Egypt: Red Sea - Dive Sites - Abu Hilal/Small Canyon

Abu Hilal/Small Canyon



By Boat

By swimming

By Live-aboard

All Divers






Between Dahab village and the Canyon dive site


By car from Dahab, then shore entry

Average Depth:

20m (65ft)

Maximum Depth:

50m+ (164ft+)

Average Visibility:

20m (65ft)

This extensive site features an inshore reeftop dropping steeply to 10-12m (33-40ft). The entry point, just south of an outjutting spit of reef which acts as a breakwater for northerly wind-driven waves, gives onto a sheltered sandy lagoon with the bottom of 12m (40ft). Swimming straight out from here, diversd will cross a shallow coral bar or threshold at around 4m (13ft), decend to their maximum depth along the rolling slope, then turn north and slowly ascend.

The canyon for which the site is named begins at a depth of more than 30m (100ft). It is extremely narrow and twisting, with severely limited exit points; beginning as it does at considerable depth, and reaching much greater depths before an exit is possible, it lies beyond the scope of sport diving, and penetration should not be considered.

Beyond the canyon, a large uprising leads the way back to shore. A second large sandy area lies between the site's northern edge and the reef spit sheltering the entry point; swim either around the base or over the top, and you will arrive back at the entry lagoon.

Coral throughout the site is excellent, both in density and variety - all are in excellent condition.

Fish life is equally diverse. Among the hundreds of reef species, notable residents are Unicorns, wrasse, big grouper or rock cod, triggerfish, lionfish and big starry puffers. Sea turtles are also a common sight.

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Last Updated: May 29th, 2011