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The Dugongs of Marsa Alam


The paradise of Marsa Alam offers visitors a wealth of magical experiences, from sunset camel safaris across rugged desert landscapes to diving magnificent coral gardens with gentle dugongs.



Marsa Alam is a town ideally located in the south-east of Egypt, between the expansive dry desert of the Sahara and the nutrient rich Red Sea. The National Parks of Gebel Elba and Wadi al Gimal are home to a large variety of desert wildlife while the lush coral reefs and green sea beds welcome many fascinating marine creatures. Marsa Alam houses three prominent diving sites, all with unique sealife specific to the area. These include the docile dugongs found at Abu Dabab, the playful spinner dolphins of Samadai reef as well as the large pelagics at Elpinstone reef.

Marsa Alam is world renowned for its close diving encounters with the endangered “sea cow”, the dugong. This docile and gentle creature finds itself at home in the warm waters of the Red Sea due to the abundance of its favourite food, sea grass. Marsa Alam’s best diving site for diving with the dugong is off the coast of Abu Dabab where beautiful coral gardens set the scene for magnificent photo opportunities with these gentle creatures, along with giant turtles and inquisitive guitar sharks.

Marsa Alam also offers excellent opportunities for diving alongside playful spinner dolphins at Samadai Reef, commonly known as ‘Dolphin House’ due to the large schools of dolphins that frequent the area. Witnessing their acrobatic displays as they playfully jump in and out the water is a unique experience, sure to leave you with happy memories.

If you enjoy the thrill of a close encounter with large pelagics a visit to Elphinstone reef will not disappoint. The pristine reef at Elphinstone attracts a variety of large pelagic marine life from the solitary ocean tip shark and the odd looking hammerhead shark to schools of trevallies, barracudas and tuna fish.

The magnificent underwater scenery correlates with the stunning landscapes and rolling sand dunes found on land. A camel safari or a kite surfing experience is the best way to take in the magnificent rugged landscape of Marsa Alam.

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