Dive Suit Recommendation
Egypt - Water and Air Temperature
May to October: Shorty or 3mm

 

 

November to April: 3mm or 5 mm wet-suit. If you feel the cold, you may wish to dive in a two piece suit.


 

Most of the dive guides will dive in a dry-suit during the winter months (but they are more used to warmer summer water and it feels cold to them). 



British divers should find the water pleasant in the winter months.

Packing List
Guideline: Don’t pack too much (the airlines punish you dramatically– if you are flying charter you are able to pre-book additional weight allowances in advance - this is significantly cheaper than buying it at the airport. Also check, some operators give you an additional few kg if you show your Cert card)
Diving Equipment Bring all your diving equipment that you need and also crucial spares. (Torch if you want some night-diving) You are able to hire most equipment locally, but the rental cost is quite high (this is due to the high import duties on equipment, making the kit about 50% to 100% more expensive than in the UK)
Crucial spares Mask straps, fin straps, mouth piece, O-rings, 1 low and 1 high pressure hose.
Diving Computer Most operators recommend you dive with your own computer. Check your battery has enough juice.
Clothing Shorts and T-shirts, 1 pair of trousers (for the evening and when flying), a fleece for the evening. On board you will require no shoes - it is barefoot all week.
Chocolates/Sweets If you have sweet tooth bring your own. Also bringing chocolate for the Dive Leaders is greatly appreciated. They also are very happy to take any “left-overs” from you.
Medication Due to different bugs being present, many people may come down with a bowel bug. Take appropriate medication with you. Talk to your GP and ask for a set of antibiotics (I usually take two sets—one for skin related inflammation (itchy ear) and one for mid-ear infection (painful). If you know what you need, you can also buy most medication over the counter at the local pharmacy in Egypt. Most dive boats will have quite a well stocked selection of antibiotics, however, you take them at your own risk.
Towels Most dive operators will give you a towel on board (check with your operator). We recommend you take another towel with you, just in case.
Packing Please use soft sport bags, duffel bags, etc. Please avoid using suitcases, golf-equipment bags (due to the fact that golf equipment is transported free of charge, some guys come with 2m long hard-case golfing cases)
Another Hint Hand luggage is usually restricted in size and as long as it doesn’t look too heavy, fill it up with the heaviest and most valuable gear (My hand luggage usually contains: Regulators, torch batteries, battery chargers and all key valuables: Dive computer, passport, money, vital medication, log-book and cert-cards— no cert-cards no diving).
General Rules for diving in Egypt
Red Sea diving is heavily regulated now and fiercely protected by the Egyptian government, who have recognised this as an area of outstanding beauty (and as well as a good source of income). 


Liveaboard are generally well run and reputable operators have clean, well maintained vessels and have a superb mixed nationality crew. The boat crew is usually Egyptian and is complemented with PADI accredited dive professionals, who are required to enforce Egyptian law. 


Some of the rules you are likely required to observe: 

  • Everything is look, don’t touch. So many dive operators forbid the use of gloves in the water, which stops you from touching the sensitive corals (most of them are very sharp or can sting you pretty hard - e.g.: the fire coral is related closer to the jelly fish than to its coral counterparts). Consequently, you are likely to have a dive guide with you at all times to monitor your behaviour. 
  • Hint on buoyancy control: If you struggle, float slightly higher to avoid damaging corals 
  • Souvenir hunting is prohibited. The dive guides are required to report you and Egyptian authorities will enforce the law. Punishments usually include equipment confiscation, heavy monetary fines, barred from Egypt and in extreme cases also a prison sentence
  • Strictly non-decompression diving. In most cases, you will do a series of repetitive dives and are unlikely to off-gas completely. Considering the number of dives, being at least several hours out of any port, coming down with DCI is going to spoil everyone’s holiday (not only yours). Operators will check your computers, your in– and out-air will be recorded. If you go to deco, most operators will stop you diving for at least 24 hours. 
  • Decompression Diving - If you have the appropriate qualification and prior agreement, boat operators will give you a technical diving form to fill in. This will allow you to exceed the 40 metre depth limit and allows decompression diving. Please be aware, you are signing away any liability on behalf of the operator and it is highly recommended you have additional insurance in place.
  • The boat crews are normally very friendly and supportive. They are normally away from home 6 to 10 weeks at a time, work 7 days a week and then go home for 2 weeks. On board, they share one or two rooms and generally will try to be unobtrusive. In addition, their pay is not high and they rely heavily on tips from the passengers - they have been briefed not to expect any tips. The best way to do this: as group collect your tips and put them in an envelope, give it to the skipper, who will ensure that everyone will get an equal share. Tipping guideline: $5 to $10 per day on board (per diver)
  • Alcohol. Try to avoid it, it dehydrates and increases the risk of DCI. On board, there is usually an honesty bar, i.e. help yourself, add a tick to the box and pay at the end of your trip. 
  • Smoking on board. Only outside, smoking in the common areas and cabins is prohibited.
  • Showering - there is enough water on board, but it does require additional resource. Take one shower in the evening with soap and between dives just a quick rinse at the back of the boat. 
  • Drinking water - bring a small 500 ml bottle, mark it as yours and refill it using the drinking water fountain. This avoids excessive plastic rubbish. Also use your bottle to wash out your mouth after brushing your teeth and use it to clean your toothbrush. You must avoid using the tap water apart from washing your hands and showering.
  • Toilets - only organic matter please, they are sea toilets. Paper, sanitary towels and other things go in the waste basket next to the toilet. The crew will remove it daily.

Diving in Egypt

Posted on 4/22/2012 by Ian Newman

What would be useful to pack? What type of diving? What are the rules for diving in Egypt? A helpful list of hints if you are planning to dive in Egypt.

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