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Hurghada 101

Discussion in 'Red Sea' started by Tamas, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Tamas

    Tamas Solo Diver

    Well this will be my first post on the board, and wanted to say hello as well ask a few questions about my upcoming trip to Hurghada.

    Little about myself, I have been diving for a number of years now and am currently at the Master Diver cert with PADI. I love deep dives and wrecks but am willing to try anything. Soon I will be entering the realm of tech diving for that reason.

    I will be going to Hurghada in April and wanted to get a few pointers from those of you that dove in that area. What to expect? What not to expect? Conditions? Do's and don'ts? Special equipment requirements and needs? .....or anything else that comes to mind. Also would love to see some pictures of the town as well as underwater.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. mania

    mania Cousin Itt ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Warsaw, Poland
    Quite o lot about it was already written here.
    But few basic tips:
    1. Do not expect deep dives in the Hurghada region - average is about 20m.

    2. Don't:
    touch the reef,
    feed fishes
    walk on the reef
    leave anything under water
    take knives - they are not allowed there,
    don't take gloves - also not allowed with the exception of Thislegorm
    3. In April the weather is generally perfect - 5mm wet suit (long john) is absolutly enough for me (and I do get cold rather quickly). And remember Red Sea is heavily salted one. As for regulators - octopus is requierd by local law
    4. They use 12liters tanks INT mostly. Nitrox is expensive
    5. Do pay bakshish ( which is a religiously based tip), don't take special hotel taxis - Hurghada has a very good system of minibuses. Just go in front of your hotel and wait - the average price for the minibus is 1 - 2 Egyptian pounds. For diving - your diving centre should pick you up form and to your hotel - it's included in the price of diving.
    Anything more?
  3. grazie42

    grazie42 Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sweden
    I´m going there april 1st (on a live-aboard)...
    Thistlegorm is a must do!
    Also Carnatic and Giannis D if you like wrecks...

    If you have the time and money I´d suggest going for at least a small 3-day trip to be able to get a few dives on the Thistlegorm and a few other dive-sites further out and away from the crowds...I did three dives on Thistlegorm last september and I´m dying to get back...

    DIN is the standard in Egypt and as mania says a 5mil i propably right for most people...gloves aren´t worth the bother (true about only being alowed to use them on anything but the Thistlegorm)
    Nitrox is about 5€/fill, if this is expensive or not I´ll leave to you...
    If you have the opurtunity bring a camera do so! you´ll be able to drool over pictures of veggies, fishes and wrecks until you scrape together enough cash to go back there again...
  4. steevke

    steevke Angel Fish


    if you want to dive with a little 'liberty' you'll need to carefully select your diving centre. Most boats are purely guided reef dives, 30 meters maximum as imposed by the 'Hurghada Enviromental whatever agency'.

    Most wreck dives in the area are maximum 30 meters deep. Exceptions are the wrecks at the Brother Islands (Aida: 57 meters Numidia: 78 meters) and the Rosalie Moller North of Hurghada.

    I really like Blueparadise as a diving centre, as they've always given me the opportunity to do my own thing. YMMV.

  5. Tamas

    Tamas Solo Diver

    Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated. I think a 30m deep wreck or reef dive will be satisfactory.

    I am not sure of the dive sites that I will be able to do, since I am going with a dive club that has already arranged the sites with the local dive shop based on the divers and available time/distance restrictions, and up to know I was unable to get a list, but I will try to make suggestions as to what would be nice.

    I will not be taking more than a 3mm steamer with me, since I am always hot under water, no matter what the conditions.

    12L will also be plenty! I guess they use DIN there, so I will have to get a DIN insert so I can use my yoke on those bottles.

    Any other local customs/rules/pointers (like the tip, taxis) that one should be aware of?
  6. mania

    mania Cousin Itt ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Warsaw, Poland
    I already wrote you about the taxis - or rather the mini buses they have there. As the tipsare concerned - there is a custom of giving some extra tips to the boat crue at the end of your visit. The boat crue is generally underpaid and those tips are quite important. Everywhere you would be aksed for "bakshish" which comes from Islam - the tradition of sharingthe wealth with the poor ones. You may but you don't have to give it - one Egyptian pound is sometimes enough. And drink only bottled mineral water and - if you are for the first time in this region - don't eat fresh fruits and vegetables - this should allow you avoiding the "Faraon sickness". I myself believe that a small shot of vodka in the evening kills all the germs :) But I'm Polish, you know....
  7. Tamas

    Tamas Solo Diver

    Thanks again for the pointers.
    Is the Faraon Sickness similar to the problems you get in south America from the water giving you the runs? If so, yes a shot of Vodka or even some Palinka (yes, I am Hungarian) should help that a lot.

    Speaking of which, I have heard since Egypt is an Islamic country the sale/consumption of alcohol is frowned upon (not that I plan on getting wasted, just a drink or two) .....how does that work?
  8. deana777

    deana777 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey
    Tamas, do not worry at all about alcohol consumption in Egypt.. Not just hurghada, the whole country really, i have lived in El Gouna, 22km north of Hurghada for 5 yrs and alcohol consumption is pretty strong, you are actually expected to drink there, odd one out if you dont.

    If you're in Hurghada some good places to go and hang out with cool music are The Chill, PAPA's Bar 1 (early to 1am or so) and Papa's beach club (till 4 or 5am) for the coolest tunes, thats if you're into partying and all that, but its a must see at least..

    Have safe fun dives.. i've only been gone a week now and so very home sick.. It kinda geows on you with time.. In a good way that is.. hee hee..


  9. mania

    mania Cousin Itt ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Warsaw, Poland
    The only problem is the fact that Egypt as an islamic country has 400% tax on alcohol - so it's everywhere but expensive ( a glass of local red wine costs around 15 Egyptian pounds - which is 2.3 US$).
    "faraon sickness" - yes it's simply stomach problem you get not only from the water but also fresh fruits and vegetables. Palinka works as well as vodka!!!! But in every farmacy you can buy without prescriptiot something that's called - Antanil - it does wonders!!!!!
  10. Marek K

    Marek K Loggerhead Turtle

    Hi Mania (?) --

    We're kind of neighbors... I'm an American with the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.

    I'm taking my family to Makadi Bay for two weeks at the end of July. Yes, I know, hot hot hot. Staying at Iberotel Makadi Beach, and diving probably with Easy Divers.

    I've heard about the "no gloves, no knife" rule. Does that apply also at Makadi, 30 km south of Hurghada? I agree with the reasons behind it (don't touch the merchandise!), but I'm used to diving with at least reef gloves.

    Regarding DIN vs. INT/standard tank valves down there... We have INT/yoke first stages, and DIN adapters for them just in case... but if INT valves are the rule there, we won't have to take the relatively heavy adapters. Do you think we can be pretty confident of that?




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