The last two days here in Egypt´s Sinai have been quite exciting for me: On thursday we had a beautiful boat trip to some of the best divesites around Dahab. Therefor we headed south to „Gabr el Bint“ as one of the divesites is named. Here you can still find quite intact coral reefs because of the secluded location („Gabr el Bint“ is only accessible either by boat or camel). From time to time you can even spot whalesharks and dolphins during the dives here – compared to other divesites in Dahab, currents here can be relatively strong, which provides lots of nutrients for this area. These nutrients attract lot of different species, sometimes up to the big predators in the foodchain (which is usually not common in the waters around Dahab). But also without big pelagic fish this spot is worth a trip: Loads of hard- and soft corals, gorgonians, dogtooth tuna and trevallies, turtles and different rays make dives at the most southern divesites of Dahab unforgettable! On our way back to Dahab we were quite lucky to spot a small pod of Risso´s Dolphins (probably the same pod which has been seen 2 weeks before). Usually this species doesn´t swim close to boats as some other species of Dolphins do. During this encounter everybody on the boat was smiling and screeching like a little child and probably did it even long time after the trip 😉
On friday we had a really nice trip to the Nabq national park north of Sharm el Sheikh. This protected area is especially known for the worlds most northern mangroves. This mangroves are habitat for many different bird species as reef herons or ospreys. In the lagoon, between the aerial roots, juvenile reef fishes look for shelter from bigger predators. Loads of upside-down jellyfishes were feeding on plankton in the shallow waters and on our way through the lagoon to the wreck of the „Maria Schröder“ a bluespotted stingray and a snowflaked moray passed our way. In the tidal area, thousands of fiddler crabs crawl around and hide in their holes as soon as they notice you approaching. Unfortunately even in this protected area plastic legacys of people were found quite often. Plastic waste is a big issue in this region. It is omnipresent even in remote desert areas but meeting some of the beduins who live here also showed me, that the people of the Sinai currently have other problems than thinking about their plastic usage. Nevertheless and without judging the natives, it can be quite frustrating to see how the environment is polluted (and of course not only by the natives but also by careless tourists).