Theses are the routes of our liveaboards
Abington, Angarosh, Merlo Reef and Quita el Banna are reefs emerging from huge water depths. These dive spots are not so often visited, leaving them in absolute solitude and guarantee an exceptional amount of fish, beautiful coral reefs and sharks. The island of Mesharifa is surrounded by shallow waters and protected by two reefs. In hot season, it is here where you will see large groups of manta rays. To swim with these friendly creatures is an experience you will remember forever.
The Wingate Reef is situated just outside Port Sudan harbour; it is where you will find the famous Umbria wreck. The Umbria was an Italian cargo ship scuttled in 1940; it lays intact into shallow water, allowing the divers to very long exploration time. It is a beautiful wreck and it hasn’t been spoilt by divers, especially by “souvenirs & brass seekers”. You can dive into its cargo holds and admire the amount of wine bottles and bombs carried, look at the huge coral encrusted brass propeller and, for the experienced divers, the engine room can be visited, corridors and cabins. Anyhow the Umbria is a wreck enjoyable by all levels of divers.
Sanganeb is a huge coral atoll with spectaculars plateaus, located in the North and South reef. There is a lighthouse built on top a cement platform and a visit here is compulsory! There are breathtaking drop-offs on these reefs and among the hundreds of different species of fish you can encounter the resident reef sharks. Sha’ab Rumi is a ‘must be’ for visitors. It is here where you will find the remains of Jacques Cousteau’s most famous expedition, the Precontinent II, where divers attempted to make a long living underwater, in 1963. It is fascinating when you realise that this experiment took place 48 years ago, in a place as far away as Sudan, not an easy feat even for these days.
In the South of Sha’ab Rumi you will find a plateau, lying in around 23m. Here you will find reef sharks, numerous barracudas, jack fish, bump-head parrotfish and almost anything else that you can imagine, without forgetting the hammerhead sharks.
At about 20 miles north from Sha’ab Rumi is located the wreck of the “Blue Bell”, known affectionately as the “Toyota’s wreck”. The Blue Bell was a large cargo ship that sank in the seventies, after an inexplicable strike on to the reef. It was carrying a cargo of Toyota vehicles, most of them now scattered alongside the reef balcony. The Blue Bell lies upside down and tilted on the reef with the stern resting on the sea bottom at around 80 metres depth. Looking at this huge ship disappearing into the abyss is indeed a sight to behold.
The Southern reefs of Port Sudan are named the Suakin Archipelago, taking the name from the old city constructed by coral blocks. Suakin used to be the main harbour of the Sudanese Red Sea, until it was abandoned due to its shallow depths and a hearth-quake later on. It is now only a ruined village but, if you have any left time in Port Sudan, is well worth a look around. The first spot you will dive is Sha’ab Jibna, or Jumna. It is a small reef, marked by a beacon; it offers two dives, depending on current, the East and West side, with amazing vertical walls, plenty of caves, cracks, covered by all different soft corals, barrier fish lives. It is here where, if they are not too shy, you can encounter a huge school of hammerhead sharks. Moving from here you will continue to Sha’ab Ambar, a beautiful lagoon surrounded by large reefs. It is one of the only two lagoons, providing a safe anchorage in the area. More often you can be escorted into the lagoon by dolphins, jumping alongside the Don Questo. From here there are numerous sites that you can visit on daily base. Sha’ab Ambar south-east is the first spot available. It is a huge plateau with a sandy bottom, surrounded by coral crests. It has always a big variety of fishes and most of the time you see reef sharks lying on the sand.
Seil Ada Kebir, affectionately known as “Turtle Island” is for everyone a “fantasy island”. The beaches are made up of beautiful white coral sand, surrounded by a turquoise sea. This is where the turtles lay their eggs and you can encounter them on each dive.
Nakhalat al Quseir, well known as “Pinnacle”, is rising from a depth of 65-70 metres and surrounded by more than 600 metres of sea. It is cone shaped, starting at 5 metres below the surface, descending gently deeper & deeper. You can easily swim around the Pinnacle in one dive and this is where the action is! If you want to encounter the ‘big’ stuff that’s the place to be! It is almost guaranteed to see hammerhead sharks, an occasional manta ray and large oceanic sharks. The top of the Pinnacle is like submerging yourself into an aquarium, watching the fish during their daily lives. You would never finish your dive!
Logan & Keary are two small Reefs close each other and quite similar. They have a plateau on the north-East side. Here it is easy to see few hammerhead sharks during the dive, as big fish as well. The reef walls are plenty of coloured corals, with all types of small fishes living around.
Sandcay Reef is similar to Logan & Keary, as a Reef. The plateau is on the South-Eastern side, starting with a small balcony. Here you can see mostly few shy hammerhead sharks, surrounded always by big tunas and Barracudas. Walls are coloured and plenty of small fishes. This is where we had records of encountered non easy shark species, such as oceanic white-tips & silvertip sharks.
