Period: all year long!
Leaving from Port Sudan, the boat will head north to visit some of the historical dive sites in the area. The closest one is Wingate Reef with the famous ‘Umbria’ wreck, a large Italian passenger-cargo whose captain decided to sink the vessel to prevent the ship from being captured by the British on June 10th 1940.
155 metres long, the cargo ship is still intact. Inside of it there is still a lot of war material, like aerial bombs and detonators, as well as some impressive Fiat 1100 which were destined to reach the Italian contingent in Eritrea.
Cruising further north, you will reach Sanganeb lighthouse (the highest lighthouse at the Red Sea with the marvellous 360 degrees panorama) where the stunning platform at the South-Point side is always crowded by grey sharks, hammerhead sharks, barracuda and jack fish. On the North-Point side, schools of hammerhead appear out of the blue.
Next stop is Sha’ab Rumi, described by Cousteau as one of the most amazing places of the sea world. We like to describe it as the place where reality exceeds imagination….
On Sha’ab Rumi South-Point a reef platform stretches out into the blue sea, inhabited by barracudas, jack fish, schools of grey sharks, silvertip sharks, and the ‘most-wanted’ hammerhead sharks.
At the entrance of the dive site, Cousteau built in 1964 the submersed laboratory Continental Shelf Station II, where, together with his staff, created an environment in which men could live and work on the sea floor.
The undersea colony is now completely wrapped around in corals but the structures are still recognizable.
18 miles North, there is the dive site of Sha’abSuedi, where the giant wreck Blue Belt lays on the bottom of the sea. The Blue Belt is a cargo ship sunken upside down on the reef on December 1st 1977, which is now plunged at 60 meters due to seismic movements. In memory of its passage we can find the remains of its cargo of cars and Toyota pickups scattered on the plateau at about 18 meters. This dive continues through the pass where huge enchanting pyramidal coral formations have inspired the famous photographer Riefenstahl Leni in her book "Coral Gardens".
This itinerary is ideal for those who visit Sudan for the first time, since in one week it gives the opportunity to visit all the most famous dive sites of the area.
Period: from August till mid of November and from March to June; weather and sea conditions permitting.
From Port Sudan, after diving the Umbria wreck and after a visit at Sanganeb’s lighthouse, we will head north. After a 35-miles cruise we will arrive in Sha’ab Rumi, considered as one of the 10 most amazing dive sites in the world.
Diving in Sha’ab Rumi is a unique diving experience. Cristal blue waters, colourful soft corals, schools of groupers, grey sharks and lots of other coloured fishes live on this platform; and looking into the blue you can experience one of the most awe-inspiring sights: diving with hammerheads.
Cruising further we will reach Quita El Banna, an isolated reef with wonderful and colourful drop-offs, characterised by steep walls covered with wide gorgonians, but mostly known for manta rays and schools of big pelagic (especially tunas and big jack fish) gathering together.
Few miles ahead we will approach the spectacular dive in Angarosh, situated southeast to Mesharifa Island, easily recognizable for its underwater morphology looking as a wide and long shaped coral reef submersed islet.
The translation from Arabic of this dive’s name is “Mother of Sharks”, and in fact schools of hammerheads and greys inhabitate this amazing spot.
Southwest of Angarosh we will reach Merlo reef, an other beautiful dive site, and further ahead Abington, where on its madreporic sublitoral platform an old lighthouse rises from the bottom; built by the British around mid 1900 to point out the presence of the wide coral barrier.
Before heading back to Port Sudan, we will stop over at Sha’ab Suedi to visit the Blue Belt wreck. Still spread out on the bottom of the sea, some of the jeeps carried by the cargo are still visible, covered by the corals, are home of many porcupine fishes, nudibranch and big moray eels.
This itinerary, which includes the Classic as well as the Extreme North, can also be done ‘one way only’ starting at Port Sudan and disembark at Mohammed Qall (or vice versa), one way by boat and the way back by private bus.
This is a surprising itinerary in the realm of large predators of the deep.
Period: August, from October to mid November, May (weather permitting).
These are special months in Sudan. It is the period of plankton blooms and in the lagoon around Mesharifa Island it’s not uncommon to watch at the marvelous encounters of manta rays eating and mating. Swimming with mantas is an unforgettable experience!
In order to reduce cruising time to reach Mesharifa, the embark can be either in the north at Mohammed Qall with disembark in Port Sudan, or the other way round, embark at Port Sudan cruising north and disembark at Mohammed Qall; land transfers are by private bus.
