Egypt: Red Sea - Dive Sites - Carless (Careless) Reef

Carless (Careless) Reef



By Boat

By swimming

By Live-aboard

All Divers







5km (3 miles) north of Giftun island, south of Shaab Umm Qamar


By day or live-aboard boat from Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada

Average Depth:

20m (65ft)

Maximum Depth:

40m+ (130ft+)

Average Visibility:

20m (65ft)

This isolated reef, lying between Shaab Umm Qamar and Giftun island is known to divers the world over for its large population of semi-tame moray eels. Weather conditions often make the exposed site difficult or impossible to dive.

The reef itself centres on two peaks or pinnacles which brush the surface in an otherwise open sea. The valley between these pinnacles is about 16m (52ft) deep, and offers a wide range of dive possibilities for those not interested in deep diving. A few metres east of the saddle, a steep wall drops well beyond 40m (130ft), with a contoured profile offering many caves and cavelets for the more experienced diver.

Reef composition is diverse, with most coral species, both hard and soft, making a vibrant and interesting coral habitat. As well as the famous eels, there are innumerable species of reef fishes. The reefs isolation, combined with the deep water in which it lies, make it ideal for pelagic-spotting, and sharks are as likely here as at any reef in the area. Jacks, tuna and barracuda are also frequently spotted.

The big draw is, of course, the large population of giant and other morays flourishing here, thanks in part to the numerous dive guides who have almost domesticated them with regular gifts of food. The eels vary in size, but several are at the upper limit of their growth range. They will often remain outside their lairs in the presence of divers.

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Last Updated: May 30th, 2011