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“a great reef to dive and explore”
Review of Elphinstone Reef

Ranked #2 of 33 things to do in Marsa Alam
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Drunen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
142 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“a great reef to dive and explore”
Reviewed April 1, 2014

wows what a gorgeous reef and so many soft corals and so many beautiful colors fish large and small dull and colorful.
As an experienced diver you need at least 6-8 dives to feel more at home diving at thus location, will be beak soon.

Visited March 2014
Thank Fernst v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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582 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
33 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“My very close encounter with an oceanic whitetip”
Reviewed February 13, 2014

One of the most interesting reefs I dived on. Was on a live aboard in 2004 and we saw several oceanic white tip sharks. Them circling the boat, swimming in the blue and hunting around the reef was a privilege to see. Oh and I must not forget the two beautiful Napoleons that visited us every time during our safety stop. Diving on this reef made me start practising under water photography. Would love to go back

Visited March 2013
Thank KimVM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Typical... no current”
Reviewed December 5, 2013

Was part of a red sea safari and we were planning a number of dives here. It was typical, that the briefing on route was about how dangerous it was to dive here etc, also a number of other people of the boat had previously dived her and it was amazing with very strong currents. When we got here, it was like a mill pond, but was still a very very beautiful dive

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
63 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“It's A Must Do !!”
Reviewed November 13, 2013

Let's start with the important bit...Safety....Let me emphasise this is a not a dive for inexperienced divers. The reef is 6 miles out to sea, it descends to over 100m and is swept by strong currents. Egyptian law states that you must be at least PADI Advanced OWD qualified and have at least 50 dives, you descend to about 40 + metres so there is a good reason for that. You really need to have to have good experience of drift diving, deep diving and also rougher sea conditions before going here to ensure you are relaxed and get the most enjoyment from diving this reef. It gets very tiring, immersion 'on the fly' with the current but with great satisfaction. It is easy to drop to very deep depths without realizing as it has a bottom at 170mtrs+, as it is an open site the current can be fairly strong with no protection at all on the North Plateau. Excellent visibility often 50 meters or more but safety is key on this reef

Besides Dolphin House reef this is the other must dive site if you are visiting Marsa Alam or the Port Ghalib area especially between June to November. Elphinstone Reef is the mythic dive site of the south. The walls plunge deep into the blue, richly decorated with soft, bright pink, red, white and brown corals, sponges, gorgonias and fans. Pelargics often swim by the spot to feed on the abundant reef fish population, but many other species, including dophins, fusiliers, jacks, snappers groupers and wrasse may also be seen. It is a very popular dive site, so there is likely to be many other dive boats there when you are and it can get very crowded in high season, unless you overnight on a liveaboard.

Due to its isolated position Elphinstone is well known for encounters with oceanic whitetip and hammerhead sharks along with barracuda, numerous big jacks and even tuna. The reef and the fish and sea life are all in excellent condition. There are not that many sponges present so the reef is not as colourful as reefs in other parts of the world. Both the hard and soft corals are in excellent health. Elphinstone is an oval, flat top sea mount, with about 0' - 3' water and waves across the top. The north plateau is around 80m long and between 10-25m wide.There are two pinnacles on the north end the first at 42 m along with a convenient platform at 40 metres where the sharks appear but only at dawn. There are many cleaning stations on the way to keep you amused and huge amounts of fish stocks - moray eels, butterflyfish, angelfish, large schools of black snappers, goatfish and more. You can then then do a superb drift right to the southern end. The southern ridge descends steeply and is pierced by a cave at 55-58 metres. The west side is less steep and slightly sandier than the East. There are lots of overhangs and small caves. In the sheltered area near the reef are many superb photo opportunities. The west wall is adorned with abundant soft and hard corals.

This is an amazing place to dive but really and is only for the most experienced and well trained divers, out of reach of the average PADI Advanced Diver and its vital you research and choose your dive centre and guides carefully Emperor divers for example will not take divers out unless they have been on a number of dives with them before an Elphinstone trip as they like to review your capabilities first.

Visited September 2013
Thank Solitary_Trucker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
54 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Good dive site”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

It was a pleasure diving here as there were not many boats here (in fact we were the only one). The currents can be kind of tricky so be careful at this dive site and pay attention to your dive master. Lots to see at this reef. Saw a couple of reef sharks (white tip) and the reef itself is magnificent. I missed the hammerheads but I will be back to dive this again next time! Enjoy but be safe here.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank Tique222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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