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The Eco-diving Adventure

Red Sea Diving Safari

20 Years of Adventure
1990 - 2010
The Eco-diving Adventure
Red Sea Diving Safari

20 Years of Adventure
1990 - 2010
red sea diving safari
the eco-diving adventure

My Dear Guest,
2010 marks 20 years since I began my exploration of the southern Red Sea. When I first arrived here this region
was frontier land with absolutely nothing but barren desert and fringing reef coastline. The pristine beauty of
this exotic and hostile eco-system fascinated me.

The regions coastline appears as a tropical paradise with its white-sand beaches, coastal mangroves, and frin-
ging coral reefs. Running parallel this azure blue coastline is a desert terrain of carved canyons and passages.
Both eco-systems are teeming with life.

Intriguing in the stunning design of its coral reefs, the Red Sea’s eco-system sustains an overwhelming variety
of marine flora and fauna. The Red Sea is home to over 200 different coral species, 1,000 invertebrate species,
and 1,200 fish species, 10% of which are found nowhere else in the world.

This diversity is due in part to the fringing coral reef extending along the coastline, some of which is over 5,000
years old! The region has gained a very strong reputation amongst scuba divers because of its pristine reefs and
diverse marine life. While off-shore boat diving is very popular, the nature of the coastline equally lends itself to
remarkable shore-based diving.

Since I first explored this region I was always concerned with how this area would develop. I started looking for a
model that could combine my passion for nature and diving with tourism development. Such a rich and diverse
eco-system both marine and terrestrial makes this place the ideal location for such a tourism model. Sightings
of spinner dolphins, dugongs, turtles, mantas, and sharks are a frequent occurrence for those venturing into
these waters. Numerous islands are a short distance from the coast, which are beautiful for boat excursions
and snorkeling. Some of these islands are protected areas and home to birds and turtles.

The indigenous “Ababda” tribes’ cohabitating the deserts offer great potential for cultural tourism. The abun-
dance of wildlife here also offers potential for wildlife tourism. The desert is home to gazelle, the nubain ibex,
the Hyrax and others. Wild camels are also abundant and feed on the vegetation of the desert. National parks
such as Wadi el Gemal are featuring coastal mangroves which are home to many bird species such as the
osprey and goliath heron. Geological tourism includes a variety of landscape, mines, and quarries. There are
also many archeological sites dating back to the Roman times and many examples of rock art dating back to
pre-historic times.

In short, the region of the southern Red Sea offers immense potential for a tourism model that is both culture
and nature based. Our vision for the south is a destination that can be associated with cultural and environ-
mental awareness.

Through our tourism model and strong business ethics Red Sea Diving Safari has grown into a world class diving
destination People from every corner of the world are visiting our villages to explore this region and learn about
our efforts.

I would like to especially thank our valued guests who witnessed this dream grow throughout the years. It is only
once or twice a year that we are together, but the memories of all those special adventures are always in the
heart. It is our valued guests and partners who have made the adventure all that more special.

C.E.O. Red Sea Diving Safari
HOSSAM HELMY

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Board of Directors
the eco-diving adventure

Abdullah Mohammed
Board of Director
Finance and HR Manager

Mohammed Hossam
Board of Director
Operations and Project Manager

Julien Stein
Board of Director
Diving Manager

Rami Abdelmoneim
Board of Director
Marketing and Development Manager

Yasmine Ezzat
Board of Director
Corporate Development

Rafik Farouk
Board of Director
Rooms Division

Our Organization

Red Sea Diving Safari is made up of a team of industry professionals with many years of background
in their particular field. Our team is acknowledged as the leaders of tourism and diving management
in the southern Red Sea. Our services are very diverse and we specialize in the following business
fields:

1 Tourism and Hotel Management
2 Diving Center Management
3 Media and Publication
4 Regional Consultation
5 Marketing and Businesses Development Planning
6 Marketing Research
7 Sustainable Management Planning

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Marsa Shagra the diving shade
the eco-diving adventure

cafeteria
Shagra bay
relaxing area

jetty and speed boat

restaurant

unlimited diving
Marsa Shagra Accommodation (all-inclusive)

It was at Marsa Shagra where we pioneered our Our villages are small because we maintain a minimal-impact policy towards the environment. The
“unlimited diving” concept, which gives our divers maximum occupancy in Shagra is 220 people and our guests take advantage of an exclusively private
a real sense of exploration and adventure. Buddy experience. Our villages are simple and elegant with traditional eastern style domed architecture.
teams are allowed to sign out on a white board and Every guest room enjoys an unobstructed sea view and Shagra features 4 accommodation types.
take a speed boat for various designated dive pro-
files within our house reef. We have found that this
diving operation allows our guests to still feel that
sense of adventure that we become so famous for. Tent: standard twin occupancy tent with
electricity outlet. Communal bathroom fa-
Alternatively, we are also departing twice a day by truck to explore some of the other bays near the village. cilities are in the vicinity.
Our special high-performance RIB’s can also be taken to off-shore reefs such as Elphinstone or Shabb Abu
Dabbab. It’s a lot of variety for all level of divers. Royal Tent: large twin occupancy tents
with king size bed, fan, mini-bar, and sea-
Our long term vision is for Marsa Shagra to be dedicated as a conservation and heritage center, which will ting area both inside and outside. Com-
celebrate the southern Red Sea’s pristine eco-system and natural heritage. This project will be in collabora- munal bathroom facilities are in the vici-
tion with HEPCA, which has plans to build a scientific research center near Marsa Abu Dabbab. nity.

