Ras Mohammed National Park and Marine reserve isan outstanding area of natural beauty on land and underwater. The area is considered significant for Marine biologists due to the diverse range of marine and coral life sustained by the two bodies of water that merge here; The Gulf of Suez and The Gulf of Aqaba.
The park is protected by marine park laws which all divers must abide by to ensure the survival of such a delicate eco-system. All of the dives are accessible by boat and a couple can be dived by shore. A daily boat trip to Ras Mohammed National Park is a must on any SCUBA diving holiday to Sharm el Shiekh.
Like the Straits of Tiran some of the dive sites are challenging with unpredictable currents and steep drop offs. To get the most out of these amazing dives, the Red Sea College prefer guests to dive local sites first and that all divers visiting the park have good buoyancy control.
Shark Reef/Yolanda Reef
Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef are rated as one of the top ten dives in the world and is perhaps the most famous dive site of the Ras Mohammed National Park. The two reefs rise up from untold depths to the surface making a breath-taking, stunning and dramatic topography.
The dive is completed as a drift dive and is normally started in the direction of Shark Reef to Yolanda. With this dive it is important to be quick on the entry as otherwise it is possible to drift on the surface and miss the most amazing wall.
It is a sheer drop down to 800 meters plus.
Hanging out on the wall are snappers, bat fish, barracuda and many more especially when they mass
together in the July/August peak period. It’s like diving in fish soup.
The current takes you around to the ‘saddle’ the connecting reef between to two vast pinnacles. Depending on the currents your dive guide will guide you around the front of Yolanda Reef. Look out into the blue as there are often large pelagic fish passing. The dive finishes on the remains of the wreck of the ‘Yolanda’. This dive can be a roller coaster ride of currents, which turn every which way during the dive – but it is an adrenalin pumping awesome experience.
Anemone City as the name implies is home to hundreds of anemones and their Clown Fish guardians. This site can be dived from shore but it normally dived from one of our boats and dived with Shark Reef.
The idea is to jump in at Anemone, have a look at the colony of clown fish and the coral encrusted large anchor before heading seemingly out into the blue water and beyond. It appears you are in the middle of nowhere surrounded completely by deep blue water and then all of a sudden you will see the mammoth wall of Shark Reef appearing in the midst of the inky blue water.
If you like wall diving then Shark Observatory is a ‘must’ dive. It is named after the observatory point on the Ras Mohammed national park headland which towers above the sea level. This dive has a sheer wall peppered with inlets, over hangs and small open cave systems which let the sunlight filter through the coral fringing plate above.
Jackfish Alley is a nice gentle drift dive with a varied topography. It is normally dived in the direction towards Shark Observatory, starting off with a small cave swim through in the wall. The wall mellows out into a huge plateau which is split from the main reef by a sandy bottomed alley – hence the name. With good air consumption you can go far out onto the satellite reef or follow the bottom of the alley where sometime you will spot sleeping white tip reef sharks.
Ras Zatar is one of Ras Mohammed National Park’s most atmospheric dives due to lighting of the site which is the most spectacular in the afternoon. It starts off as a wall dive which has many open caverns and caves to explore. Most of the caverns have striking light beams shining through from the reef plate which highlight the interior.
The wall on the corner turns into a large plateau. At this point the current can pick up speed and due to this it is often a place to spot cruising Sharks. This dive is conducted as a drift dive and is only accessible by boat.