Sudan Red Sea Diving
Join a liveaboard cruise to the Southern Red Sea in Sudan where history, clear water and uncrowded pristine sites make this an ideal destination.
Sudan is just south of Egypt but a world apart regarding being a dive destination. Compared to the North of the Red Sea, Sudan offers uncrowded dive sites with the same fantastic visibility. The relatively untouched reefs are pristine and offer world-class diving.
A liveaboard is the best, and easiest option for diving Sudan as the day trip diving infrastructure is not set up in the country yet. The liveaboards themselves offer luxury but are still budget friendly. For the South Red Sea waters, it is best to have an advanced certificate with some experience to gain the most for the cruises. Diversity is very rich here; there are over 1500 fish species and more than 400 corals.
Take a look at the Liveaboard Cruise options below.
Sudan Red Sea Diving - 7 LIVEABOARDS
Royal Evolution Liveaboard operates in Sudan & Egypt is a 40m luxury dive liveaboard that caters for 24 guests. There are 12 large double occupancy cabins with ensuite bathrooms, climate controlled and have picture windows. A large dining area and multiple lounge areas mean plenty of space to relax onboard. There is a spacious dive deck that is well organised with individual lockers and set up area. Nitrox is available, and there is a camera station.Book Now
Felicidad II liveaboard is in Sudan. Completely renovated in 2018, a 32m steel liveaboard that has eight en suite cabins with both twin and double bed set up on the lower deck. The indoor saloon has a minibar, entertainment system and library and can be used for indoor dining if required. The upper deck has alfresco dining, and there are comfortable sofas and a sundeck with sunbeds and mattresses. There is a spacious deck with storage space and nitrox available.Book Now
Elegante Liveaboard operates in Djibouti & Sudan is a traditional wooden schooner that was completely renovated in 2009. She is 25 metres long and comfortably accommodates a maximum of 14 guests in 7 air-conditioned, en-suite cabins. Enjoy al fresco dining and a relaxed atmosphere on board. Elegante is under Italian management and is staffed by a crew with years of experience in the Red Sea. Discover the untouched underwater wonders of Sudan and the whale sharks of Djibouti.Book Now
Diving is diverse, with famous sites in the Sudan region of the Red Sea such as the wreck Umbria to the beautiful coral reefs. Shark diving is a favourite activity with Sudan being one of the best places in the Middle East to see the huge volumes. Jacques Cousteau even based himself here for some of the underwater living research he conducted.
Best Places to Dive in Sudan Red Sea
The development of Sudan as a dive destination has been restricted in the past by relatively tricky access to Sudan’s coastal waters. The country’s reefs, therefore, remain uncrowded with only a few divers each year, so they are well preserved. Some of the sites have historical significance including the wreck of the Conshelff II from Cousteau. The Umbria is one of the best-preserved wrecks worldwide from the second world war.
Marine life is diverse and copious. Schools of fish are present everywhere, stingrays, eels and turtles are common sightings. Pelagic life includes the many shark species, even hammerheads in the correct season. Mantas, whale sharks, manatees and dolphins are all seen in the southern Red Sea. Topography is a mix of reefs, drop-offs, plateaus and wreck dives, most of which are within recreational dive limits.
Best Dive Sites in Sudan Red Sea
This is a remote site east of Mukawwar Island where it is almost guaranteed to have the dive site alone. The name means Mother of Sharks which gives an insight into the marine life found there. For experienced divers the site is ideal, it is a deep water plateau that connects to a reef that rises to 10m. The blue water of the deep area can have hammerheads and tiger sharks, along with silver tip and grey reef sharks. At the plateau and reef there are huge schools of tuna, snappers and trevally, and in the summer months are manta rays. The picturesque and colourful reef has many reef fish.
The Umbria Wreck
Deemed as one of the best wreck dives in the world this site is renowned in Sudan. An Italian war vessel she was scuttled in 1940 by the Italian crew to avoid her being taken by the British when the war was declared in Sudan. She was loaded with 350,000 bombs and weapons in her cargo hold as well as the trucks that offer interest to divers. At 150m in length, she is a large area to explore, but the depth range is between 35 and 5m with the masts breaking the surface at low tide, so bottom time is usually not a problem. Coral encrusted with schooling fish and many crustaceans on her hull she has openings in the desk where penetration is possible.
Cousteau's Conshelf (or Precontinent II)
This is one of the best known and most unusual and historical dive sites in Sudan and maybe worldwide. It was the location of one of Cousteau’s underwater living projects. Here are the remains of the village where five oceanauts resided along with a parrot for a month. There was electricity, air conditioning, fresh water and even TV here for them to enjoy while making new discoveries for science and medicine. There are shark cages, a hanger, and a tool shed still intact, but only certified divers can enter the structures' confined spaces. Species behaviours were studied here via a submersible including the many sharks that surround the area.
The Toyota Wreck
Also called the Blue Belt Wreck is a cargo ship sank after hitting the reef in 1977, she was loaded with cars, trucks, tractors and spare parts, which gives the sites name. At 103m in length, she is large and sits upside down on an incline. Unfortunately, she slipped down the reef, and the deeper part is beyond 60m. In an attempt to reflect her after sinking the cargo was removed from the hold and is now scattered on the seabed. The cargo makes the site interesting with the trucks and cars that are now coral encrusted making for fun photographs.
Sudan has much to offer divers, with the historically unique Precontinent II and one of the best wreck dives in the world, not to mention the shark dives a liveaboard here is a perfect destination. For more information about Sudan Dive Sites please click on the photo.
Sudan Red Sea Scuba Diving Highlights
- Common sightings - Reef sharks, turtles, stingrays, barracuda
- Special sightings - Whale sharks, hammerheads, manta rays, tiger sharks, manatees, dolphins
- Topography - Reefs, drop offs, wrecks, plateaus
- Visibility - 30m+
- General information - Experience and certification requirements vary for the liveaboard trips depending on the itinerary. The Red Sea is very salty meaning weights will need to be adjusted to compensate for increased buoyancy as a result of this.
Best Time to Go
Sudan can be a year-round destination, but cruises departures are reduced from July to September.
High season is considered to be March to June or October and November.
The winter season is December to February when the water temperature drops to 23C. The sea conditions can be choppy at this time due to the wind increasing. However, this is the best visibility and opportunity to see hammerhead sharks.
March to June are peak season and the spring months in Sudan with comfortable temperatures on land and underwater.
July to September are low season for the whole of the Red Sea with the temperatures becoming uncomfortable.
October and November are autumn and temperatures are comfortable. This is the best time for spotting the thresher sharks and manta rays.
Water temperatures vary during the year, a 3mm short to a 5mm long suit would be required depending on the season you join the cruise.
How to Get There
Port Sudan is the main departure point for the safaris, and the closest airport is Port Sudan New International Airport. There are some international flights here but guests can also transit via Cairo or Khartoum.
Transfers are generally included from the airport to the liveaboard.
Local time vs GMT
What to pack
Food and drink
Sudanese Pound (SDG)
Sudanese Arabic and English is spoken widely
Port Sudan New International Airport (PZU)
Suncream, lightweight and beach apparel, cover up for cooler evenings
29 - 40 C daytime, 18 - 30 C evenings
Peanuts, porridge with sauces of meat and vegetables to flavour it, middle-eastern spices