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Elphinstone Reef

Elphinstone is the main and best place in The Red Sea to dive with several species of sharks, including the Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus). You might think that to encounter pelagics like this at such an unspoilt reef that the dive site is in the middle of nowhere.
Elphinstone Reef

Elphinstone Reef is a world-renowned dive site in the Red Sea near Marsa Alam, Egypt. The reef attracts divers worldwide with its stunning underwater topography, diverse marine life, and exciting diving experiences.

History of Elphinistone

Elphinstone Reef is named after the British frigate HMS Elphinstone, which sank in the area in 1752. The reef is a submerged plateau that rises from the seabed to just a few meters below the surface, and it’s been a popular dive site for many years.

Diving in Elphinistone

Elphinestone is a large, oval-shaped reef that rises from the seafloor to within a few meters of the surface. The reef is approximately 300 meters long and 50 meters wide, and is surrounded by deep, blue waters that offer breathtaking views. The site is known for its steep walls, rich marine life, and strong currents, making it a popular spot for experienced divers.

Divers who visit Elphinestone will be treated to a variety of marine life, including schools of colorful fish, sea turtles, rays, and even the occasional shark. The walls of the reef are covered in hard and soft corals, and the underwater landscape is dotted with caverns and swim-throughs that offer a sense of adventure.

One of the most popular dive sites at Elphinestone is the North Plateau, which is located on the northern tip of the reef. This site is known for its large schools of barracuda, as well as the occasional hammerhead shark. The South Plateau, located on the southern tip of the reef, is another popular spot that offers divers the chance to see a variety of marine life, including moray eels, octopuses, and giant clams.

In addition to the North and South Plateaus, there are several other dive sites at Elphinestone that are worth exploring. The Wall, for example, is a steep drop-off that offers stunning views of the surrounding waters. The Dolphin House, located on the western side of the reef, is another popular spot that is home to a large pod of spinner dolphins.

Diving in Elphinestone is best suited for experienced divers due to the strong currents and deep waters. However, there are also shallower areas of the reef that are suitable for beginners. Regardless of your level of experience, diving in Elphinestone is an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave you with lasting memories.

Marine Life at Elphinistone

Elphinstone Reef is a hub for marine life, with abundant colorful fish and vibrant coral gardens. Divers can spot schools of barracuda, tuna, and jacks and different types of reef sharks, such as whitetip and grey reef sharks. The reef is also home to several species of hard and soft corals, making it an ideal location for underwater photography.

Liveaboard trips to Elphinistone

Elphinstone Reef is a popular destination for liveaboard trips in the Red Sea. Many diving operators offer trips to the reef, where divers can dive at the site and explore the surrounding areas for several days. Liveaboard trips allow divers to experience the best of the Red Sea’s diving opportunities, including exploring the many dive sites, spotting diverse marine life, and enjoying the stunning underwater scenery.


Elphinstone Reef is an excellent dive site in the Red Sea for experienced divers seeking a challenging yet rewarding diving experience. The site offers diverse marine life, stunning underwater topography, and exciting diving opportunities that make it a must-visit location for any diving enthusiast. With liveaboard trips available to the reef, divers can immerse themselves in the beauty of the Red Sea and explore one of its most famous dive sites.

Where is Elphinstone Reef?

Elphinstone Reef is located in the southern Red Sea, near Marsa Alam in Egypt.

  • Nicolas De Smyter
    a year ago
    Very nice location to go diving. When we were here, there was a lot of things we got to see. It of course depends on different factors what you actually see, but it is definitely worth to do a couple of dives here.
  • S. Diggelmann
    6 years ago
    Awesome reef for diving. Alot of fish and coral.
  • So nice dive spot. Unfortunatly of course overcrowded. Hopefully we will beware this nature.
  • Ismail Zohdy
    a year ago
    Best dive site with sharks in the red sea I dont recommend going with a speed boat from shore if wind is more than 18 knots - its usually 18 knots Sharks are amazing and you get to sea oceanic white tip sharks - long manous - and hammer head sharks along with tiger sharks
  • Marc Stöneberg
    3 years ago
    Super Dive Spot 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions for Elphinstone Reef

Is Elphinstone Reef suitable for beginner divers?

Elphinstone Reef is recommended for advanced divers due to its depth and strong currents.

How deep is Elphinstone Reef?

The depth of Elphinstone Reef ranges from 20 to 70 meters, making it suitable for experienced divers.

What is the best time of year to dive in Elphinstone Reef

Elphinstone Reef can be dived all year-round, but the best time to visit is from August to November when there is a higher chance to see hammerhead sharks.

Is it necessary to have a diving certification to dive at Elphinstone Reef?

Yes, it is necessary to have an advanced open water certification or equivalent to dive at Elphinstone Reef due to the strong currents and depth of the dive sites.

What kind of marine life can be seen at Elphinstone Reef?

Elphinstone Reef is known for its diverse marine life including reef sharks, barracudas, tuna, and sometimes even the elusive oceanic whitetip shark. There are also various types of hard and soft coral, as well as different species of fish and other sea creatures.

Is it required to have a dive guide when diving at Elphinstone Reef?

While not required, it is highly recommended to have a dive guide when diving at Elphinstone Reef due to the strong currents and the unpredictable behavior of some marine life.


to Elphinstone reef
  • Included

    ● 2 Meals & soft drinks
    ● Tanks & Weights
    ● Dive Guide

  • Exclude

    ● 15L Tanks
    ● Nitrox
    ● Dive Computer & Torch


per 2 dives from Marsa Alam

(BCD, Fins, Mask, Suit, Regulator, Octopus, Instruments)
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