In the eastern area of Suakin Archipelago there are some other spots, worth a visit during the safari.
Preserver: it is a huge reef, nearly three miles long, just below the surface. On the south-eastern side there is a plateau. Here the wall starts descending gently till 20 metres, then a huge long plateau, reaching at the end the depth of 50 metres, with some coral hills on top, covered by soft corals and gorgonias. The entire shape is fantastic, surrounded by all varieties of fishes.
Protector: just three mile close and not as big as Preserver, is considered one of the best dives, for its special shape. It is a huge plateau, nearly 100 metres by 60 in a bit triangle shape. Depths here are between 8 and 30 metres, sandy bottom. Spread all over the plateau there are many coral hills and crests, creating canyons and a suggestive atmosphere. The drop-off walls are covered by soft corals and barrier fishes, tunas are always around such as barracudas and jackfish, big school of surgeons and fusiliers. Sharks here are not so often seen but, on the contrary, it is easier to admire turtles, manta and eagle rays.
These exclusive two-week cruises arrive down nearly 50 kilometres to the border of the Eritrean waters, in a primordial and pristine sea, where fishes seldom see divers. Even for the Sudanese fishermen it is a long way from their costs.
In that area, between reefs and islands, there are tens of different dive spots we have discovered; moreover every cruise we do we always discover a new dive site. It’s difficult, then, to describe all of them. In all reefs and island we found something real peculiar: there are always baby silky sharks around, not an easy shark that can be found at all the other commons dive spots.
The last island before Eritrea is Dahrat Abid. It has a small balcony on the north-east side, full of different type of soft and hard corals, surrounded by barrier and pelagic fishes. This is where it is possible to find a huge school of hammerhead sharks. On top of the shallow reef at 4-6 metres, apart all varieties of barrier fishes, there are always Giant sweetlips swimming with the divers.
Darraka Island is famous because, apparently, Jacques Cousteau had some experiments & studies here, after he left Sha’ab Rumi. It is a very long island, with its huge plateau located into the north-east side. Its depths are between 20 and 28 metres. Here you normally find school of thousands of surgeon fish, then barracudas, jackfish, tunas and much more. Often you can encounter a small group of hammerhead sharks. At the top of the reef, between 5-7 metres, a big family of red snappers live there.
Dahrat Qab Island has a plateau on the eastern side of the reef. It is very long but narrow, with a depth of 25 metres, surrounded by a coral crest alongside the plateau. The wall shows you varieties of different coloured soft corals. It is a dive spot that can offer you any kind of sea lives, including sharks. Often turtles & mantas are passing through.
Habili Lory is the kingdom of the silky sharks and the soft corals. It is very close to Dahrat Qab Island and it is the only safe anchorage in this area. It is a small reef with a quite long plateau on the southern side. It descends gently till 35 metres, and then it has a hill that rises up to 22. Drop off walls. All the spot is fully covered by any types of soft and whip corals, gorgonias, and all types of hard corals, such as table corals and acroporas.
In this area, apart from the mentioned islands, we do have many reefs where we dive as well. The top is always 4-6 metres below the water, with a plateau usually in the north-east or the south-east side. The quantity of lives there is amazing: from smallest till the big pelagic fish, different types of sharks, soft corals and acroporas are available. Following some of the names we gave to the spots: Andrew Reef, Adam Reef, Muchka Reef, Ago’s Reef, Shab Marcel, Nick Reef, Domesh Reef. It is not possible to dive every time there, because we need good sea conditions. Leaving the southern area, we can reach some islands located on the Far East side of the Red Sea. The most famous are two Islands. Masamirit: it is a huge island, where the Sudanese government built a light-house, powered by solar panels, to facilitate the night navigation of all ships. In the north-east side there is a small plateau, sandy with many coral heads and table corals. The quantity of fish is always good, with chances to encounter sharks as well.
Karam Masamirit is three miles away from the light-house. The dive spot here is considered, among all divers, probably one of the best of all Sudanese Red Sea. The plateau faces the south-eastern side, with an average depth of 22 metres. Very peculiar is the presence of a huge coral head, mushroom shaped, completely covered by soft corals in all color tones. Massive here the presence of fishes in big schools, such as surgeons, fusiliers, jackfish, sardines and barracudas. Easy to see always turtles, stingrays, tunas, morays. Baby silky and white tip reef sharks around, do not forgetting hammerhead sharks as well.
Even if some boats are recently coming to the Deep South, usually the loneliness is nearly absolute and for 14 days, apart from some fishermen, you will hardly meet other tourist boats.
For this special adventure, we require a minimum of 100 logged dives and an advanced certification