Abu Dabbab – Red Sea as it should be!

Snorkeling vacation when snorkeling

2 weeks in Egypt – anyway a guarantee of a beautiful and relaxing dive. But this time we chose something special. Abu Dabab! The bay is located about 30 kilometers south of Marsa Alam Airport and has always attracted attention in the past with private underwater encounters. The large green sea turtle is almost guaranteed here. There is also the possibility of watching dugongs (sea cows) diving in the neighboring bays. As well as the best conditions for a pleasant diving.

Our expectations were abruptly interrupted the day we arrived. On the other hand, very strong and cold winds guarantee access to only a small part of the diving sites and involuntarily raise the issue of proper clothing. At the beginning of April, this should not be the case.

However, we do come to snorkeling at home bay for the first few days. The reef at home is beautiful and definitely worth some snorkeling. While you can snorkel in both the small reefs and seagrass meadows in the middle of the bay from the beach, the local dive center also offers one-way snorkeling. The zodiac takes you into a proper position and then dives back in independently. For more desired dives such as reefs in the north or deep reefs in the south, you will of course be picked up again. In the northern part of the reef there is a huge gorgonian house, which is actually supposed to provide a home for long tufted bass. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our attempts to find this little fellow. Maybe Lanabo is on vacation now?

Dolphin House, Elphinstone and other outings

After the weather and especially the winds improve significantly in the following days, a day trip to the “Dolphin House” can also be taken. The excursion is carried out on the daily boat of the base “MS Esther”. The large vessel is spacious and offers enough space for snorkeling and diving guests and is in excellent technical condition. As a diver, you should not get your hopes up for dolphin encounters at the “Dolphin House”. The inner area of ​​the “Dolphin House” is closed to all water sports enthusiasts, and while snorkelers are still allowed to be in the central area, divers are completely denied the area. Well, we have our own experiences with smiling predators anyway. But more on that later. The large cave in the coral reef is more exciting for divers. For minutes, you find yourself in an absurd world in the midst of coral reefs. The apertures ensure an impressive light output. Even if the endless intersections invite you to explore, safety remains the number one rule. An hour later we show up relaxing in Esther. Half an hour diving in a variety of coral caves, what more could you ask for? The surreal atmosphere of the caves haunts us until the evening and makes us fall asleep with big smiles on our faces.

In the coming days we will try different dive sites and activities around Abu Dabab. Elphinstone? It can be reached by speedboat in good weather within 20 minutes from Abu Dabab. Unfortunately, seeing the fabled coral reefs in the Red Sea got mixed up during our visits. The season is also not quite suitable for large, hopeful fish. While Longimanus (the oceanic white-tipped shark) can only be seen reliably from August/September, hammerhead sharks appear on the northern plateau as early as mid-April and remain until November. But even so, the beautiful coral reef landscapes are compelling.

A landscape of coral reefs? However, there are still a few comments to make. It’s not as if you can only approach the well-known reef from the bay. In fact, all of Abu Dabab’s coral reefs present their charm. We managed to dive “Abu Dabbab two and three”. Unfortunately, the “Abu Dabab Dari” caves slipped between our fingers. But we managed to catch up with “Abu Dabbab Five”. Here, too, are beautiful caves, light plays and, despite the shallow dives, an experience that will be remembered. Of the coral formations, “Shaab Mahalla” will be remembered for a long time. Coral formations grow to a height of 15 meters and accompany you everywhere? Where else can you try something like this?

A shipwreck tour is also offered as a full-day tour. “Hammadi” or “Abu Ghosoun wreck” is located at a depth of 5-25 meters. Well, we didn’t want to deal with scrap metal this time. Instead, we’ve hit a mammal. Actually several, but since dolphins can’t be trusted, they always smile and run away, we took a lot more with the manatees.

Whale shark instead of manatee

This tour is offered by diving.DE to swimmers at different times. So unpack your gear and go on a rooftop expedition! However, the first mammalian search expedition stopped abruptly. The captain of the boat is notified of the whale shark by mobile phone. So now you have to say, dear boys and girls from Diving.DE: “Something is wrong here! We just wanted … Doesn’t it matter to a whale shark? Who needs a manatee? – Let’s go!” A little later, our speedboat moves in parallel With the largest fish on earth. In fact, from a size comparison with our speedboat, the size of the fish can be estimated at less than ten metres. Certainly not normal for Egypt and not for Abu Dabab either, but the sea makes it clear once again that it decides when we are allowed divers (or in this case divers) to see what. The speedboat takes us slightly diagonally in front of the approaching giant and we jump into the water. The giant passed us by in ten seconds and we enjoy the moment and review it by looking at our pictures while we are in the water. Not much, but for such a short moment without the possibility of adjustment? order!