The idea is to celebrate the heritage of the southern Red Sea through informational posters, videos, books,
presentations, and lectures. This project will be the first of its kind in the whole of the Red Sea and an entirely
new tourism concept.
royal tent
This center will be the culmination of my life’s work, which I am happy to see that my children will be bringing
to life in the very near future.
chalet

Hut: twin occupancy stonewall hut moder-
nly furnished with communal bathroom
Diving Program facilities in the vicinity.

- Unlimited Diving Chalet: twin occupancy guest rooms with
- Diving by RIB either single bed or king size bed. Chalets
- Daily Boat Diving are modernly furnished with bathroom
facilities and also feature a terrace with
seating area. Chalet with mini-bar and
A/C is optional.

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Marsa Nakari the daily boat
the eco-diving adventure
Nakari bay

cafeteria
jetty and speed boat
the diving shade

Marsa Nakari

During the times of the Roman Empire several trade routes connected the Mediterranean world with the Far
East. This trade was carried on for many centuries through the Red Sea ports onto the Nile. From here goods daily boat Diving Program
were carried overland to the Mediterranean ports of the Roman Empire. Records show that this route was
also taken in reverse to as far as the Indian Ocean. Unlimited Diving Package: buddy teams can
sign out at their convenience and take a speed
Roman historians refer to 6 main ports along the Red Sea coastline; Clysma, Myos Hormos, Philoteras, Leu- boat for 6 designated dive patterns on our house
kos Limen, Nechesia and Berenice. Thanks to the reef. This package also offers 2 guided truck
hard works of a few archeologists we now have dives per day to the bays along the coast. Tanks
extensive information and the exact locations of and weights included.
these ancient ports.
Diving by RIB: our high-performance RIB’s can be
In 1992 we first explored the beautiful bay of Marsa booked for diving excursions to the local off-shore
Nakari and in 1995 decided to establish our sec- sites. Each one of our villages offers various sites
ond operation there. The location seemed ideal for to choose from and this is the ideal way to enjoy
our diving operation because it was very near to a traditional boat diving while being land-based.
variety of off-shore dive sites including Sammadai.
nechasia
Daily Boat Diving: we offer a daily boat diving program to some of the popular dive sites in the south.
What made this location unique were the remains of an ancient ruin on top of a hill towards the southern end Trips are usually departing in the morning for 2 dives and the boat returns to the village in the evening
of the bay. We later discovered that this site was the ancient Roman port of Nechesia. time.

The ruins indicate that the port was built of anhydrite gypsum blocks, which must have given the town a very Boat Diving Safari: “Living the Passion” is an over-night excursion that includes 7 dives in the Fury
bright appearance. The entire complex covers an area approximately 177-191m north to south by 55m east Shoals and snorkeling with the dolphins of Satayah.
to west. There is indication from the ruins and general layout that this was a militarized Roman port. This
expansive and sheltered bay would have been an ideal station for Roman ships traveling their long journeys
to the Far East.

Excavations that began in 1999 have unearthed hundreds of beads, pottery, oil lamps, glass and alloy nails,
and nearly a dozen Roman coins. The results of this study have been partly published in the Journal of the
American Research Center in Egypt 38; 2001:77-78.

This was a day of discovery and great fortune for the Red Sea Diving Safari team. Many other days such as Accommodation (all-inclusive)
these would follow as we continue to explore the region and learn about its history.
- Tent
- Royal Tent
- Hut
- Chalet

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Wadi Lahami the mangrove
the eco-diving adventure
the speed boat

kite and windsurf lagoon
Wadi Lahami bay

Wadi Lahami

Every now and then I get the sudden sensation of having to get away from everyone and everything. It’s goliath heron Activities
this felling that brought me to the south in the first place, so it doesn’t really surprise me… I know it’s
time to head to Lahami. Snorkeling: our villages are ideal for snorkeling
and free diving due to our beautiful reefs and
Shagra and Nakari have witnessed considerable development in recent times, but Lahami still remains abundance of marine life.
very small.
Bird Watching: Wadi Lahami has recently be-
Diving here is of course by RIB to the magnificent Fury Shoal reefs. These reefs are probably the most come very popular with bird watchers due to
pristine dive sites in the whole of the Red Sea. many different species being observed in the
neighboring mangroves. These include the os-
One of the most unique aspects of Lahami is the mangrove area just north of the village. Many waders prey, white heron, night heron, striated heron
and shore birds are living and nesting here and it is a beautiful site to bird watch. You can always expect and sometimes the spoonbill. The sooty falcon
to see ospreys which are nesting here year round. is common in the summer as well as the white-
eyed gull, and the white-cheeked and caspian
Some of the more common birds are the White Heron, Night Heron, Striated Heron and sometimes the tern. In fall and spring thousands of small birds
Spoonbill. The Sooty Falcon is common in the summer as well as the White-eyed Gull, and the White- like swallows, stonechats, pipits, wagtails and
cheeked and Caspian tern. Sometimes we are even fortunate enough to see Flamingos including the kingfisher can be seen.
Pink Flamingo. In fall and spring thousands of small birds like Swallows, Stonechats, Pipits, Wagtails
kite surf
and Kingfisher can be seen.

I consider this area one Egypt’s last frontiers and an extremely valuable natural resource. Every diver Kite & Wind Surfing: Red Sea Diving Safari is operating a
should visit Lahami once in their life and see for themselves what the reefs of the Red Sea looked like Wind & Kite Surf Station in Wadi Lahami. A fully insured
20 years ago. and qualified Instructor is on-site offering introductions,
weekly courses, and the latest design in rental equipment.

