Red Sea (Egypt) in late March... Is it worth it? Is this chart accurate?

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Pillpusher

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As a redirected follow up from my other post, I'd love to hear from anyone that has dove the Egyptian Red Sea in late March. After seeing numerous websites stating that "March to May, and Sept-Nov" are the best times of the year to dive there, I'm now reading on here that, for the most part, it's the exact opposite. I mean, is there really any benefit for March-May? What are they talking about?

I'll be doing two back to back liveaboard trips. One to the south, and one BDE trip, as I'm far more interested in gorgeous reefs and pelagics than I am wrecks. As for pelagics, hammerheads, whale sharks, dolphins, and mantas are of high priority for me (Oceanic white tips are at the top as well, but I know it's a crap shoot unless you're there in Oct-Dec, and that's not an option for me this year). The rest is all gravy, baby.

I currently have flights booked to be there from March 15th - April 4th. But, I'm considering pushing it back a couple of months to the end of May and beginning of June. Keeping my plans as they currently are is obviously preferred and far more convenient, but if the consensus is that it's worth it to make the change, I'm going to try to. On the other hand, I came across this chart that shows that there really isn't that huge of a difference between March/April and May/June, other than with whale sharks. So I wonder how accurate y'all feel this is. If that's the case, I'll just buy a 7mm, hood, and head there as planned in March.

Thanks in advance!
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Christian

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Anything is possible year round, of course, but you have very good chances of seeing hammerheads in Egypt from medio June and into August inme. A few weeks change from year to year. Deadalus and Brothers, then Elphinstone. In August they are seen as far up as Tiran Strait, the back of Jackson. Hammerheads seem to go south in the fall and winter and not very common to see on dive sites. OWT as you know now, fall-winter in those same sites. Threasher not uncommon in summer-fall on Brothers.
Chart is for selling trips, so I would say it exaggerates some of the likely sightings a bit, a couple a lot… but the general ideas of when are somewhat accurate inme.
 

SaltwaterNomad

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We dove Hurghada and also did a Southern livaboard a few years back end of May and that chart is exactly what we saw on the high list. Dolphins only fleeting in Hurghada. We also saw some sailfish hunting a mini bait ball trying to hide amongst us on a safety stop once which was a really nice surprise. Mostly hammers on the trip. Used a 5mm and hood as it was on the chilly side. Have fun.
 

bvbellomo

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I've only been on 1 trip, but saying the probability of seeing a whale shark is high from June - December seems a bit optimistic. We never saw an Oceanic Whitetip, but we talked about the possibility a lot.
 

carono6333

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I pushed the trip back to late May. Can’t wait!
Which company did you choose in the end? I've just got back from thistlegorm (we were the only boat there) and now looking to book Brothers for June
 

Paul Desmarais

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As a redirected follow up from my other post, I'd love to hear from anyone that has dove the Egyptian Red Sea in late March. After seeing numerous websites stating that "March to May, and Sept-Nov" are the best times of the year to dive there, I'm now reading on here that, for the most part, it's the exact opposite. I mean, is there really any benefit for March-May? What are they talking about?

I'll be doing two back to back liveaboard trips. One to the south, and one BDE trip, as I'm far more interested in gorgeous reefs and pelagics than I am wrecks. As for pelagics, hammerheads, whale sharks, dolphins, and mantas are of high priority for me (Oceanic white tips are at the top as well, but I know it's a crap shoot unless you're there in Oct-Dec, and that's not an option for me this year). The rest is all gravy, baby.

I currently have flights booked to be there from March 15th - April 4th. But, I'm considering pushing it back a couple of months to the end of May and beginning of June. Keeping my plans as they currently are is obviously preferred and far more convenient, but if the consensus is that it's worth it to make the change, I'm going to try to. On the other hand, I came across this chart that shows that there really isn't that huge of a difference between March/April and May/June, other than with whale sharks. So I wonder how accurate y'all feel this is. If that's the case, I'll just buy a 7mm, hood, and head there as planned in March.

Thanks in advance!
View attachment 699891
What you see really depends on where you go and when you go there. I've been to Elphinstone twice and saw 1 Oceanic white tip once. A friend of mine went back a few weeks later and saw a half dozen sharks on the same dive.

Dolphins are common in some places like (surprise! Dolphin House) but rarely seen elsehwere. I saw a whale shark off the Tiran Islands in June. Turtles are pretty common throughout.
 
OP
Pillpusher

Pillpusher

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@Pillpusher - are you back from your trip? How was it?
It was great! Had an outstanding time and we were treated to some great dives. At elphinstone we saw a whale shark and 10 seconds later I had a wetsuit-soiling worthy close encounter with a longimanus (but got a great pic out of it - attached below). Also saw a mola mola on another dive. The other dives in the marine park were pretty hit or miss while hanging out in the blue. No huge schools of hammerheads or anything, just a few curious passersby.

Here's my pics from the trip:

285998445_10160919200340839_6642052090159626754_n.jpg
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/teric/

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