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Sinai water delights – A glossary

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Coral reefs:  Egypt has many kilometers of beautiful underwater gardens along the Sinai peninsula. The Red Sea coral reefs still remain among the best in the world.

Dangerous species: among them are all reef sharks, the great barracuda, the titan triggerfish & the textile cone.

Swimming in the gulf of Aqaba

Swimming in the gulf of Aqaba

Dahab: well-known beach resort located on the gulf of Aqaba, 1hr from Sharm el Sheikh (80km) and from Nuweiba. The word in the Arabic language means gold.

Diving: very popular activity along the coast of Sinai. The town of Sharm el Sheik offers many diving boat trips to Tiran island and Ras Mohammad National Park. You can book directly from your hotel (some even have diving centers where you can learn in swimming pools) or your travel agent.

Don’t touch sea species!:

  • red turtle: Hawksbill  sea turtle, an endangered specie
  • rays: spotted eagle ray, blackspotted stingray, bluespotted stingray
  • fish: clearfin lionfish, indian lionfish (venemous), tassled scorpionfish, yellowtail tang, orangespine unicornfish, black surgeonfish, yellowmargin trigger
  • morays: giant moray, grey moray, yellow moray, snowflake moray
  • others: common jellyfish (sting can be painful), net fire coral, Red sea fire urchin and diadem urchin
Red Sea Picassofish

Red Sea Picassofish

Glassboat: for sea lovers who don’t care for snorkeling or diving, one option is taking a glassboat to discover the underwater world and the coral reefs.

Gulf of Suez: shallow body of water in Africa on the other side of the Gulf of Aqaba and bordering Western Sinai. At the end of the gulf is the canal of Suez.

Gulf of Aqaba: deep body of water along the Sinai peninsula and bordering Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan. In some places it reaches a maximum depth of 2000 meters.

Mangroves: subtropical and tropical trees growing along coast of Egypt. All areas are protected and known as Ras Abu Galum, Nabq Bay (largest one) and Ras Mohammad.

Nuweiba: famous Egyptian beach town with a port. From there one can take a ferry to Jordan.

Leaving Egypt for Jordan on the ferry

Leaving Egypt for Jordan on the ferry

Ras Mohammad: National Park with Shark and Yolonda reefs located 30 km from Sharm el Sheikh. It was founded in 1983. Tourists go there to snorkel and see the turtles. There is a shark observatory in the park.

Red Sea: once called Gulf of Arabia, it is located in Africa and Asia and borders the countries of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, Jordan, Israel and Egypt. Depending on where and when it has temperatures between 20 & 31C. Water goes all away to the Indian Ocean with more than 1200 fish species.

Sailing: a popular thing to do during your stay in South Sinai is to sail. You can book exclusive yachts for a day of snorkeling to the Tiran island and other places.

Naama Bay port in Sharm el Sheikh

Naama Bay port in Sharm el Sheikh

Sharks: there are many sharks (Grey reef, Whitetip reef, Oceanic white tip, Blacktip reef, Scalloped hammerhead, Silvertip) which can be observed during snorkeling and diving activities. Most of them don’t come too close to the coast and do not attack.

Sharm el Sheikh: well-known beach resort on the Red Sea in Southern Sinai. It is a good place to learn how to snorkel or dive and not too far to do desert excursions. It has grown significantly since 1970 from no hotels to over 200.

Shells: it is strictly forbidden to remove shells from the beaches.

Map of Sinai

Map of Sinai


Sinai: means tooth in Arabic. The Egyptian peninsula divides Africa from Asia.

Snorkeling: it is a good place to learn how to snorkel. Equipment can be rented or bought in Egypt and at a good price. Snorkeling on the East coast is very good.

Tides: they are small tides and semi-diurnal (twice a day).

Tiran island: located in the Gulf of Aqaba near Arabia Saudi. A way to get there is to book a yacht or a normal boat. You may see some turtles, dolphins and for sure several shipwrecks.

Approaching Tiran island (Egypt) on a sailing boat

Approaching Tiran island (Egypt) on a sailing boat

Water: while  tab water in Egypt should not be drunk, the water of the sea is amazingly clear.

An excellent place to book your excursions is MTS Egypt. Click here for more info.


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