Ben El Gebel , Hurghada
Ben El Gebel is gentle for any level of divers, sheltered as she is from winds behind the reefs. Table corals here are shelter for crocodile fish
Dive Site Details
Ben El Gebel is gentle for any level of divers, sheltered as she is from the winds behind the reefs. Table corals serve as a hide-out for crocodile fish.
About 90 minutes sailing from Hurghada, the area between Big Giftun and Small Giftun is characterized by a narrow passage. Sometimes referred to as Sha’ ab Torta, Sha’ ab Dorfa or Turft el Shahed, it is more popularly known as Ben el Gebel, meaning ‘ between the mountains’. In fact, Turft el Shahed is an extension of the northern tip of Small Giftun, encircled by ergs.
Though waves may be pounding on the outside reef and the wind may be howling, the lagoon stays calm. You can venture out through the channel. Sheltered from the wind behind the reef, the site of Ben el Gebel suits any level of divers.
The ergs, translating as pinnacles, are the main attraction and can be traced by entering the shallow local channel in westerly direction. Northwest of this channel is a flat sandy patch, scattered with random coral blocks. When you continue heading north, you will be rewarded with the presence of a beautiful erg, perforated by cavities and overhangs.
If you’re feeling lazy then go no further than the three closest ergs. There are some beautiful gorgonians on their northern end. If you’re feeling athletic then head out to the furthest erg; it’s not dived much so it is full of fish and has some impressive overhangs veiled in glassfish.
If you’re feeling adventurous you may wish to drift all the way to the neighbouring Banana Reef. Be alerted however this requires very good air consumption and advanced navigation skills.
At Ben el Gebel numerous gobies live in symbiosis with shrimps on the sandy bottom. The ergs are fully carpeted with soft corals. Crocodilefish find refuge under beautifully shaped table corals in the company of moses sole.
Eagle rays are quite common here and so are feather tailed rays. Orange spot jacks hunt the glassfish beneath the overhangs. Turtles are known to feed in the soft corals. These are literally carpeting the sea floor.