Completed at the end of 2001 the resort built in moorish style is a large and widespread complex with its main building and generous sized swimming pool being its central point.
The clean and comfortable bungalows are scattered over landscaped grounds with the mountains giving an impressive back drop for this beautiful but remote region of southern Egypt.
The Orca Dive Club Hamata is the southern most dive club on Egypt’s Red Sea coast. This 5* PADI facility has quickly become recognised as a top address for diving the pristine reefs in the deep-south.
It is from the Orca Dive Club Hamata which is based in the Zabargad Beach Resort*** that such famous reefs as Shaab Maksur, Shaab Claudio, Shaab Sataya and Abu Diab are quickly
and easily accessible by day boat. Not only are the off-shore reefs fantastic, but the Orca Dive Club's House Reef with its 10km length an max. depth of 60m can be dived from 6am until 11pm
giving you ample opportunity to explore the virgin sites of the south.
The Zarbagad Dive Resort is a large and spacious complex located directly on the beach 180km south of Marsa Alam International Airport. Transfer to the airport is approx. 2 1/2 hours.
The small bedouin town of Hamata is 3kms north of the resort and it is from the jetty in Hamata that the dive boats depart to the vast Fury Shoals Reef System.
The resort build in typical moorish style, blends in beautifully with the surrounding rugged landscape. The 70 rooms are integrated into bungalow accommodation spread out across the well maintained landscaped complex. The main building comprises of lobby, small reception and small gift shop. The main buffet restaurant offers breathtaking views over the large pool area and the Red Sea coast. The cosy and comfortable open air divers bar situated next to the dive club offers drinks and snacks until 10pm. One of the resorts favourite facilities is the Bedouin Shisha Tent located on the beach.
The spacious friendly rooms all have en-suite bathroom, air conditioning and mini-bar.
Most rooms come with a sea view and are available as double, twin, tripe or single accommodation.
Breakfast and dinner are served in the main buffet restaurant, or on the open air terrace weather permitting.
Sports and Entertainment
A variety of excursions are available from the hotel including desert camel tours and quad biking.
Within the resort there are 2 billiard/snooker tables (surcharge payable locally).
Fury Shoal is a large system of reefs growing on top a shallow shelf 13km (8 miles) offshore to the north of Ras Banas and offers a variety of excellent dives. These include the Tienstin, a fantastic coral encrusted tug boat at Abu Galawa, the atmospheric caves of Sha'ab Claudio and the shark and pelagic action at Sha'ab Manksur. Sataya is a great sheltered place for a night dive but the highlight of Fury Shoal has to be Erg Abu Diab also know as Erg Spice. Here the walls are sheer and a rich variety of hard and soft corals sea fans and sponges grow on them. Whitetip and Grey reef sharks are common year-round and you do see hammerheads here in the summer.
Cruising time: 50min
The main reef of Sha’ab Said is split by a canyon that features an amazing coral garden of soft and hard corals. The east side of the reef pitches very steeply and you can rapidly reach 40m depth here. Marine life is abundant, especially on the north plateau, which boasts some spectacular corals.
At the drop-off you will encounter large shoals of fish and the occasional turtle. Make sure to look out to catch a glimpse of white tip and grey reef sharks passing by in the blue. The north plateau is best dived as a drift; however, this is suitable only when the sea is calm.
Cruising time: 50min
The reef here is split by a canyon and coral garden that thrills all divers that visit here. This dive site also features a striking arch that you can swim through, packed with black corals on both sides. The east side of the reef drops off to more than 40m in depth. There is ample opportunity to encounter big fish here: barracuda, grey reef and white tip reef sharks.
This beautiful dive site is also known as Anemone City or Sama (the Arabic word for Heaven). The reef runs from east to west and the whole reef can be dived in 45 minutes. The east side is split by a small canyon. Here you can find a huge amount of anemones with clownfish hiding inside. On the west side, there are a lot of coral blocks at a depth of 1-22m. The blocks are covered with soft corals and gorgonians. Keep a close eye out for the longnose hawkfish. This whole dive site is absolutely jam-packed with fish.
Sha'ab Bohar Soraya
This small reef spreads in an east-west direction and can be circumnavigated in 50 minutes. There is a plateau around 24m, which rises up from the sandy bottom. At this side of the reef there are lots of small cracks and crevices to discover. A series of small pinnacles on the plateau make for a relaxing dive. There is everything here from the smallest clownfish to and occasional white tip reef sharks passing by.
Sha'ab Bohar Kebir
This site lies in the same direction (east-west) as neighbouring Sha’ab Bohar Soraya. It is too big to see the whole reef in one dive but there are two possible dives here. On the east side, several pinnacles starting around 20m cover the sandy bottom. Some of the pinnacles touch the surface and they are covered in beautiful soft coral growth. Between the main reef and the pinnacles is a superb coral garden. On the north side, a series of small coral blocks cover the sandy plateau. The west side of the main reef is a very interesting section with lots of small cracks and schooling barracuda. Here again, you can find lots of small coral blocks. Keep a lookout for white tip reef sharks and eagle rays.
