Egypt: Red Sea - Dive Sites - Zabargad




By Boat

By swimming

By Live-aboard

All Divers






In the open Red Sea, 46km (25 nautical miles) southeast of Ras Banas


By live-aboard from any Red Sea port

Average Depth:

18m (60ft)

Maximum Depth:

25m+ (80ft+)

Average Visibility:

20m (65ft)

This site lies on the south side of Zabargad Island, the only large island in this stretch of the Red Sea. It is commonly used as a base for exploring nearby Rocky Island, so it is a popular overnight stop for live-aboards, which take advantage of its excellent shelter. Zabargad offers an excellent range of reef features in relatively shallow water, so the site is often used by operators for night dives.

Night or day, the site is full of surprises. A sand slop stretches out from the island southern shore, absolutely covered with an amazing concentration of coral pinnacles, stepping away down the slope to 25m (80ft) and beyond. Looking like fairytale castles, each pinnacle forms a micro-habitat for tiny reef fishes, which spread out like a halo round the brilliantly colored coral. Larger reef fish cruise through the pinnacles and the sand between them supports bluespotted and blackspotted stingrays and crocodilefish.

The pinnacles have been formed by a wide range of stony corals, and many are extremely sculpted and create very varied profiles, with overhangs, crevices and cavelets to explore.

Fish life ranges from tiny anthias to huge grouper. Morays are also seen. Plenty of invertebrates, such as cuttlefish, squid, octopus, and nudibranchs are most prominent at night when the site takes on a completely different character.

Many divers tend to think of this site as an optional extra if they have some energy left after a days diving at Rocky Island. This is to undervalue a charming site.

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Last Updated: May 30th, 2011