5 Reasons Why You Need to Go Freediving in DahabMay 5, 2022
If you are involved in the freediving community, you have no doubt heard of a little place called Dahab. This small Bedouin town sits on the coast of the Red Sea in South Sinai, Egypt. It boasts sunny skies and clear waters throughout the whole year and is a hotspot for freedivers looking to train, hang out, and meet like-minded people. Let us tell you why freediving in Dahab is so renowned in the freediving world.
1.The diving conditions
The conditions for freediving in Dahab are almost perfect year-round. The water temperature in the summer (July/August) reaches a high of around 84 °F (29 °C) and drops to around 66 °F (19 °C) in the winter (January/February). The visibility is rarely less than 65 feet (20 meters), and it is almost always sunny.
There are two places to line-dive in Dahab: Lighthouse Bay, and the Blue Hole.
Lighthouse Bay is the main area of Dahab where you can find restaurants, cafes, and dive schools. It is a great place to hang out on dive days and rest days.
For diving in Lighthouse Bay, you can just head out from one of the restaurants and find depth right from the shore as the ocean floor slopes down very quickly. On a calm day, you can reach up to 164 feet (50 meters) of depth within around a ten-minute swim out.
There is also a 131 feet (40 meters) buoy, a 98 feet (30 meters) buoy, and even a buoy for around 49 feet (15 meters) of depth, all within just a few minutes of swim time from the shore.
The buoys are there permanently, and if you have your own equipment, you can simply swim out and attach your buoy to them.
Finding the buoys is not a problem because there are plenty of other freedivers around who dive there daily. You can swim out to join them or ask people onshore if you are not sure where to head to for your required depth.
Lighthouse Bay is very protected from the wind, and the 131 feet (40 meters), 98 feet (30 meters) and 49 feet (15 meters) buoys are always protected from waves, so even on a day of over 20 knots of wind, you can still dive comfortably.
If you require more depth, you can head to the famous Blue Hole:
The Dahab Blue Hole, a 301 feet (92 meters) deep hole in the reef that was formed in the ice age, is around 40 minutes from the center of Dahab by taxi.
There are many restaurants in front of the Blue Hole, where you can prepare for your dive and grab some lunch afterwards. Most freedivers head to the restaurant called Aquamarina, which over the years has become quite famous in the freediving community and offers delicious, healthy food.
From the restaurant, you can head into the Blue Hole, which is extremely close to shore and has beautiful corals all around the walls.
There is a freediving line across the center of the Blue Hole, that divers can attach their buoys to. Even if you do not require such depth, it is a fun day out and worth seeing while you are freediving in Dahab.
2. You can always find a dive buddy.
Divers of all levels go freediving in Dahab throughout the year. Some live at Dahab full time and make their living from teaching or coaching, whilst some come for a few weeks or months at a time to work on their diving skills, take a freediving course and learn more.
There are always freedivers who are looking for buddies so they can work on their diving without having to spend money on a safety diver or instructor.
The freediving community in Dahab is extremely welcoming; you can head to a restaurant and sit at any table of divers and be greeted with a smile.
There is no sense of elitism, and you will find record-holding freedivers sharing a pot of tea with newly-certified beginners. Conversations circle various freediving topics and you will find yourself learning a lot about freediving in Dahab just from being around these conversations.
There is always someone with a different perspective and someone who knows something that you do not. It is great to surround yourself with other freedivers to gain new perspectives, advice, and encouragement.
A point we would like to stress when looking for a buddy is to know your limits and capabilities. Assuming you have completed a course, you know how to safety another diver.
However, if you are newly certified with a personal best of less than 65 feet (20 meters), you obviously should not volunteer yourself to safety someone who is diving to 295 feet (90 meters).
The same goes for the other way around – if you are looking for a buddy to do safety for you, always find out their diving limits and capabilities.
Make sure they are comfortable and experienced in performing safety for the depth in which you need them to meet you.
If you are not comfortable performing safety for other divers, then it is best to dive through centers that can provide safety for you and where you can practice your skills and safety procedures with an instructor.
Never agree to do a dive that you do not feel comfortable with.
3. It is a great place for learning.
There are many instructors and Dahab dive centers that offer freediving courses. Most will provide you with equipment and organize all the logistics so that you can relax and enjoy your course.
With calm, clear waters, and having depth so close to the shore, freediving in Dahab delivers perfect conditions for learning how to freedive.
Some people find it daunting to go out on a boat to the middle of the ocean and jump into big waves and deep water to begin their freediving journey.
Entering the water from the shore allows you to take your time in a calm environment.
4. There are lots of dive sites for fun diving.
It is not all line, line, line. There are some beautiful reefs to explore around Dahab if you are not just looking to train.
The best places to go freediving in Dahab include:
- Lighthouse Bay: As well as the training lines, Lighthouse Bay has a nice coral reef, starting close to the shore. You can follow the coral around a slight corner and hopefully spot turtles, napoleon fish, lionfish and more.
But it does not stop there. In the middle of the bay sits a life-size elephant statue at around 82 feet (25 meters) deep. The top is at around 65 feet (20 meters) and you can just about see it from the surface on a clear day.
- Eel Garden: Our favorite dive site for fun diving, Eel Garden is around a ten-minute walk from Lighthouse Bay and has arguably the best corals in Dahab.
As well as a gorgeous reef, there is also white sand at around 32 feet (10 meters) deep, with thousands of garden eels poking their heads out to have a peek.
It is only accessible on a day with low winds, and at high tide, as you have to swim over the reef to reach the drop-off.
- Canyon: This is a more advanced fun-diving spot, which is very popular with scuba divers. The Canyon is a crack in the ocean floor at around 65 feet (20 meters) deep, which you can swim into and descend a further 32 feet (10 meters) into the canyon to look around.
The Canyon descends even further through a narrow passage which is only suitable for technical divers.
- Gabr el Bint: Many scuba centers offer boat trips to Gabr el Bint, which is around 1.5 hours south of Dahab. There is no road there for cars, meaning it is not a busy, touristic location, which keeps the reef in very good condition.
Carpets of colorful corals await you at this dive site and if you are very lucky you might spot a whale shark or dolphin.
Freediving competitions are held in Dahab and Sharm El Sheikh throughout the year. Divers come from all over the world to compete for their country.
With good diving conditions guaranteed, and 301 feet (92 meters) of depth available, Dahab’s Blue Hole is an excellent location for competitions.
There is no concern about having to cancel due to strong wind or current.
Dahab is a very special place for freedivers to train, hang out, and enjoy the beautiful Red Sea waters. It is simply one of the most welcoming places to go diving in the Red Sea.
Will you be booking a trip to go freediving in Dahab this year?