Abu Galawa Soraya
This reef formation is split into four pieces. One dive spot is the reef block that is situated at the north end of the reef. The main attraction here is a 17m long wreck, which sunk in 1980s. This is the wreckage of an American sailing boat lying at 18m. The hull of the boat is synthetic so there are not a lot of corals here but still from a marine life point of view this is a treat for any diver.
The second highlight of this dive site is the middle of the reef. It is cauldron-like, with a sandy bottom around 14m and a magnificent hard coral garden. Facing south, there is an exit from the bowl around 5m, which is filled with spectacular fire and soft corals. The maximum depth of the site is around 24m and many small coral blocks surround the reef offering up alternative places of interest.
Abu Galawa Kebir
This site is situated close to its smaller sister, Abu Galawa Soraya. The main reef is often visited by safari boats mooring at night. The main attraction here is the sunken Chinese tugboat that sank on 26th October 1943. The wreck is around 34m long and the stern lies in 17m. The top rises to the surface and peaks above the waves at low tide. The coral cover here is one of the most beautiful in the Red Sea.
The British requisitioned this boat during the Second World War and it went off course and sank on its way from Suez to the Eritrean port of Massawa. As you dive up near to the top of the wreck, in around 5 or 6 metres there is an amazing cave in the reef. Light flickers near the entrance from the surface and creates a veritable light show. The left side of the cave is formed from the edge of the wreck itself, which makes for a great photo. Napoleon wrasse, small reef sharks and spade fish frequent the reef and its also great for macro life. This is a very popular dive with photographers.
This is one of the most well known reefs in the Fury Shoals reef system. Sha’ab Claudio is a square-shaped reef with a south side that is full of caves close to the mooring. It’s possible here to jump directly off the boat and next to the cave system.
This is a paradise for photographers. The cave system is very light inside due to a maximum depth of just 14m. As you enter the cave, often you come face to face with a free swimming moray. Blue spotted stingrays lie on the sandy bottom. All in all, there are five different entrances / exits of various sizes and depths (5-10m).
As you exit the cave on the west side, a beautiful hard coral garden welcomes you at 22m below. On the north side, there is a passage that splits Claudio from the next reef block. Watch out for the current here. At the end of the passage, which runs from west to east, there are large pinnacles rising from the bottom up to 6m. its is well worth spending time here.
On the way back to the boat on the east side, a sandy bottom is home to many small and decorative coral blocks with plenty of natural cover. On the south side, you can find plentiful shoals of fish and three big napoleon wrasse and many moray eels.
This dive site lies close to Sha’ab Claudio in a southwesterly direction but can only be reached when the sea is calm. The reef lies below the surface and the fact that it is not frequently visited makes it a beautiful example of an untouched reef.
The reef runs in an east-west direction. Four large coral blocks are the mainstay of the life here and at the eastern end, there is a sandy plateau at 26m with a few smaller blocks. There is a good chance to see sleeping sharks here.
Just 5 minutes northwest from Sha'ab Claudio lies the reef of Sha'ab Ini which runs from east to west. The main reef is on the west side and comprises many pinnacles closely packed together. Plenty of soft and hard corals populate the pinnacles and there is abundant fish life. The sandy bottom undulates up and down and slopes from around 12m to 28m. There are plenty of anthias and smaller species but it is also possible to encounter white tip reef sharks here and tuna.
Along with Sha’ab Claudio, this is one of the most visited reefs in the Fury Shoals reef system. The main attraction here is the southern part of the reef, which is situated directly next to the boat.
This is an explorer’s dream. The reef formation is like a playground of craggy corals, canyons and labyrinthine caves all waiting to be discovered. It is also possible to explore the northern part of the reef where a beautiful hard coral garden lies.
Be sure to dive the west and east side close to the reef. Here there are large coral blocks with an amazing cover of hard and soft corals. Almost every kind of Red Sea fish can be found here. Even at the south end of the reef, you can find enough coral blocks here to make four dives! This is one of the most prolific dive sites in the Red Sea and not to be missed.
Situated south of Fury Shoal, this is one of the most popular dives in the area, made up of a huge lagoon surrounded by an oval-shaped reef with a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins. Seven imposing stacks of coral named Dha'ab Hassan guard the lagoon's entrance with depths ranging from 18m to 22m along the rim, lessening to 12m as you approach the lagoon.
The outer wall of Sataya offers some excellent drift diving with large pelagics and turtles. You are dropped off by zodiac and the dive begins at the north-west edge, keeping the reef to the left. Large outcrops of soft coral cover the wall and white tips are sometimes spotted half asleep under the table coral, slowly moving away as divers approach.