The itinerary is the same as the Far North one, but with a longer stop at the island of Mesharifa in order to search for Mantas; it will include though all the dives of the Classic tour as well as the ones of the Extreme North, e.g. Angarosh, Merlo Reef, Abington and Quinta El Banna.
At Angarosh we will dive in wonderful soft corals, colourful alcyonarias, walls covered with anemones, schools of hammerheads, greys as well as tiger sharks.
Southwest of Angarosh is Merlo Reef, a beautiful dive site crowded with marine life; shaped in a long vertical wall with small caverns and indentations along the side inhabited by all kind of coulourful fishes, and a canyon which leads to a pinnacle jutting from 25 metres depth up to the surface, where hammerhead, greys and thresher sharks swim along the current.
At Abington, on the wide platform, emerges an old lighthouse; all around the site there are lots of pelagic schools.
Proceeding south we will reach Quita El Banna, a huge madreporic boulder in the middle of the area sometimes visited by hammerhead sharks, thresher sharks and mantas. Further south Sha’abSuedi (wreck of Toyota), Sha’ab Rumi (unmissable) and last but not least Sanganeb with two amazing dive sites (South Point and North Point).
This is an itinerary for those who wants to get the best out of a short time vacation reducing cruising times but for those who wants to discover the beauty of manta rays in Sudan and their magic dances…
Period: from April to June and from October to mid November.
In the months of April, May and June and from October to mid November when the weather and sea conditions are their best, we will be able to dive the most famous dives sites among the classic route, as well as the most amazing dive sites of the South.
The first one will be Sha’ab Rumi, considered as one of the ten best dive sites in the world.
Both the South Point as well as the North Point, although very different, will amaze you with special encounters in an untouched coral reef and a part of history on Cousteau Continental Shelf Station II, where he lived underwater with his team for 44 days.
The next stop will be Sanganeb; also here both, the South Point as well as the North Point, are spectacular dive sites, from the benthic point of view and for the big pelagic encounters.
23 miles south, we will reach Jumna, a big triangular reef in the middle of the sea. The vertical wall offers lots of small caverns and indentations especially appreciated by photographers.
Very common to see are hammerheads, schools of barracudas and silky sharks mostly closed to the surface.
Our cruise will continue further south to Sha’abAmbar, an 11-miles long lagoon, with two main dive sites, one on the South side and one on the North side. The morphology of the reef is unique and full of marine life.
According to the weather conditions, a very special dive site is also the big madreporic pinnacle rising up from the deep bottom to the surface crowded with coloured fishes and alcyonarias. As in all dive sites in Sudan, the chance to spot hammerheads is always very high!
Other sites in the area are Hindi Ghider, or Seil’Ada Kebir, known as the ‘island of the turtles’ where turtles use to hide their eggs in the sand. The most common encounter in the whole Red Sea are is with the Green Turtle, Chelonia Mydas.
The current blowing close to the reef adds more chances to meet various kinds of sharks. On the way back we will stop to our last dive site, Wingate Reef, where we will visit the big ‘Umbria’ wreck. This site is visited also at the beginning of the cruise depending on the Captain’s decision. This itinerary is the perfect combination between the ‘The Best of..’ and some dives of the South itinerary and it is advised especially for those who would like to see new spots without missing the milestones.
Period: from April to June, weather and sea conditions permitting
This itinerary will guide us to mostly unknown sites, but still untouched and full of surprises.
Leaving from Port Sudan and cruising 30 miles south we will reach Jumna, a triangular reef in the middle of the sea, which drops from the surface into the blue. The east side of the site is famous for schools of barracudas, silky sharks and big schools of hammerheads; at 30 metres on the south-east side, there is a cavern home of some white tip juvenile sharks. 9 miles from here there is Sha’ab Ambar lagoon, where we will moor for the night offering two wonderful dive sites: one North side and the other one on the South side.
Keeping south, we will reach a special and unique reef with a sandy island in the middle, call ‘turtles’ island’ were turtles hide their eggs in the sand. It’s Seil’AdaKebir, which offers two sites with amazing big soft corals and gorgonias and a possible encounter with the green turtle, Chelonia mydas.
South East of this point we will arrive at Keary Reef, a stony column which stands out from the bottom to the surface. An other wonderful dive is at Nakhalat al Qaseer reef with multicoloured corals, caverns and big pelagic fish. Protector Reef and Preserver Reef are two unexplored and unknown dive sites in the southern part of Sudan.
This is an itinerary considered as ‘out of the classic routes’ and dedicated to those who still would like to discover wild and unusual spots.