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Diving Holidays to Soma Bay, Red Sea

 

 red sea somaAround 50 km south of Hurghada lies one o the Red Sea's best kept secret; a chain of isolated and breathtaking reefs with dramatic drop-offs and plateaux teeming with characteristic marine life. From Ras Abu Soma to Gamal El Kebir you can dive seven pristine sites rich in coral both on the shallow inside or the outer fringe exposed to the sea offering frequent sightings of big pelagic activity. Further out, Panorama to Abu Kefan offer even more excitement. Ras Abou Soma and Tobia Arbaa. A steep outer wall merges into a 25m plateau adorned with huge and majestic table coral, leading to a superb cave festooned with soft coral and teeming with glassfish. Ras Abu Soma offers common sightings of grey reef, whitetip, leopard and hammerhead sharks with mantas during March and April. Tobia Arbaa is protected in the lee of Ras Abou Soma, several tall and narrow ergs festooned with soft coral rise from a sandy bottom. Clouds of anthias, pufferfish, napoleons and barracuda swim around these beautiful pillars in a scene of underwater splendour. Tobia Arbaa is ideal for the unhurried underwater photographer.

Panorama Reef is the highlight of the Safaga dive sites. Rising from the depths an hour from Safaga this oval shaped reef has a dramatic north plateau and drop-off. This is one of the best drift dives in the Red Sea, with sightings of schooling barracuda, giant trevallies, whitetip, grey reef & silvertip sharks, dolphins and rare encounters with oceanic sharks (longimanus).

Hal Hal can be best described as a dense aquarium. Nourished with almost constant and strong currents and only dived in exceptional weather, two ergs rise from a plateau 3m shy of the surface. The exposed outer ledge plummets to over 100m; this is probably one the most prolific reefs teeming with fish life, an explosion of soft corals and gorgornias. Almost every endemic marine specie in the Red Sea can be seen here and in large numbers, with groupers, snapper, tuna, glassfish, turtles, unicorn fish and pelagic sightings along the drop-off.

Abu Kefan is rated by some as even better than Panorama with impressive schools of huge barracuda that glimmer against the pure blue of the deep. Both its northern plateau and colourful southern erg rise from deep water. An abundance of vividly coloured soft corals and intricate gorgonians set the backdrop to a ballet of numerous and dense fish species.
 
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Accommodation in Soma Bay, Red Sea

 

soma bay sheratonSOMA BAY SHERATON         
Inspired by the splendid architecture of the Pharaohs, this luxurious hotel is located 45km south of Hurghada and is set in a beautiful bay surrounded by white sandy beaches, a turquoise blue sea and spectacular coral reefs. The Soma Bay Sheraton is a Five Star resort featuring 277 rooms, 21 suites and 14 beachfront suites all furnished to a high standard with air-conditioning and en suite bathrooms, satellite TV and IDD telephone. All rooms and suites offer breathtaking views of the sea. Some rooms are designed for disabled guests. A wide variety of complimentary recreational activities are available. One of the highlights is an 18-hole (72 par) golf course designed by Gary Player.

ORCA DIVERS newest Dive Centre is based in the Hotel and offers diving activities from the exclusive Soma Bay marina with day boat trips to the pristine dive sites of Abou Soma, Sha'ab Shaer, Abu Kefan, Tobia and Panorama reef.

House Reef

On its eastern coastline, Soma Bay's House Reef extends from Shaab Saiman at the North headland to the Southern tip of Ras Abou Soma, or "Bay Point". This several kilometre long house reef is teeming with a wide assortment of marine life.

A few meters from the tip of the Peninsula is one of the jewels of Soma Bay: Tubya Arbaa. Although the Arabic name refers to the number "four", there are actually seven pillars of coral rising from the sandy bottom. Anthias and basslets cover soft Corals and the occasional napoleon, puffer fish, dozens of lionfish and a large potato cod can be seen there. This is a beautiful dive, yet relatively shallow at 20 meters.

The two other fabulous dives on the northern tip of Soma Bay's House Reef, Ras Umm Hesiwa and Shaab Saiman, are both open to the weather; but, in good conditions, you can see all the fish you could hope for from morays to whitetips, crocodile fish to barracudas and several other species of sharks. Ras Umm Hesiwa is the headland north of Soma Bay. The strong currents mean that more often than not sharks are a common sight, from sleeping whitetips to thresher sharks.

- Four swimming pools
- Three restaurants
- Six bars
- 18-Hole golf course
- Tennis
- Squash
- Fitness centre
- Aeorobics
- Croquet
- Windsurfing
- Water skiing
- Catamaran sailing
- Deep sea fishing
- Pedalos
- Organised childrens activities
- Desert safaris
 
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ORCA Divers, Soma Bay, Egypt (Red Sea)

Soma Bay offers a variety of watersports activities to please veteran adventure seekers and first-timers alike. Some of the most spectacular Scuba diving and snorkelling can be found at Soma Bay. Famous Red Sea coral reefs are easily accessible from a 420-meter jetty that extends directly from the Dive Centre to the house reef. Also, readily available boat trips to a variety of dive sites are professionally supervised. Even snorkelling around the calm waters of the large bay can yield amazing finds. The Dive Centre run by Orca Divers, offers a full range of courses for beginners and seasoned pros. Orca has been operating in the Red Sea since 1990 and has a reputation for excellence of service and an exceptionally high repeat guest rate of around 90%. As well as offering a full range of recreational diving services, the Orca team have brought their specialist technical diving skills to Soma Bay and offer IANTD and NRC facilities including rebreather training and try dives.