Gotha Abu Diab
This is a conical reef going down to a 100m reef wall. It’s possible to circumnavigate the reef in around 30 minutes. The reef displays al the hallmarks of classic southern Red Sea marine life… but there is an added incentive to dive here. This is one of the best places for spotting sharks. Frequently divers report hammerheads here and sometimes up to 50!
It is also possible to encounter grey reef and thresher sharks here, and if you’re really fortunate a Longimanus might pass by. Even when the sharks do not appear, the amazing coral cover on the drop off and vast amounts of schooling fish passing by the reef wall make Gotha Abu Diab one of the best dive sites in the area.
Orca Dive Centre
The Orca Dive Club Hamata is the southern most dive club in Egypt. This facility has quickly become recognised as a top address for diving the pristine reefs in the deep-south.
It is from the Orca Dive Club Hamata which is based in the Zabargad Beach Resort*** that such famous reefs as Shaab Maksur, Shaab Claudio, Shaab Sataya and Abu Diab are quickly and easily accessible by day boat.
Not only are the off-shore reefs fantastic, but the Orca Dive Club's House Reef with its 10km length an max. depth of 60m can be dived from 6am until 11pm giving you ample opportunity to explore the virgin sites of the south.
The resort lies 5kms. south of the small bedoiun town of Hamata and it is from the jetty in Hamata that the dive boats depart. The dive club organises a free shuttle service to the jetty (transfer time approx. 5mins).
The Orca Dive Club Hamata is open all year round. From 8am until 6pm, 7 days a week you will be able to find one of our competent and friendly staff to answer all of your questions.
These opening hours allow the utmost flexibility for checking in /out so you don't miss any valuable dive time.
The Orca Dive Club Hamata operates 3 dedicated day boats each with a highly experienced and friendly crew who have been working together for years, who guarantee to take you safely and comfortably to only the best dive sites. All boats are equipped with the necessary safety equipment inline with international standards, with emergency oxygen, first-aid, VHF marine radios, lifejackets and state of the art communication and navigational aids on-board.
State of the art and modern rental equipment is serviced regularly in accordance with manufacturers recommendations, ensuring safe diving. The centre owns 30 complete sets of equipment which are available at any time.
This also includes dedicated "Kids" diving equipment.
Tanks and Compressor
With over 300 steel tanks at your disposal you will never have to come up for air at the Orca Dive Club Hamata. Available tank sizes are 8, 10, 12 and 15ltr all with DIN/INT fittings.
Inline with the clubs philosophy of "Safety First" all tanks are regularly inspected and serviced in accordance with stringent in house test procedures. Hydrostatic testing is conducted by an international accredited inspection company.
Orca’s state of the art air filling system is supplied by a Bauer KA 14 (350L/min), a Bauer KA15 (450L/min) and a Coltri Sub (200L/min). Certified Nitrox divers receive their "Nitrox for Free" thanks to a high performance membrane filter system. Constant inspections, servicing and air quality testing is carried out by DiveMix guaranteeing only the purest quality breathing air 365 days a year.
Your valuable dive equipment is kept safe in a spacious dryroom with 2 large fresh water rinse tanks and a separate one only for regulators , computers and cameras.
These dedicated storage areas are well ventilated so that your gear can dry before your departure. The facility is open from 6am until 11pm and remains locked at all other times.
Our open air "Divers Bar" is definitely the meeting point after hard days diving for enjoying a cool drink and having a chat with your "buddies". Open daily up to 2200h.
First Aid Room
Due to the remote location the Orca Dive Club Hamata has a fully stocked medical room and small treatment area. The Orca Team in Hamata also employs a resident European doctor who holds a daily surgery if required and is on call 24hrs a day. The other nearest medical facility is in Marsa Shagra 22km north of Marsa Alam (approx 2hrs. drive away).
House Reef and Jetty
The Orca Dive Club Hamata House Reef is a very special diving experience. Rugged coral blocks, little canyons, cuts and caves can be found on the fringe reef with colourful reef fish and an abundance of flora and fauna. Here you can encounter the entire food chain, starting from tiniest animals up to big pelagics on the prowl for prey.To all of them the eroded reef edges offers shelter and a safe resting place. The House Reef offers perfect conditions for night dives and for teaching beginners. Entry on to the House Reef is easy, over a private jetty with an equipment assembly area. There is no need to worry about carrying your equipment onto the jetty as a resident donkey justifiably named "Prince Ali" is happy to lighten your load. All that is left for you to do is put on your tank and take the plunge. The House Reef is open for diving from 6am until 11pm daily. This site which can be reached only from the shore is an attractive and a real alternative to any diver wanting to see a different side of the Red Sea. This is an underwater photographers dream come true.