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Red Sea - Ras Muhammed (Shark Reef)


Ras Muhammed

(Shark Reef)

Ras Muhammed is located on the tip of the Ras Muhammed Peninsula and is within the boundaries of the Ras Muhammed National Park. More has been written about this dive site than any other single site in the world. All of it is good and for good reason. There is no other dive site that has so many different wonderful diving conditions in such a small area. There is access to the area from the beach for snorkelers and shore divers. There are also mooring sites for boat divers. Ras Muhammed is a wall that begins at the point of the peninsula and descends down from the surface to over 300 feet. Along this wall are sharks, jacks and other open ocean animals that pass by here on the way in and out of the Gulf of Aqaba.


Heading south along the wall, you enter into a bay where the wall begins to slope to sandy shelves below. At about 60 feet, the bay begins to turn back toward the sea and this is where you will find Anemone City. Anemone City is a shelf on the reef that is covered with anemones that are filled with the clown anemonefish that live among them. There are so many clown anemonefish that it is hard to stop taking pictures.

The reef meets two submerged islands as it continues out toward the sea. These islands are called Shark Reef and between the two islands and the shore are the mooring sites for dive boats. Normally, the dive begins up-current around the Ras Muhammed wall and follows the currents past Anemone City to the northern tip of Shark Reef. The path you take around Shark Reef depends upon the current; either clockwise or counterclockwise. There is a very large drop-off on the outside of the reefs, that is covered with soft corals, large fan corals and many resident fish. Off the wall, there are many open ocean fish, such as rays, sharks and large groups of schooling jacks.

As you finish the path around Shark Reef, you descend down to a sandy channel between Shark Reef and the shore. There are the remnants of a freighter that sank in the late 1960's that contained pipe and bathroom fixtures. The wreck itself slid down the slope into depths unknown in 1986, however there are still some fixtures and other items still left behind. Some reef animals made some of these fixtures their home. It is quite funny to see a moray eel come out of a toilet fixture. There are also many large trumpetfish along this sandy area.

The typical depth range of Ras Muhammed is 30 to 300 feet and is best accessed by drift dive, boat dive or local guide. The expertise required is a snorkeler, novice with an instructor, advanced, dive master or instructor.

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