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World | Red Sea | Diving Safaga:

Safaga overview



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Blue spotted ray at Gamul Kibeer, Red Sea dive site - courtesy of Rik Vercoe
Coral at Gamul Kibeer, Red Sea dive site - courtesy of Rik Vercoe
Lionfish at Gamul Kibeer, Red Sea dive site - courtesy of Rik Vercoe

Scuba Diving in Safaga, the Red Sea

Reader Reviews:

Dive Site: Gamul Kibeer

Location: Safaga

Description: Reef

Depth: 14 metres (45 feet)

Visibility: 20 metres (65 feet)

Rating: ***

Gamul is the local name for Safaga Island. Gamul is also an old Hebrew word meaning camel, so perhaps this dive site is also named after this humped animal common in Egypt. Gameel (very close in pronunciation) is the Arabic word for beautiful, so translated into English this dive site would mean large and beautiful (Gameel the Arabic for beautiful, and Kibeer Arabic for large or big). On admiralty charts this reef is unnamed in its own right and is considered a reef fragment off the fringing reef surrounding Safaga Gezīret (Safaga Island). There are 2 sites in this area named Gamul (see also Gamul Shiwayya - Small Gamul).

Boats often moor on the southwest side of this horseshoe shaped reef with its interior lagoon (imagine a horseshoe with its open end pointing almost directly west). The best mooring spot in calm weather is as close to the southeastern tip as possible (although there is another reef piece which sits to the south so boat captains are less keen on this). This puts you close to the most curved part of the horseshoe and within a short distance of the northern side where there are a number of ergs to explore. Head with the reef to your left shoulder and as you approach the north tip you'll see 5 small ergs or coral blocks to the north which are worth investigation. The sand floor gives way to patches of seagrass and small eel gardens, and on the ergs themselves there is some lovely soft coral growth and a myriad of small marine life. Here the seabed is at around 14m and blue spotted rays are common with the occasional black sand rays present and even eagle rays. Large groups of blackfin barracuda often hang in the blue water to the north east where there can be a mild current. If current is present it will normally run from north to south. Whilst suitable for all levels of diver this site can be less accessible in rough conditions.

Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor

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