Egypt: Red Sea - Dive Sites - Shark Reef/Jolanda Reef

Shark Reef/Jolanda Reef



By Boat

By swimming

By Live-aboard

All Divers








The Southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, at the south end of Ras Muhammad National Park


By shore, or by local or live-aboard boat from Sharm El Sheikh, Naama Bay or other ports

Average Depth:

20m (65ft)

Maximum Depth:

50m+ (164ft+)

Average Visibility:

20m (65ft)

When divers think of Sinai, they think of Shark Reef and Jolanda. The two reefs are actually the twin peaks of a single coral seamount rising just off the Ras Muhammad coast, separated from the mainland by a shallow channel.

Shark Reef, the easternmost of the two, boasts a sheer wall dropping to well past 50m (164ft) along its northeast and eastern sides, giving way to a steep reef slope as the reef proceeds southwest toward Jolanda. A shallow saddle lies between the two reefs at 18 to 20m (60-65ft). A second shallow patch lies south of Jolanda. This second flat patch is the site of what remains of the Jolanda, a wrecked freighter. The ship itself slipped into the deep in 1986 after a severe storm, but much of its cargo remains, incongruously strewn across the reef.

Coral is excellent, with good if sparse growth on the wall sections and dense coral gardens on the shallower flat areas. Big pelagics and schooling fish swarm these reefs in the thousands. The Most impressive concentration is on the wall at Shark Reef. On the reef, hundreds of different reef fishes can be spotted as can moray eels of a meter (3ft) and bluespotted and blackspotted stingrays.

As a boat dive, the two reefs are normally done as a drift, with the boat collecting you from the shallows beyond Jolanda. This alleviates many of the current related problems common here. You can also dive the site form shore, entering at Anemone City and swimming across the channel to Shark Reef. This should only be attempted if current is manageable, and extreme care should be taken to conserve enough air for the return trip. Shore entry option is inadvisable if you are not a strong swimmer.

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Last Updated: May 29th, 2011