Desert Adventures: spend magical moments exploring
the desert by car, quad, camel or horse. Choose from trips
to Shalateen, Astronomy Tours, Bedouin encounters, land
sailing and overnight desert safaris. www.redseadeser-
Accommodation (all-inclusive)
tadventures.com
- Tent
- Royal Tent
- Chalet

Diving Program

- Diving by RIB
- Daily Boat Diving

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Pioneer Divers Pioneer Divers Kahramana pool

the eco-diving adventure diving center

beach

Pioneer Divers

Pioneer Divers is our diving management company, offering our partners the same professional and high snorkeling and diving
quality diving services we have become so famous for. Our team can provide you with diving manage-
ment services including; consultation, diving services, and diving operations management. We also offer Pioneer Divers offers a variety of sites by
all our partners use of our house-reefs and RIB’s to enjoy the same easy access to diving hot-spots like land or sea
Elphinstone.
- Daily diving trips by truck
Since 2000 our team has been managing the diving and watersport center of Kahramana Resort and - Diving by Rib/Boat
Calimera Habiba Beach Resort. The resorts are considered some of the best in the south and they of- - Daily snorkeling trips by truck
fer high quality hotel facilities like swimming pools, animation, bars, disco’s, restaurants and private - Snorkeling Trips by Boat
beaches.

courses

We offer the following diving courses

- PADI: Bubblemakers, Open Water to Assistant Instructor.
(children from age 8; available im all locations).
- PADI: Nitrox Courses EANx up till 40%, Discover Scuba Diving
(available in all locations).

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Conservation Efforts
the eco-diving adventure

Conservation Efforts

Eco-diving is what we refer to as an environmentally friendly and educative diving concept. This is a rare
and unforgettable experience where nature lovers engage in exciting team work and learn about marine
biology and underwater eco-systems.

Our team not only believes in enforcing environmentally friendly diving practices, but also the need to
generate awareness about the threats that reef eco-systems and marine life are facing. We are also very
active in promoting and organizing conservation efforts. Below is a list of our efforts;

RSDS Environmentally Friendly Diving Practices:

• Environmentally oriented dive briefings
• No tolerance for irresponsible and care
less diving
• Supporting implementation of mooring
systems
• Minimizing disturbance to marine life
• Maximum 200 divers per day in our
house-reef
• Reef Check surveying
• Proper solid waste disposal systems
• Recycling water
• Daily clean up of bay and surrounding
areas
• Yearly Clean Up Event with HEPCA

Educative Diving Experience:

• Eco-diving Certification - Reef Check
– Stephan Moldzio
• Marine Biology Workshop - Stephan
Moldzio
• Fish Watch Workshop - Patrick Louisy
• Sharkschool – Dr. Erich Ritter

Initiating and Supporting Environmental
Protection Projects:

• Creation of a Marine Park in Shaa’b
Samadai (Dolphin House)
• Protection of Marsa Abu Dabbab and the Dugong
• Reporting mooring system status to HEPCA
• Shark protection and monitoring campaign
• Monitoring and reporting violation of governorate rules
• Marsa Alam solid waste treatment plan

Supporting Environmental Protection and Responsible Diving Agencies:

• Member of HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection & Conservation Agency)
• Ambassador Center of Longitude 181 (publisher of the Responsible Diver guidelines)
• Member of Egyptian Chamber of Diving and Watersports
• Official Reef Check Sponsor

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Founding of HEPCA
the eco-diving adventure

Founding of HEPCA

In 1992 members of the diving community founded a non-governmental organization called HEPCA.
Their primary objectives were the protection and conservation of marine ecology and the underwater
environment of the Red Sea. HEPCA is today considered the Red Sea’s foremost authority in deve-
loping sustainable management strategies.

One of HEPCA’s first projects was the installation and maintenance of a mooring system for the Red
Sea reefs. The project has evolved into the largest mooring system in the world with over 1000 moo-
rings points throughout the Red Sea.

HEPCA is heavily involved in awareness raising activities, activism, marine research, and even solid
waste management systems. HEPCA’s lobbying efforts have resulted in more than 30 laws and de-
crees being established including the 1998 ban on shark fishing in the Red Sea.

Their work in collaboration with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) has ensured that
laws protecting the Red Sea’s eco-system are being enforced. They have designated many precious
diving areas as marine protectorates or national parks, which are policed and safeguarded by the
Red Sea Rangers.

The Red Sea Diving Safari team is delighted to share the stories of our triumphs against the indus-
trialization machine. We hope it will inspire you to involve yourself and stand up before it’s too late.

Yearly clean up Event with HEPCA

Solid Waste Management Plant
Marsa Alam HEPCA’s lobbying efforts have resulted in more than 30 laws and decrees being established including
the 1998 ban on shark fishing in the Red Sea.

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Marsa Abu Dabbab
the eco-diving adventure

dugong

Marsa Abu Dabbab In late 2007, HEPCA created and successfully implemented a management strategy for Marsa Abu
Dabbab. A zoning line preventing boat traffic inside the bay was subsequently installed. Boats were no
Marsa Abu Dabbab is considered longer permitted to bring divers or snorkelers inside the bay, limiting the number of users per day. The
one of the most popular bays in the Rangers began to actively patrol the bay ensuring that the animals were not molested.
southern Red Sea. The bay has been
the center of international interest be- Scientific research and data collection was also initiated, as well an awareness campaign to educate
cause of its resident Dugong and Gi- divers and guests alike.
ant Green Turtles.

