarded with the super stars of the ocean, schooling scalloped hammerheads.

Sha'ab Jumna - Jumna is a reef about 27 nautical miles south of port Sudan and is marked with a beacon. A lovely reef with the usual, colorful schooling fish and a very impressive topography with crevices and canyons all along wall and one of the biggest schools of scalloped hammerheads.

Tamarishira - This magnificent site is very rich and full of schooling fish such as tuna, barracuda, sweet-lips, mackerel and many other tropical fish. Off and on eagle rays and turtles can be found. The night dives at this site are wonderful, especially during full moon.

Habili Dahret Abid - North of Dahret Abide island, there is a reef not named on any map and it is one of the best dive sites in Sudan. Apart of the schooling hammer head sharks, divers will encounter schools of jackfish, tuna fish and barracudas. The great wall is covered with black coral and a common sight is white tip reef sharks sleeping inside.

Dahrt Abid - The most southern dive site is at an island located 7 nautical miles from the Sudanese border with Eritrea. The morning dive takes place on the eastern side where there is a small plateau which extends into the big blue. The first part of the dive is actually in the big blue where divers usually see a huge school of hammerhead sharks as well as numerous grey reef sharks.

Back at the plateau, under large table corals, divers will see huge sweet lips next to sleeping white tip sharks and many other different types of snappers. Further south-east, along the rich and colorful wall, there is a ton of wonderful reef fish. This site is certainly one of the most remarkable dive sites in Sudan.

The afternoon dive takes place on the west side of the island, where millions of surgeon fishes slowly swimming along with schools of jacks, tuna and barracudas. The safety stop almost always will be accompanied with a few young silky sharks

Habili Mayam - At a depth of 28m (90ft), Hammerheads are usually seen passing by along this site. It is also quite common to encounter gray reef sharks, silky sharks, manta rays and dolphins. The drift along this wall is exceptional.

Qab Mayam - At this diver's paradise, the reef extends into the blue where a massive school of curios hammerhead sharks comes along as soon as divers appear. Other notable sightings include silky sharks, grey reef sharks and other large pelagics. The reef and wall itself are covered with soft corals, hard corals and sponges. This plateau is teaming with life such as sweet lips, white tip reef sharks, jacks, tuna, twin-spot snappers, rainbow runners and even lobsters during the day.

Qab Abu Isa - At 20m (65ft) of depth, Qab Abu Isa offers sightings of schooling hammerhead sharks and on top of the reef there are millions of surgeon fish, with tuna cruising by as well as schools of jacks. The plateau and the reef are covered with whip coral, soft and hard coral and is a paradise for underwater photographers, especially Hagerda-nudibranch lovers.

Dahret Darraka - This is another small island between Dahret Abid and Dahret Ghab. We called it Turtle Island due to the clear tracks of turtles crawling up the sandy beach to lay their eggs. There is a plateau at the south-eastern wall which is at a depth of 25m (80ft) and then slopes into the abyss. The topography of the plateau is the most interesting and amazing part of this dive. Just at the drop-off, it looks like a half moon and at the eastern point of the plateau, there is a great crevice which looks like a huge chimney reaching up almost to the surface.

Habili Dahret Ghab - A large round-shaped reef. At the southern end, the reef gently descends to a depth of 30m (100ft) where there is a small sandy area which continues sloping upwards along the reef to 20m (65ft). The plateau is overgrown with colorful corals which contain a variety of reef fish. Just next to the reef, a giant barracuda is usually seen swimming peacefully and just under the dive deck, young silky sharks are commonly seen. The walls along the east and west side are exceptional, covered in hard and colorful soft corals, with overhangs along the wall and countless reef fish on top of the reef.
This dive site offers an awesome night dive with silky sharks and huge lobsters.

Habili Loka - Pandoras Reef. This large patch of reef stretches more than 2 miles. The dive begins where the surgeon fish and jackfish are and where the hammerhead sharks pass by. There are also big tuna and huge barracudas all along the wall. The steep wall is covered with beautiful soft and hard coral and teaming with tropical fish.

Habili Dibesl - At Habili Dibesl, the dive starts after having checked the strength and direction of the current. After having spent some time in the big blue, drifting with the current, usually encountering hammerhead sharks, silky sharks and gray reef sharks, divers will swim towards the incredible and vibrant reef. Here divers will see lots of hard and soft coral formations covering the area. Divers then swim slowly along that beautiful steep wall teaming with schools of jackfish, tuna fish and barracudas.

Diesel Island - Along this island, the dives usually start at the northern point, all depending on the current. If the current allows, divers will spend the first part of the dive in the big blue waiting for hammerheads to pass by. Once back at the reef, divers will encounter the usual barracudas, tuna fish and almost all members of the various snapper families. It is a wonderful reef with tons of soft corals.