Red Sea, Egypt - September 2017 Snorkeling Trip Report

by Michel
(Netherlands)

Bluespotted Stingray

Bluespotted Stingray

Bluespotted Stingray Indian Ocean Crocodile Fish Corals Slingjaw Wrasse

In September 2017 we visited the Red Sea in Egypt again and here is my snorkeling trip report. As usual we split our two week stay over three different bays. This gives the opportunity to search a bay quite good, but see something new after 4-5 days. We stayed in Brayka Bay, Marsa Shagra, and Marsa Nakari.

Brayka is quite familiar to us since we have visited this place 5 times already. The hotel is very big, the bay quite busy, but the corals and the fish are still very good. And since the bay is very sheltered from the wind, you can snorkel here in quite calm conditions even with strong winds.

Marsa Shagra has a smaller bay, but the hotel is visited only by divers so the place is much more quiet. When the wind is not too strong, you can snorkel the fringing reefs. Especially the north reef is highly recommended. You can have the zodiac drop you out on the reef, and snorkel back with the waves and the current at your back (always coming from the north). The bay is quite often visited by wild dolphins, and has a good variety of fish. The corals here are very good and varied.

Marsa Nakari is also a ‘divers only’ destination, and a lot smaller than Marsa Shagra. The bay is also quite small, and due to the shape more vulnerable for wind and incoming rubbish from the sea. But for fishes the bay is very good. This bay also has dolphins as regular visitors, a good number of macro opportunities, and regular views of sharks and several species of rays. We saw a lot of scorpionfish (two species), several species of goby in the shallows, and very tame Bluespotted Stingray, and Indian Ocean Crocodile Fish.

This is an update to another post I have about the Red Sea on this site. For much more about what I know about snorkeling here, please read my post Red Sea Egypt, The Best Snorkeling.

Comments for Red Sea, Egypt - September 2017 Snorkeling Trip Report

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Oct 30, 2017
Great update Michel!
by: Nicole & Galen

Thank you Michel for this great update and snorkeling trip report for the Red Sea, Egypt! Your wonderful pictures give us a good sense of what can be seen there too!

Nov 05, 2017
Egypt Countdown
by: Sandra C

Great report! My husband and I will be traveling to Egypt in 14 days. Can't wait to snorkel the Red Sea. We'll be staying in Sharm el Sheik. Anxious to see how it compares with our past snorkeling destinations.

Aug 02, 2018
Question for Michel
by: Mini

Hi Michel, I have a question for you. In September we go to Hotel Floriana Dream Lagoon. I understand that it is a 15 minute walk to Marsa Nakari. You can snorkel in the bay for 5 euros. Can you tell me if you can also snorkel over the reef? And do you have any tips about snorkeling there? Is it really so beautiful? I hope to hear from you.

Kind regards

Aug 02, 2018
Marsa Nakari
by: Michel

Hi Mini, snorkeling Marsa Nakari can be very good. Good corals, and especially lots of good fish. There are few places – that I know of – in Egypt with such good diversity of fish. Also dolphins visit the bay on a regular basis. Don’t miss the shallows, you can expect several species of Goby that are rare in most other places. Also Rays and Crocodilefish are usually present in the shallows.

I don’t know what you mean by "snorkeling over the reef". Snorkeling over the reef top is forbidden in all places I know (more or less). I think that’s for good reasons. When people snorkel over the reef top, they always end up standing on the reef top, or hitting the corals with their fins. It’s just too shallow in almost all places.

You snorkel alongside the reef. But since the corals grow up to the surface, that’s not a problem I think. The only problem in Marsa Nakari is rubbish. Due to the shape of the bay, it collects drifting rubbish (plastic) from the sea. After a storm, or during a period with strong winds, there is a lot of rubbish drifting in the southern part of the bay.
Visibility also depends a bit on the wind and the tide. It’s usually good to very good in the early morning, sometimes – especially during windy periods – murky in the afternoon.

But if you have the opportunity, I would certainly go there. But try to pick a day with little wind if you have a choice...

Have a nice time in Egypt!

Aug 05, 2018
Thanks Michel
by: Mini

Hi Michel, We have really snorkeled over the reef at Aurora Bay. That was okay, I did that when the flood was. What a beautiful reef that is. The most beautiful thing I have seen in all these years in Egypt. What I also found a beautiful reef was at the Hilton Nubiun Resort in Marsa Alam, and in Coraya Bay it is also very nice snorkeling. There are four hotels where we were in Jaz dar el Madina.

Greetings.

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