Safaga and Makadi Bay constitute the third most popular scuba diving area in Egypt after Hurghada and Sharm al-Sheikh. Divers here are rewarded by shallow reefs, coral gardens and steep walls. Several controversial wrecks add intrigue to this Red Sea dive resort. Makadi Bay is often overlooked in favor of nearby Safaga or Hurghada, but it is a worthwhile dive destination in its own right. Commonly referred to as the house reef, Ras Abu Soma is located just south of Makadi Bay and divided into two separate areas. The north side features a max depth of 75 feet (25 meters) and ends with a drop-off from the plateau, meaning there is some possibility for a deeper dive. There are also a few caves along this wall. To the south of Ras Abu Soma, the sandy plateau gradually slopes down to 100 feet (30 meters) and is a great area for beginners and advanced divers. Here divers often catch a glimpse of reef sharks. To the north of Makadi Bay, a secondary dive area exists, called Abu Ramada South. This area has a good range of corals and a better variety of marine life. Safaga, just south of Makadi Bay, is home to a variety of wrecks owing to its large and busy port. The area was made famous by the tragic sinking of the Salem Express. In the early 90s, this ferry sank carrying hundreds of pilgrims returning from Mecca. There was a great loss of life so divers are asked to respect this. Penetration of most of the wreck is forbidden. However controversial this dive site may be, many divers consider it one of the best wreck dives in the world. In addition to this famous dive site, Safaga is home to many other wrecks and fantastic coral reefs including the Seven Pillars and Panorama Reef.Most diving in the area is completed from a boat although some resorts feature shore diving facilities. Diving season is year-round. This part of Egypt experiences warm winters and very hot summers, however water temperatures can vary significantly in the Red Sea. Expect the warmest water temperatures to occur in August with an average of 82°F (28°C). The coolest water temperatures are recorded in February when a 5mm wetsuit may be necessary to dive comfortably. Visibility remains a fairly constant 70 feet (22 meters). Between the colorful coral gardens, the variety of marine life and eerie wrecks, divers in Makadi Bay and Safaga will leave with plenty of dive stories to tell for years to come.
Safaga Makadi Bay Sea Life
You can expect to see a wide range of colorful corals and sponges as well as plenty of reef fish around Safaga and Makadi Bay. Crocodilefish, blue-spotted rays, trumpetfish, napoleon fish, clownfish, and humphead wrasse are regularly seen. Early divers might be rewarded with a turtle. Certain sites are famous for their reef sharks and the lucky few might see a hammerhead. Barracuda, tuna and mackerel can regularly be seen patrolling the area’s wrecks. Stonefish, mothfish and lionfish hide among the corals. Pipefish and nudibranchs are plentiful for macro-lovers and vigilant divers might also identify a stargazer or frogfish.
How To Get There
Most visitors reach Makadi Bay and Safaga via the Hurghada International Airport, which is approximately a 45-minute drive to the north. For those arriving via Cairo, a seven hour bus journey is necessary to reach this dive area.Once in Hurghada, resort transfers, taxis and local buses allow visitors to move around.