Dugongs spend most of their life in the
shallow coastal areas grazing on sea
grass beds. These slow-moving mam-
mals reach up to four meters in length
At conclusion of this project Amr Ali, Man-
and can weigh up to 1,000 kilograms.
aging Director of HEPCA stated:
Marsa Abu Dabbab is home to one of
the largest patches of sea grass in the region. These sea grass beds are of enormous ecological impor-
“the plan represents a collaboration of
tance and sustain an overwhelming amount of marine life.
an unprecedented kind. This case is revo-
lutionary for the Red Sea and the diving
Estimates put the total Dugong population at 4,000 in the whole of the Red Sea, with only 7 docu-
industry here. For once, everyone seems
mented along the southern Red Sea coastline. The dugong is considered an endangered species and is
to have got their priorities right. This is not
currently among the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In recent years dugongs have been steadily
about money, about competition, or about
retreating from their Red Sea coast because of tourist development. Eutrophication from industrial run-
being forced to act by law. Protecting the
off and habitat destruction constitute the 2 greatest threats to the Dugongs of the Red Sea.
environment is everyone’s concern and
for the first time, at Abu Dabab, we are
The Dugongs and Turtles of Marsa Abu Dabbab are also disturbed by the many hundreds of divers, snor-
all working together on this. This shows
kelers, and swimmers that are visiting the bay every day. The bay is shared by 3 resorts that collectively
great promise for the future, and shows
make up about 900 rooms. In high season months it is common to find up to 500 visitors per day.
that the diving and tourism industry has
the potential to be self-regulatory here.”

The Giant Green Turtles of Marsa Abu Dabbab are
also at risk due to certain human influences. They
also suffer from the stress of the tourist crowds
and the destruction of their habitat.

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Shaab Samadai
the eco-diving adventure

The maximum capacity for the site was set at 10 boats and 100-
150 visitors per day. The site management plan focuses on 7
main targets.
The Samadai Project
1. Implementing a zoning plan for the sheltered area
Beginning in 2001 Dolphin house became the center of “dolphin frenzy.” Hundreds of people traveled from to create a restricted zone for;
as far as Hurgahda to play with the resident spinner dolphins. (a) the exclusive use of the dolphins
(b) snorkeling activities
In a single day Samadai was hosting up to 30 boats and 500-800 people. Inexperienced snorkelers were (c) boat mooring
coming in close proximity to the lagoon with no regard to the resting dolphins. Tourist activities were begin- (d) diving
ning to cause pressures on the dolphin, which led to a visible decrease of the population in a very short time.
2. Establishing a best practice guidelines
In the summer of 2001 a boat caught fire near the reef and the situation had become unbearable for the 3. Implement a proper monitoring program
dolphins of Samadai. Immediate action had to be taken to protect this precious sanctuary. 4. Restricting the day time use for visitors (10:00 am 2:00 pm)
5. Implement a service fee system
We were in contact with a French Marine Biologist named Patrick Louisy and he came to visit us with a group 6. Strengthen law enforcement process
of his students. He created a detailed report after his study and created a zoning plan for the site. I personally 7. Implement a public awareness program
presented the findings to our governor and was able to convince him to implement the plan. The management
plan was eventually signed by the governor, HEPCA, the Red Sea Diving Association, and the EEAA.

spinner dolphins

Today the dolphins of Samadai
live a care-free life in harmony
with the daily visiting tourists.

It’s an amazing and truly fulfill-
ing experience to be able to
interact with these animals in
their natural habitat. I consider
the Samadai project a model of
sustainable development plan-
ning, which should be adopted
all over the world.

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Elphinstone Reef
the eco-diving adventure

Elphinstone

Elphinstone never fails to deliver and it should be no surprise that it is ranked among the top 10 dive sites in
the whole world. This reef is a sanctuary for a variety of pelagic species including; oceanic white tip, white and
black tip reef shark, scalloped hammerhead, tiger shark, grey reef shark, silver tip shark, and many others.

This 375m oblong shaped reef is located approximately 6km from the coastline. The reef is angled slightly to Beginning in June of 2008 the Red Sea Rangers conducted a 6 month study of human impact on
the north, which usually causes a current over the northern and southern plateaus. Some sharks frequent sharks at various dive sites in the Red Sea. These sites included; Elphinstone Reef, Daedalus Reef,
the area seasonally and over the years we have tracked oceanic white tip from September to November - scal- Big Brother Island, Small Brother Island, Zabargad Island, Rocky Island and Habili Ali. In total they
loped hammerhead from June to August. In March during plankton season it is not uncommon to see mantas spent 194 hours of field study and made 138 dives. 5 different species of shark were encountered
and sometimes even whale sharks. in 110 of these dives and a total of 292 specimens were recorded.

