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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Snorkeling The Red Sea at Sharm El Sheik

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

The Red Sea is a part of the Indian Ocean. It's an inlet that separates Africa from Saudi Arabia and all of Asia. I viewed this sea from its northern point at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

The Sea is likely most popular in western culture due to the Biblical significance. The Bible account tells how Moses parted the seas here during the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. It is unknown the exact location of this event, but some experts believe it was close to the area I depict in this post.

The Red Sea has much other significance, other than this religious account. It is 1200 miles long and a mile and a half deep at its deepest point. But it also has many shallow areas where some magnificent coral reefs are located. It is a favorite spot for many divers as well as casual snorkelers like myself.

Reef near my hotel at the Hyatt Regency.

The hotel where I stayed was one of the best spots in the area for divers. I could often see dive boats off the hotel beach shore on excursions. But all I needed to do was walk off the hotel pier to gain the experience.

I hope there's no sharks!

The hotel was well staffed and beach attendants were kind enough to take pictures and videos while you snorkeled (for a tip, of course). I am always more comfortable with hotel staff taking pictures as I know I will get my iPhone back when I get out of the water!

Swimming in this area of the Red Sea is generally considered safe. The most common injury is cuts from the reef itself. But there is some Mariine life here to be weary of. There are 4 in particular;

The Lionfish has poisonous spines that can hurt. They can even paralyze in some instances. I didn't see any but I was aware of their distinctive look. Pretty much anything with pointy spines in the water I'm going to avoid anyway!

The Moray eel likes to hide in the reefs. Their sharp teeth can cause considerable discomfort should you be so unlucky. They will not seek to harm you, as most marine life will not. But I was on the lookout to be sure I didn't accidentally get close to provoke.

The Stonefish blend in with the coral reefs and are hard to detect. They, like the Lionfish, have poisonous pointy things that can ruin a vacation. It's possible to die from their poison. I made sure I did not walk on the reefs or get close enough I could accidentally brush against anything.

The Barracuda gets a lot of bad press. They have sharp teeth and can bite, but they are not an aggressive fish. I did see some fish that appeared to be baby Barracuda I'll share with you:

It's quite possible I'm wrong in my identification and this is simply a Big Blue Fish. If anyone knows, please comment to educate.

I took some pictures of the fish in the area, but I'm not good at identifying what they are;

Even though I could not identify the fish with whom I swam, it was unimportant to me. I just wanted to be aware of the dangerous ones. I was content to just swim with the diversity of marine life and see the colorful fish swim by.

Although it was February it was still warm enough to go into the water. The day time temperatures peaked in the mid 70's (25 C) and the evening cooled to mid 60's (18 C). I wished it warmer but it was at least cool enough to keep other snorkelers from the hotel on shore so I could enjoy this underwater paradise alone.

I leave you with some videos. You can see how clear the waters are, which make this such a popular area for divers and snorkelers. On the other video you can hear the Arabic language of locals. I think they're saying, "what is that fat whale doing in our waters?"

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Mike Wells
Mike Wells

You do have to be aware of your surroundings going into unknown waters. I was wondering how you got the underwater photos. The water is crystal clear.


They look like underwater pictures don’t they? But they’re taken above water looking down.

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