Red Sea dive veteran John (25 trips and counting!) takes a fresh look at diving in Egypt with a trip to Roots Red Sea.
Having dived the Red Sea quite a few times over the years, it was great to experience it in a slightly different way with my recent week at Roots Red Sea. As soon as you arrive, things feel different to most hotels and resorts in Egypt. The quiet and relaxed atmosphere envelops you as soon as you arrive. There’s a great sense of peace about the place. Roughly halfway along the coastline between Hurghada and Marsa Alam, Roots has just two views, the beautiful sea to the front and desert mountains to the rear. This lovely location really gives you the feeling that you have well and truly left the crowds behind.
I flew into Hurghada and followed the scenic coast road past Safaga, down to just outside El Quseir. On arrival at Roots, I was struck immediately by the welcoming and friendly staff, most of whom I got to know well during my stay. With the majority of the guests being divers, snorkellers or involved in conservation volunteering projects, the way in which Roots has been designed is ideal. It’s rather like being on a liveaboard… but on land. The bar and restaurant areas are small and intimate, with almost a family atmosphere. This gives everyone the opportunity to sit and chat before and after diving, helping themselves to the delicious meals. There’s nothing better than a good chat about the days’ events over a beer and dinner with other divers and those who care about our oceans.
Let’s go diving!
But what about the diving, I’m sure you’re asking. Well, of course, diving in the Red Sea is always great, but there are some things I particularly liked about the diving here. For one, it’s always amazing to still see marine life that I’ve not seen before. Especially the large schools of juvenile fish that were encountered on many dives. A huge school of small Barracuda for instance, that swirled around in a big ball, or scores of tiny Bannerfish at a couple of locations. But I think my favourite spot of the week was the hundreds of small Yellow Snapper and Bigeyes that cloaked a large pinnacle, almost blocking it from view, until you swam towards them and they parted like a massive curtain.
There’s also the chance to encounter plenty of bigger creatures at Roots too. Both Green and Hawksbill Turtles were regularly seen up close, and on a couple of dives some Eagle Rays passed by. I heard of schools of Dolphins being sighted by other divers and was lucky enough to get a quick glimpse of the local Dugong. But, as always happens, a family had spent 15 minutes with it just a few days before. Oh well, it’s my turn next time!
Choice of diving
Roots has a very nice house reef in the bay in front of the resort, which I dived the first day and also as my last dive of the week. It’s so good that I’ve heard that some divers even spend the whole week diving on the house reef here, and it’s especially popular with underwater photographers.
Most of the dives I did were either shore dives (accessed up and down the coast by minbus) or some sites are from their zodiac. There are also options for special trips further afield, such as Abu Dabab, Dolphin House, Salem Express wreck, and the famous Elphinstone Reef. None of those for me this time, as I have been lucky enough to dive all of them a few times before.
So, as the week came to a close I was more than satisfied that I had experienced the classic quality of Red Sea diving with enough ‘newness’ to make it exciting and worth a second visit another time. Overall a great week, with many lasting memories, a few half decent photos, and plenty of new friends. I will be back soon!
Interested in a dive holiday at Roots Red Sea?
Roots is ideal for:
- Experiencing a wide variety of dives – prime location for Red Sea diving
- Discovering new marine life – rich biodiversity of local reefs
- Experienced, friendly resort and dive staff
- Flexible and eco-friendly dive practices
- Comfortable, dive-orientated resort – relax with with like-minded divers!
Find out more about diving at Roots Red Sea HERE.
Want to find out more about diving the Egyptian Red Sea? Click here to read our destination guide.
If you would like to chat about diving in the Red Sea, please give our dive travel experts a call on 01473 852002 or email us and we will be happy to tell you more!