In recent years the site has become one of the most popular dives in the Red Sea. It is in the standard route
for any of the live-aboard companies operating in the region. The amount of tourism activity here in recent
years is starting to become a concern. Aside from its uniqueness as a sanctuary for an abundance of pelagic
Their report sums it up pretty well;
species, this natural resource is generating our country a significant amount of money. It is estimated that
one shark alone brings about $120,000 from tourists each year.
“The frequency of encounters in Elphinstone Reef is con-
siderably lower than in the other study areas. Human
Since 2008 our team has implemented a shark monitoring program in Elphinstone. Our dive guides have
presence was recorded during almost all the dives: 134
all been trained to recognize shark species and there characteristics. During our briefing we encourage our
cases on the total of 138 dives, with a presence of a to-
guest to make a note of the sharks they see. After every dive we collect the data and fill out a standard form
tal of 971 boats and 15,601 divers. Both the mean num-
which includes questions about; species, sex, size, and exact location. The information is then uploaded to
ber of divers and the mean number of boats recorded
our database for further research.
for each dive are higher for Elphinstone Reef than in the
other study sites. In Elphinstone Reef the high amount
of boats is also widely distributed for the entire area,
making it impossible for the sharks to avoid human pres-
manta ray
ence. The massive human presence in Elphinstone Reef
is negatively affecting the presence of sharks and may
also increase the probabilities attacks on humans may
occur. The amount and conduct of boats of divers and
boats frequenting this site need to be regulated by ap-
propriate rules. It is therefore urgently necessary Elphin-
stone Reef is declared a protected area.”

Human Impacts on Presence of Sharks at Diving Sites of
whale shark the Southern Red Sea, Egypt
Ahmed M. Shawky, Alessandro De Maddalena

oceanic white tip shark

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The Fury Shoals
the eco-diving adventure

The Fury Shoals We have attempted as best we could to keep the Fury Shoals inconspicuous, as we feel it is the last
true representation of what the Red Sea used to look like. The sites remoteness has kept it protected
If you would like to know how the Red Sea cor- for now, but development projects have began springing up as tourism heads south. The recent build-
als looked like 20 years ago, a dive trip to the ing of a port in Hamata and the subsequent development of this small town will soon put the Fury
Fury Shoals will show you just that. Everybody Shoals complex in the spotlight.
privileged to dive here has told me that this
reef topography can’t be seen anywhere else
in the world.

The Fury Shoals can only be described as a lab-
yrinth of sheer coral canyons. Some of the dive
As development continues we must begin to formu-
sites here are like a maze that you can easily
late a management plan for the Fury Shoals reefs.
become lost in if you are not careful.
Over the years we have actively tried to protect these
reefs through various means. Besides sharing this in-
The Fury Shoals reef complex covers an area of
formation with our guests, we have produced publica-
approximately 60 square kilometers and there
tions and other media in an effort to disseminate this
are approximately 25 different sites spread out
information. We are conducting Reef Check surveys
over this area.
at some assigned reefs, which are the first RC sur-
veys that have been carried out in this site. Our team
For the last 20 years our team has conducted
in Lahami attempted to implement a mooring system
the most extensive mapping of the Fury Shoal
for the most frequented dive sites, but because of the
reef complex. Our diving operation in Lahami is
sites vast range this has proven to be a challenge.
specializing in trips to the Fury Shoals and has nudi branch
many years of experience diving these reefs.
The work that is so far being done here excites me
and the coming generation now has the task of pro-
tecting one of Egypt’s most precious resources.

Abu galawa wreck

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Recycling Factory
the eco-diving adventure

Many responsible investors in Hurgahada and Marsa Alam voluntarily joined the effort and built waste rooms for
their garbage collection. HEPCA’s trucks are reliably transporting and collecting waste two times a day. The waste is
separated into organic or non-organic and appropriately processed. Aside from the collection and recycling of waste,
the project has also provided employment opportunities to the local community. Further employment and income is
also generated through the selling of recyclable material.

It is estimate that over 500 tons of rubbish is generated every day in Hurghada alone. Before HEPCA initiated its
waste management strategy these 500 tons of waste ended up in either the desert or the sea.

This garbage ends up killing many creatures sometimes slowly and painfully through entanglement or choking. Plas-
tic bags especially pose great danger to some of the most precious marine species such as turtles, dolphins, and
sharks that may die after swallowing a plastic bag. Coral reefs in some areas have also been smothered by bags
that end up in the sea.

Because of more than 10 years of accumulation there are still many areas in the desert littered in garbage. It is
estimated that it takes up to 1,000 years for plastic bags to fully decompose back into the earth. Many of the wadi
in the south are covered in garbage that must be removed without delay. The last time these wadis flooded was in
1996 and it is said that this phenomena occurs every 8-9 years. If this were to happen any time soon, 10 years of
accumulated garbage along the entire coastline would end up in the sea. This can’t be allowed!

January 1, 2009 is a historic day in which we achieved a great victory for the Red Sea. Red Sea Governor Magdi
Kobeicy issued a plastic ban decree in a move that was long overdue. Lots of cleaning in the desert still remains to
be completed but at least we have stopped one of the main sources of the problem.

We ask you to please do your part by collecting trash and placing it in a proper bin.

Solid waste management plant Solid waste management plant
Marsa Alam Marsa Alam
The Red Sea’s Solid Waste Management System

In early 2008 HEPCA developed a solid waste management system for the Red Sea in cooperation with
USAID, the EEAA, the National Parks of Egypt, the Association for the Protection of the Environment (APE),
and private investors. This Waste Management Strategy was a major step forward in our efforts to maintain a
healthy eco-system for the Red Sea.

