Panorama Reef and Middle Reef are two major sites in the Red Sea. Gorgonians, alcyonarians, coral, and fauna galore, Panorama Reef and Middle Reef offer the best of diving in Egypt.
They are accessible by diving cruise or diving stay in Safaga or Soma Bay if your choice is hotel accommodation.
Diving at Panorama Reef
The place is fabulous. This reef, all in length, is at the water’s edge, it bathes in turquoise waters. Panorama Reef is the largest reef around Safaga, with a depth of 400m. We discover a superb panoramic view of the reef with vertiginous drop offs covered with coral. We can explore the reef on different sides. Usually, diving centers organize a dive on the northern part and another on the southern part. The current is sometimes strong, and it frequents the site as much by reef fauna as by offshore fauna.
The North plateau. You will start the dive by flying over a large plateau covered with tables of acropora and gorgonians. The on-site guard may greet you: a big napoleon! In the blue, jacks, barracudas, tunas, and sometimes white tip shark’s roam. We have seen hammerhead sharks at the site.
Access to this part of the reef is by inflatable boat, the site can be dived in drift diving.
The South plateau. We observe stingrays, scorpion fish, moray eels, parrotfish, wrasse, and triggerfish. A fault shelters superb gorgonians and “glassfish”. Further on the plateau, groupers and even morays inhabit the place.
The site is also famous for its Anemone City, a sanctuary for anemones and clownfish. Turn to the blue from time to time, the currents and the exuberant fauna of the site sometimes attract bigger predators.
Diving at Middle Reef
This large reef is even further south. It is mushroom shaped; it offers calm anchorages and drift dives. Here again we observe fabulous drop offs with large plateaus covered with hard corals. The East South dive will surprise you with its magnificent coral gardens, among the most beautiful in the Red Sea. Arriving in the South, the architecture changes. There is a labyrinth made up of caves, tunnels and coral potatoes, a superb playground to end the dive.
The north-west part is also beautiful, still with the same coral garden covered with gorgonians and alcyonarians. The plateau is narrower. On the West we can see some coral potatoes resting on a sandy bottom. The fauna is many and varied. Large schools of tuna and barracudas patrol among turtles and eagle rays. One of these potatoes is inhabited by a multitude of “glassfish”. This lunar landscape is superb, at the end of the dive you can explore a small cave and admire the play of light.