Diving at Taba Heights in EgyptBy
Located at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, Taba is one of the lesser visited diving areas of Egypt and although it doesn’t get the larger life such as sharks and manta rays, the dive sites offer a colourful and diverse selection of marine life.
One of the great things about diving in Taba is that there are only a few dive boats operating so often you will be the only people at the dive site which is in striking contrast to Sharm el Sheikh a couple of hundred miles away at the southern tip of the Sinai. Although the diving is superb in Sharm, the number of boats at popular sites like Jackson Reef or Shark & Yolanda means that it does get quite busy underwater.
The dive sites around Taba Heights don’t take long to get to which means there is usually the option of a 3rd dive of the day…never a bad thing !! The site that attracts most boats is Farun Island (aka Pharoah’s Island). There is an old fort and lookout post on the island built during the times of the crusades by the Saracen Saladin who was the great rival of Richard the Lionheart. As well as being a popular dive site, it is also the destination for snorkelling trips. Nonetheless, it’s a lovely setting and an easy site to dive.
Taba is a paradise for underwater photographers. The sites are generally quite shallow and there is a superb array of marine life just waiting to be captured on film (or more likely, on memory card). One of the more unusual creatures found in the area is the Frogfish. It is a type of Anglerfish, has a face only a mum could love and is fairly immobile. They are ambush predators and an attack can be as fast 6 milliseconds. Their mouths move so fast that no other animals can see it happen.
Other marine life that can be found in Taba includes a number of species of Moray eel, colourful nudibranchs as well as the ever popular clownfish, lionfish, sea stars and shrimp. The one thing that isn’t allowed in Taba is night diving. This is due to the fact that it is so close to the borders of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel so dive boats aren’t allowed to operate at night. It’s a real shame as there is no doubt that night dives in Taba would be as spectacular as diving during the day.