28 29
Sharkschool
the eco-diving adventure

“You’re told your whole life since you were a kid that sharks are dangerous. Research shows the disappearance of shark
You are warned about venturing too far into the ocean. But then finally you’re species could lead to the demise of other
underwater and you see the thing that you have been told your whole life to species, by upsetting the natural balance in
fear and its perfect. It doesn’t want to hurt you and it’s the most beautiful the world’s oceans. Sharks are at the top of
thing you have ever seen and your whole world changes.” the food chain and essential for the survival
of our oceans delicate eco-system.
Paul Watson - Sharkwater
Many efforts to protect sharks have been
taken by such organizations as Shark Proj-
ect and HEPCA. The international community
has rallied to this call and supported our ef-
forts.
Sharkschool April 2006 was a great victory for the sharks
of the Red Sea. The Red Sea Governate en-
We first met Chief Scientist of the Shark Research Institute Dr. Erich Ritter in
acted a law prohibiting shark fishing, which
April of 2006. His message immediately resonated with us and we decided to
made Egypt one of the first countries to ban
organize our first Sharkschool workshop in November of 2006.
the practice. The Red Sea governate received
an award by Shark Project during BOOT Show
Educating divers about animal behavior is an important element in marine life
2006 for this great achievement.
protection. We will not protect something we fear, and so eradicating myths and
fears about alleged dangerous animals is very important.

The underlying theme of Erich’s program is to make people aware that there
is no such thing as shark attacks, only shark accidents. There are no danger-
ous sharks, only dangerous situations, knowingly or unknowingly created by
humans because they do not understand shark behavior.

It is estimated that over 100 million sharks are killed each year because of
their fins, as by-catch, or through “sport” fishing. In the past 20 to 30 years
shark populations have dropped by 70% and nearly half of the world’s sharks Sharkwise
are threatened with extinction. Fishers from all over the world catch and trade
sharks for their lucrative fins. Finning as it is called is a horrific practice where In November of 2008 Red Sea Diving Safari was privileged to be involved in a new documentary film called Shark-
the shark is finned alive and then the carcass thrown overboard and left to wise featuring Marc Sluzny and Dr. Erich Ritter. This ground-breaking documentary film was released in March of
drown. The fins are used to make shark fin soup, a tasteless soup which has 2009.
no health benefit whatsoever. This soup is a popular delicacy all over Asia,
Thailand, and China. The premise of this documentary movie is Marc’s new adventure diving with sharks in Mozambique. As a prelude to
the Mozambique trip Marc and Erich met in Marsa Shagra for some diving with Oceanic White Tips at Elphinstone.
Industrial long-lining poses the second greatest threat to the sharks and many Erich spent 3 days preparing and training Marc for his shark encounters and interaction in South Africa.
other species. These industrial fishing lines are hundreds of miles long and
strung with baited hooks. Sea turtles, seabirds, dolphins, whales, sea lions and What’s so unique about the film is that it all began as another one of Marc’s wild adventures. Somewhere along the
marlins get caught on the hooks and eventually drown. These animals are then line it becomes an eye-opening experience as Marc realizes the dangers these beautiful animals are facing. After
discarded by the fishermen when the line is brought in. diving and interacting with various shark species Marc realizes that sharks are paying the price for our misunder-
standing of them.
What makes these practices absurd is the wastefulness that takes place. 90%
of the shark is discarded after fining and most of the unusable catch on the Finning, long-lining, and hunting are all practices that endanger sharks and may eventually lead to the extinction of
long line is also discarded. these animals. It is scary to imagine what kind of catastrophic havoc this may have on our oceans and seas. We can’t
allow this to happen and must act now to save sharks world-wide.

The fact it seems is that we are the vicious monsters we have portrayed the sharks to be…

30 31
Fish Watch
the eco-diving adventure

Fish Watch

Patrick Louisy is one of our most senior Marine Biologists and the founder of Peau-Bleue, an organization Blackfin barracuda Cuddle fish
which offers a scientific approach to teach divers about marine life and ecology.

As a regular Red Sea Diving Safari guest and friend, Patrick shared special lectures with our guests about how
marine life live together in symbiosis and how two completely different species benefit from each other. It’s a
very interesting series of lectures that our guests have come to enjoy very much.

Over the years Patrick has created a program called Fish Watch, which allows our guests to become involved
in identifying fish species and documenting their existence in our reef. This method allows us to collect reli-
able scientific data that we plan to use for scientific reports and publications. Our guests can become actively
involved in gathering field observations and thus participating in Red Sea Diving Safari’s reef health monitor-
ing program.

During the program we learn how to identify fish, distinguish families, tell apart males from females,
and adults from juvenile, etc. By the time the course is complete you will be experienced enough to start
recording species you encounter during your dives. You can then help implement the fish species lists
for different reef habitats and thus contribute to the Fish Watch program.

The scientific goals of the workshop are to create a listing of fish species present in the different reef
habitats of Marsa Shagra (outer and inner reef, reef flat, reef front and drop-off, caves, sandy bottom,
sea grass, etc.) The data will also help us compare fish populations in the different reef habitats. Fish
species identification also leads to comparing fish assemblages in different reef habitats. The use of a
“qualitative” presence index (species accidental, rare but normally present, abundant or always pres-
ent) will help assessing what species are characteristic of each habitat.

Whatever your previous knowledge, you’ll be surprised to see how fast you can progress. The only
requested skill is a bit of passion! Help Red Sea Diving Safari in their conservation of the Red Sea by
participating in our Fish Watch workshop.

32 33
Reef Check
the eco-diving adventure

Reef Check

Reef Check is the world’s largest international coral reef monitoring program and the United Nations of-
ficial reef monitoring program. Reef Check is dedicated to global coral reef education, monitoring, and
management by involving recreational divers and experienced marine scientists in community based
team work and research.

During February 20 - 22, 2009 the first Reef Check Eco Diver course was conducted at Marsa Shagra.
It was an amazing experience for us to see and identify such a rich variety of marine life. The valuable
information that we gathered will help us to determine the health of our reef and the negative effects of
human impact.

Our long term goal is to expand the monitoring program to all the most popular reefs of the south, in
order to quantify reef health as tourism development continues to increase.