Emperor Dive Center Soma BayHouse Reef and Jetty

The Orca Dive Club Soma Bay is situated on a house reef that stretches from the east to the west of the peninsula. Packed with diverse marine life and an abundance of corals it is truly a delight for divers and snorkellers of all experience levels. A 420m jetty extends directly from the dive club to the reef, with electric cars that are available for carrying equipment and divers for effortless access to the reef. A large turquoise-blue lagoon lies at the front of the reef and provides sheltered waters ideal for training. This "House Reef" boasts a spectacular array of marine life from the smallest to the largest creatures. With sightings of large pelagics like barracuda, turtles and eagle rays being more the order of the day than rarities.

You will be transported down the long private jetty in one of several club cars. On arrival at the equipment assembling point, you can strap on your tank and then its just a case of dropping in over the side of the jetty. Once in the water you will be captivated by the abundance of fish this incredible hard coral fringe reef has to offer. This coral growth starts directly below the surface, so is ideal for snorkelling and gradually drops down to 40m+. Frequently spotted species include giant morays, colourful nudibranch, various large groupers as well as porcupine puffer fish and turtles. Large pelagics dart out of the blue water to visit one of the numerous cleaning stations and eagle rays and mantas are no rarity here!

Boats

You will find a fleet of dedicated hard boats in operation at the Orca Dive Club Soma Bay. The highly experienced and friendly crew 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. You will find oxygen, first-aid, VHF marine radios, lifejackets and state of the art communication and navigational aids on-board. Concentrating on a high level of quality and service the Orca Dive Club Soma Bay offers a variety of daily boat trips (excursions). The main focus is a full day trips departing on one of the spacious and comfortable dedicated dive (hard boats) boats with a highly trained and experienced crew to make sure only to take you to the best dive sites. After the first dive there is the possibility to enjoy a delicious cooked meal freshly prepared by the on-board chef, and enjoy a siesta on the spacious sundeck. During the surface interval the crew will take you to another dive site for the second dive of the day. Half day charters with only 1 dive are also arranged on request.

Rental Equipment

State of the art and top of the range rental equipment, which is serviced regularly in accordance with manufacturers recommendations guarantee a comfortable and safe diving experience. 50 complete sets of equipment are available at any given time. This also includes dedicated "Kids" diving equipment.

Nitrox for Free 

The popularity of Nitrox diving is increasing year by year, for it is simply said just SAFER. Safety first is the philosophy of all Orca Dive Clubs. The Orca Dive Club Soma Bay offers Nitrox as an alternative to compressed air to every qualified NITROX diver. NITROX for FREE! (32%) Other EAN mixtures are available on request for a small surcharge.

Diver Training

Since first opening their doors in 1992 Orca Dive Clubs have trained countless divers from all over the globe. Orca Dive Clubs have endeavoured to make educational excellence our trade mark, with safety and realistic practical training being in the foreground when introducing students to new experiences in the "silent world". Their strengths are not only the highly qualified and experience staff of multi-national instructors (German, English, French, and Arabic are spoken) but the logistical support to teach it right. With dedicated air conditioned classroom equipped with a full multi-media studio, ( beamer, DVD/Video, audio cassette/CD, laptops and PC's) to rebreather facility with dedicated servicing and storage areas. Whatever the type of training your are looking for, rest assured that the Orca Dive Club Soma Bay are there to help and assist you every step of the way.


 

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NAVIGATE TO:

OVERVIEW
 

Accommodation is in the 5*Sheraton Hotel.

Prices include flights, transfers, airport taxes, accommodation, board as stated and diving as stated.

Boat and coastline diving. Diving World uses ORCA Divers by far the best on Egypt's mainland Red Sea and in the south.

A beautiful bay. Great hotel with superb service facilities

 

 

CLIMATE:
Rain is very uncommon. Temperatures range from about 19 degrees in winter months to 40+ degrees in summer months. Water temperatures range from 19 degrees in winter to 28 - 30 degrees in summer

FLIGHTS:


Gatwick to Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh with Thomson, Thomas Cook, Easyjet and Monarch. Scheduled flights daily with connections via Cairo.Business class seating available at competitive rates.

 


VISAS
A passport is required for entry into Egypt and Sudan.  It needs to be valid for 6 months beyond your travel dates.

A visa is required for entry into Egypt and can be acquired upon arrival in Egypt at a fee. Tourist visas are valid for 1 month.


PRICES
A comprehensive list of our prices for hotels and diving is in our brochure. If you would like a brochure, please fill in a "brochure request" form. Alternatively, just make an enquiry and a member of our team will respond with the details.
 
 

The dive sites around Soma Bay and Safaga are of a high standard. Caves, hard corals, soft corals, wrecks and an assortment of small and large fish adorn the reefs on which you will be diving.

Dive depths range from 2m to 30m so they suit beginners to advanced divers.

Dive site names:

Shaab Saimen


Ras Abu Soma

Tobia Arba

Tobia Kebira

Tobia Soraya

Gamul Soraya

Panorama Reef

Middle Reef

Umm Hal Hal

Fellow Rocks


Abu Gafan

Shab Sheer

Wreck of the Salem Express

 

 
     
 
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