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Scuba Diving in the Red Sea
Dive Site: Small Giftun Island
Description: Wall dive / drift
Depth: 100 metres (300 feet)
Visibility: 20 - 30 metres (65 - 100 feet)
Small Giftun Island has been a marine reserve for a few years now and it makes a big difference as this is one of the best dives in the area. The 2 Euro entry fee is well worth the money. The wall drops away to about 100m so pick your depth and gradually work your way back up as you drift along in the current. There are some picturesque coral formations sticking out from the main wall to explore, often decorated with soft corals. A tuna darted in from the blue and there were a group of small barracuda.
Erg Samaya lies at one end of Small Giftun Island and can be done as a dive in its own right. There are a couple of coral pinnacles coming up from the main reef that are shrouded with soft coral and there is also a swim-through in one of them. The soft corals on Erg Samaya are beautiful and the fish life did seem slightly more prolific than on other dive sites in the area. We even saw a small shoal of jacks dart in from the blue.
The dive starts on a semi wall and depending on where you are dropped you will come across some fantastic fan corals. Be careful of the speed of your drift around the coral, if in doubt keep with the guide. Eventually the wall turns into a coral garden. If the current is still running keep low to the seabed and eventually it will ease. For me the best drift dive in Hurghada.
Ian Higgins, PADI Assistant Instructor
I dived & photographed around Small Giftun in May 2007. Nice water, so clear and warm, and schools of fish surrounding and passing by! It was a nice time and beaches are great sight for one's mind! My family was w/me and they will never forget the trip! Hotel Meliá Pharaoh and DiveIn at Safaga Road were our base! Great food, clean environment and security! I have nice uw and non uw pics taken around reefs of Small Giftun!
I noticed while at Hurghada, at the beaches and diving places that most tourists (mainly Russian citizens) were not prepared towards environment conservation and care respecting the coral reefs of Hurghada. It's a pitty, while other European tourists present at places were concerned about this. At the hotel Russians were not polite enough around breakfast and dinner tables and buffet.
Carlos Loff Fonseca, Lisbon, Portugal
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