Our Reef Check Team Scientist is a Marine Biologist named Stephan Moldzio, who studied Marine Biol- Stephan Moldzio
ogy at the IFM-GEOMAR in Germany. The course consists of a general introduction about coral reefs and team scientist
about the goals and methods of Reef Check. This is followed by a fish ID presentation, invertebrate ID Our first survey was conducted
presentation, and a substrate ID presentation. Practical exercises help us remember these indicators just outside of the house reef
species, which we will be collecting information about during our surveys. on the northern side. “There are
over 165 documented fish spe-
cies for Marsa Shagra and the
high species diversity and spe-
cies abundances are promising
interesting results for our long-
term reef monitoring program.”
The substrate survey showed
a coral density of 39% in 7.4m
and 50% in 3.5m depth. This
data can be found in the Reef
Check database.

In December of 2009 we will be
conducting the first ever survey
of the Fury Shoals Reef. Help
Red Sea Diving Safari in their
conservation of the Red Sea by
participating in our Reef Check
program.

34 35
Marine Biology Workshop
the eco-diving adventure

RSDS Marine Biology Workshop
As a way to promote interest in marine biology and research, the Red Sea Diving Safari team created a ma-
rine biology workshop as part of our eco-diving program. We offer our guests an interactive and scientifically
based adventure through our eco-diving program. Guests have told us that the best part of the workshop was all the diving followed by observation of
specimens under the stereomicroscope. Here is a small summary of the experience by one of our
Together with other nature lovers you can learn about marine biology and underwater eco-systems. This is a staff members;
rare and unforgettable experience where we engage in exciting team work and share our passion and knowl-
edge about the Red Sea.

The Marine Biology Workshop was developed by our Reef Check Scientific Leader Mr. Stephan Moldzio. This 4
“We began our eco-dive on the north reef
day workshop consists of eco-diving followed by observation of algae, invertebrates, crustaceans and plank-
and were quickly distracted by a lovely
ton specimens under a stereomicroscope. In the evening we hear lectures by Stephan about coral reef ecol-
school of Barracuda. You can always ex-
ogy and preservation.
cept to see something wonderful diving in
our house reef.

We carefully selected our rock and sand
sample and proceeded back to the shore.
The team couldn’t wait to begin studying
the specimens under the stereomicro-
Observation of scope.
specimens under the
stereomicroscope. It was an amazing experience to see this
microscopic world so full of life. Many
guests participated and we documented
many different specimens. Stephen then
connected the microscope to his PC so we
could project the image on his screen and
take pictures.

Stereomicroscope At the end of the day we released every-
thing back into the sea and prepared for
our night dive. We then collected plankton
samples and observed nocturnal marine
life. Stephen’s lectures are a wonderful
conclusion to this wonderful workshop!”

36 37
Red Sea Desert Adventures
the desert adventure

The Emerald Cities
The Red Sea Desert Adventures This tour combines some of the best sights of the Eastern Desert. Fantastic land-
scapes, the most spectacular archaeological sites and a night in the desert. Sighting
The Eastern Desert of Egypt; miles and miles of unexplored virgin mountains and wadis. This expanse of rocks, sand and of wildlife like gazelles is quite common during this trip.
occasional vegetation has witnessed the rise and fall of many ancient civilizations over the centuries; each leaving its
imprints on the land. We leave after an early breakfast and follow the Red Sea for one and a half hours to
the National Park “Wadi el Gemal.” The park cuts through the mountain range from
Red Sea Desert Adventures offers you the opportunity to visit the Eastern Desert by car, camel, donkey or hiking. the East to the West. This Wadi was well known throughout history as an important
All our tours are led by the local Bedouins called Ababda. Red Sea Desert Adventures works in corporation with the local trading route. Along the road we find many traces of history: roman caravan stations,
Bedouin tribes for the regional development of tourism. tombs of the Blemmey tribe (the ancestors of the Bedouins), and more. After two
hours off-road we reach an area where emeralds where mined since pharaonic times.
Our program offer nature tours, landscape tours, historic tours to old Roman/Ptolemaic sites, cultural tours, camel riding/ We first arrive at the roman village of Geli. There the gems were prepared for their
hiking, as well as astronomical excursions. further transport to the Nile. It is one of the biggest ancient settlements in the area.

If you are interested in a special to‎ur we will do our best to arrange the tour to your liking. Desert dinners or mountain After a short drive we reach the village Marfuah. Also a roman settlement where em-
hiking for instance can be arranged. There is the possibility of combining trips - afternoon excursions with an Astro Tour eralds were mined. From there we make a short walk over sand dunes to our lunch
or a dinner trip. Each tour requires a minimum of 4 participants. For the Astro Tour we need a minimum of 10 guests. place.

