Brother Islands (El Akhawein)
The Brother Islands are two uninhabited islands about 800 meters apart, 140 km from Hurghada and 60 km from the shore. Due to the usually very demanding current, the Brothers Islands count as one of the most difficult dive sites in the Red Sea, but it is worthwhile because it is one of the best dive spots in the world!
The landmark of the larger of the two Brothers Islands is a lighthouse built by the British in 1883. It is possible to visit between dives and climb the many steps to the top of the lighthouse. It worth it! From this vantage point you can view the 400 mtr long island.
Underwater, the * Brothers * offer fantastic densely vegetated walls, of colour full hard and soft corals. Huge gorgonians and fan corals filter food from the almost constant currents along the walls and plateau. Along with the many species of brightly coloured fish, you can see shoals of barracuda, tuna and jacks. It is possible to view many species of sharks, grey reef, black tips large threshers and Hammerheads if you are really lucky a passing whale shark.
Big brother also has 2 wrecks on offer – The Aida II (sunk in 1957) and Numidia (sunk in 1901)
The wreck of the Aida, a lighthouse authority supply vessel lies from about 30 to 60 mtrs therefore again a perfect depth to admire this large well preserved vessel, as well as the coral growth and its inhabitants, again a hot spot for reef sharks.
The bent nose of the Numidia a large steam cargo vessel is only about 8 meters deep, completely covered in coral and shoals of fish. You can dive all around the outside and through the super structure, peer inside large hatches inspecting the engine at between 30 /40 meters, from this depth the view down to the stern at 82mts is quite breath taking.
Around 800 meters south of Big Brother we have Small Brother around 200 meters long with impressive overhangs and stunning marine life. There is a pristine fan coral forest with an abundance of hard and soft corals.
The plateau of Small brother at about 40 meters, is a hot spot for Thresher Sharks , cruising around in the current. It is common to see all species of shark here if you are patient. During your safety stop Oceanic white tips (Longimanus) cruise around under the boats, these inquisitive creatures make for some very close encounters and great photo opportunities.
In spring and autumn, when the plankton is flushed through the Suez Canal and passes by the Brothers Islands, numerous Manta rays and sometimes Whale sharks visit the islands.
Deadulus is a remote reef, less than a kilometre wide and marked by a lighthouse, some 80 km offshore from Marsa Alam. Its isolation means it is only visited by liveaboard and this, together with its marine park status, means its reefs are in top condition and it’s one of the best loved scuba dives in the Red Sea. Strong currents tend to run from north to south along the steep walls of this outcrop and winds can cause surface swells and waves to lash the reef. However, the incredible action below the surface can make the challenging conditions seem all seem worth it.
Diving at the north point of Daedalus can be the toughest when strong currents are running since the currents tend to split here. But it’s these same conditions that almost guarantee you some predator action, Schooling hammerhead sharks frequent the area, particularly in the summer months, as do silky sharks and other large pelagic fish such as manta rays, trevally and tuna.
Due to the Earth’s rotation around the Sun, it’s best to dive the eastern wall in the morning and the western wall in the afternoon. Again, both walls make drift dives to the southern point and are thickly overgrown with fans and soft corals but the western wall that has more variety. A ledge at 10m provides home to countless anemones and their residents, endemic Red Sea anemonefish and dottybacks. There are some huge hard coral formations on the wall and the crevices provide homes to moray eels. Cleaning stations are plentiful, where wrasse attend to queues of bluespine unicornfish and groupers.
At the southern point of Daedalus Reef, keep an eye out for a special appearance from Thresher sharks and Manta rays
Elphinstone Reef is one of the world’s most exciting diving destinations. A few small breakers are the only visible sign that just below the sea’s surface is the summit of a subterranean mountain, rich in colourful corals and fish species, and attracting the interest of hungry barracuda, and sharks.
The reef is in open sea around 12 km from the shore line, visited by Safari boats and high speed zodiacs from the many hotels of Marsa Alam. So sometimes in the morning can be very busy. Often in the afternoon you can have the reef to yourself. This long sliver of reef has steep walls on both east and west sides falling into the depths.Then on the north and south we have two large plateau‘s both around 40 mts, again with drop offs. Fast current here is normal so it is possible to visit both north and south in one dive. When conditions allow it is possible to hang around both plateau’s in search of elusive hammer head and reef sharks. The variety of soft and hard corals here are incredible, vibrant colours surrounded by shoals orange anthias. As you assend to the shallows of 10-15 meters observe large groups of barracuda, saw tooth tuna and sometimes residential Oceanic White tip sharks,often circling under the boats.These sharks are very curious about divers so close encounters a frequent. It is also common for Turtles and Dolphins to feed on this healthy reef.
The safe diving at the Daedalus reef and Brothers Islands requires a certain diving experience, especially when dealing with current. Therefore, we advise against visiting this spots without a degree of experience! If in doubt, please contact us!
Night dives, snorkling and swimming are not allowed by law at Daedalus reef and the Brothers Islands.
The route depends on the wind and weather conditions, with the Captain having ultimate authority over this.
This route is usually started from / to Port Ghalib – Marsa Alam, but may also be combined with Hurghada.