At this point the editor-in-chief always urges us to tell us something about food, accommodations, etc. We stayed at Malikia Abu Dabbab during our visit. Dining in the main dining room (another state-of-the-art restaurant will open on site soon) is varied to choose. From vegetarians to pure meat eaters, there is something for everyone here. The rooms are not the most modern, but they are big and the staff doesn’t leave much to be desired. In our eyes, a performance award winner anyway! If you like it more elegant, you can also stay at the Hilton next door (less than 15 minutes walk depending on the room). Diving. DE also picks up diving guests from nearby resorts.

By the way, Abu Dabab Dive Center has a new management base since the beginning of the year and there have also been some changes in the office team. It is always amazing to see the patience with which Issa – the new manager – and her team take care of the guests, find an answer to all questions and simply try to fulfill every wish and solve every problem. Marketing brochures will now write a breath of fresh air in the corporate structure. However, we had enough fresh (or somewhat cold) winds for the first few days. So let’s just take the service-oriented attitude of all the staff, starting with Hassan, who supplies divers with fresh bottles at the service point, Matto, available as one of the guides, to Rami and the many other instructors who work on the base. Without exception, everyone is available for questions and answers and service is a top priority.

If it weren’t for marine mammals… It’s as if every day divers come to us at the base with a smile and show us videos of their encounters with dolphins. We already know why we don’t like “smiling anarchists.” However, the dugong also hides for a long time while we are there. During our third attempt, the manatee finally appeared! In short, and definitely inspired by the “smiling anarchists” movement! What does that mean? The m/f/d sea cow, known as a quiet swimmer (we’ll find out more about sex determination) is moving at an appropriate speed and an unknown destination. Shouldn’t she dive to eat or sleep or something else a manatee usually does? At least this time the whale shark won’t bother us. Oh, such sentences tell us about true luxury! After two or three dives and a few dips, we let the animal pull away. If you don’t like it, there’s no point in it.


Thus, our time in Abu Dabab passes before we know it, and our last day of diving comes. So far, apart from the brief intrusion of dugongs, there has been no mention of marine mammals. About smiles… you know, not even talking. But for the last time we go on a search. There are two nitrox bottles on board for one last dive after the (expected) unsuccessful search. But first look at Dugong! This time everything is different… The “little anarchists” appear instead of the dugong. They drive us photographers to desperation by moving on the edge of what’s possible for a wide angle photo distance, but frankly? That’s a moan on a very high level!

After this unexpected encounter, a dive follows. A large “sausage” rolls a few meters from the reef. Could this really be? Now during the last dive, the manatee also showed up? Well, to clarify this is more than a coincidence … the lazy dugong is lying or rather, rolling on the bottom and? Are you sleeping?! truly? We watch marine mammals for minutes. Honestly, from time to time, you want to give in to the urge to cuddle with this cute creature (we don’t, of course). Little eyes open, look at you briefly and close again. All while rocking back and forth in light waves. Minutes later, he moves in deep relaxation, swimming with graceful motions – not even remotely predictable – to the surface to catch his breath. In doing so, we overlook marine life. Only a little later the speedboat takes us again. With laughter and smiles, we could barely get on the boat. Yes, that is exactly why we do diving and snorkeling! This is exactly why we go into the water, whether it’s cold, warm, windy, or in the wildest waves. Interact with these creatures. Isn’t that why we do our sport?

Back at the hotel, we remember the experiences of the past two weeks. Did we miss something? No, quite frankly, on the contrary, we may not have realized the potential of the region beforehand. It is “only” part of Egypt. This “only” refers to short flight times, quick access and manageable costs.

The past two weeks here have been absolutely amazing even for someone who has seen dive sites around the world. We will take these memories with us forever!

Additional information:
Diving. DE Abu Dabab on Taucher.Net


A few descriptions of the pictures.
P3300300 327 & 360 – Dolphinhouse Cave
P3310460 505 – Elphinstone as P4050988
P3310526 – Bats at House Reef
P4010655 – Blue Rimmed Sole House Countryside
P4030814 & 818 – Large Giorgione Abu Dabbab Al Shamali
P4051053 – Matto on the reef of the house
Pg 4061118 Ali Abu Dabbab 5
P4081306 MYLIKIA
P4081311 Isabell Brand Manager Atia and Vera (Office) Left
P4081316 Team – Unfortunately incomplete.

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