Desert Sail
The sailing area is a wide desert plain with excellent wind conditions.While you are having a break, the local Becouins
prepare tea, coffee and cold drinks in their guesthouse. Astro Tour
The Eastern Desert’s night sky gives you a unique possibil-
Sunset Tour ity for stargazing. Undisturbed by noise or light you really can
We start this trip in the afternoon and arrive after a 20 minutes drive at he guesthouse. Here you enjoy the hospitality of experience the space surrounding our little planet Earth. The
the Bedouins. They prepare Bedu-style coffee, tea and bread. A short camel ride will give you a taste of their way of travel- Astronomy Center of Marsa Alam is unique in Egypt. Built in the
ling. Not far away is a well where they water their goats, sheep and camels. The place is perfect to enjoy the light show of mountains of the desert it is undisturbed by noise or light from
the setting sun while disappearing behind the mountains. the nearby hotels.Our tours are lead by trained people who help
you to understand the mystery of the Universe.
The Gold Tour
This is a half-day trip to the ancient goldmines in the desert. On this excursion we research ancient history, confront our- We tell you about the star-signs and their mythologies, show you
selves with local environment and experience the nature’s beauty of the desert. From Nakari Bay we follow Wadi Anba Ut live-color images from our telescope on wide screen, and ex-
to the west. Near the shore there are the remains of a roman harbour which was the starting point for the caravan route plain basic astrophysics.
we are partially following on this trip. Along the track we see different roman mining settlements where milling stones can
be found. We also visit an old well with hieroglyphic rock drawings dating back to the Ptolemaic times. In the shade of an
acacia tree the Bedouins will prepare refreshments such as tea and coffee.
Desert Sail Shelatin
Shelatin is the most important tribal market in this part of southern Egypt and it is a melting-pot of different cultures. Sudanese bring camels and
mostly handmade items to trade for goods not available in their country. You will meet the Rashaid, a wealthy beduoin tribe completely dressed
in violet who are the main camel breeders. The Bishari and the Ababda are tribes that have their origins further south. They carry a whip or a
Sun Set Tour dagger as symbols of their status. After finishing their business they return to which ever remote places they came from. Little shops are spread
out over the market area with an incredible amount of various goods. The trip to Shelatin is a three hour drive. Please wear appropriate cloth-
ing that is loose and covering the shoulders and below the knees. These people are not used to our way of life and might get very offended by
disrespectful clothing. Taking photos is possible but asking before helps to prevent.

A Desert Night
This is a night in the desert from sunset till late night by 4WD car and camel. There are two possibilities to reach our campsite deep in the
mountains. We can go by car in one hour or by camels in about three hours. During the evening you will be attended by local people who
make tea, coffee and dinner. On request the Bedouins can prepare goat for dinner; a local speciality.

www.redseadesertadventures.com

38 39
Portfolio
the eco-diving adventure

1993 1994 1999 2006
Onderwater Sport 1993 July Diver 1994 October Al Ahram 1999 June Kite Surfing 1 Diver 2006 June Newsweek International 19 june 2006 Unterwasser 2006 September

Duiken 2006 June SubAqua 2006 June Viaggiand 2006 November

2000 2007 2008
Tauchen 2000 February Egyptian Reporter 2000 July Dive 2000 August Plongeur 2000 Explorer 2007 November SubSea 2008 february Randoplanete 2008 March Raid Objectif Planet 2008 November

Diver Magazine 2008 December

2001 2002 2009
Octopus 2001 June Egyptian Reporter 2001 Sept. Sportdykaren 2001 June Dyk 2002 October Sub 2009 February Diver Magazine 2009 April SubSea 2009 Spring Austen Bannister

Mieux vendre en Mer Rouge 2009 April

2003 2004 Plongee Agypten
Sport Diver2003 november Plongez Oceans 2003 Nov/Dec. Octopus 2003 Dec. Plongeurs 2004 February Plongee 2007 Plongee 2008 Agypten 2004 Agypten 2005 Agypten 2006

iViaggi 2004 May

2005
Tauchen 2005 August Diver 2005 October Tauchen 2005 December Marsa Alam toujours plus au Sud Kite World 2008 Kite Surfing 2007

40 41
Portfolio
the eco-diving adventure

French TV 2001

Carnets de Plongee - French TV - 2002

Abenteuer Widnis 2005
Francis J. Ricciardone Jr - U.S
Ambassador - with Mr. Hossam Helmy.
02 April 2007
Des Racines et des Ailes - French TV - 2007

Nile TV 2007 December

Partners
French TV Objectif Atlantide 2008

Ahram 2008 January

French TV -Direct 8- 2008 May

Al Ahram 2008 November

BBC 2009 May

42 43
This portfolio is a condensed version of our 20 Year Anniversary publication. If Authored by:
you are interested in reading the full version you can purchase one at our villages Abdelrahman Abdelmoneim
or contact marketing@redsea-divingsafari.com. Your support will ensure that we I would like to give a special thanks to:
continue providing our partners and guests with media about the serious envi- Design team: Jaccolien Wallaard - Photography
ronmental issues threatening our world. Shantel Seoane Francis Le Guen - Photography
Olivia Martinez. Dr. Hossam Nassef - Photography
These works are dedicated to the idea of returning back to simplicity and living Dr. Erich Ritter - Photography
in harmony with nature. Everyone else who donated photos.

44 45
The Eco-diving Adventure
Red Sea Diving Safari

20 Years of Adventure
1990 - 2010
RED SEA DIVING SAFARI DIVE SITES

Speed Boat Dive
Truck Dive
Full Day Excursion
Zone 1: Leisure
Zone 2: Classic
Zone 3: Living the Passion

Distances:
40 km. north of Marsa Shagra
78 km. north of Marsa Nakari
180 km. south of Wadi Lahami

Cairo Head Office Marsa Alam
53 El Hussain st. Dokki, Giza - Egypt Eco-diving Villages
tel: +20 2 33 37 18 33 / 33 37 99 42 tel: +20 6 53 38 00 21 / +20 1 22 44 90 73/75
fax: +20 0 37 49 42 19 fax: +20 6 53 38 00 27

www.redsea-divingsafari.com
info@redsea-divingsafari.com

Red Sea Diving Safari, The Eco-diving Adventure

Red Sea Diving Safari Publication c