The St. John’s reefs lie directly south of the Peninsula (Ras) Banas, near Hamata and close to the Sudanese border. It covers an area of sea of roughly 290 km² and has a great diversity of diving environments. Healthy reefs, wall diving, drift diving and caverns come to mind.
The plateau of Saint Johns is home to a large variety of reef structures, each giving a different type of marine life. For instance caves are excellent places to look for juvenile, including baby sharks, and nudibranchs. The cave offers these animals the protection that they seek. This is very different from for instance a mountain coming from the deep or a forrest of pinnacles. The more current around means basically chance of pelagics. For shark activity best time to go to Saint Johns is April-may.
DIVE SITE SPECS
Year round, in the winter currents and wind pick up
Type of diving:
Drift along deep walls and no night dive allowed.
Advanced & comfortable with currents & depth.
DIVE SITES OF THE AREA
Saint Johns Caves
Farsha Umm Khararim
one of the famous sites is the area is Umm Aruk, mother of pinnacles as she is the home of a forrest of these pillars. The pinnacles start at a depth of 20-25 meters and some reach all the way up to the surface. Diving is done either by zodiac from north to south as there is a current running, or from and back to the boat as the current is small. Because of its geography this is a very nice dive site as she offers a pinnacle for each of us to explore, hence we usually not dive in one group. And each pinnacle is heavily overgrown with soft corals and anemones, making a home to lots of macro life.
On this dive site you can expect juvenile white tip reef sharks, a sea turtle coming in to rest, tuna and trivially hunting, a Napoleon swimming together with some of the trivially and goat fish, large moray eels, stone fish, scorpion fish and at times some large barracuda running up to a stunning 1,5 meter.
SAINT JOHNS CAVES
The number one site of the area is Saint John Caves. This dive site has a very large and shallow cavern system, a stunning coral garden, a lagoon and pinnacles. The dive usually focusses on the cavern that runs from East to West on the South of the reef. The Caverns are cracked open on the top making awesome ambient light. Our advise is to make the dive with a guide as they know the entire cavern and make sure you get to see it completely.
WHAT TRIPS BRING YOU THERE?
These dives can be done by Liveaboard, where you combine the best dive sites in a weeks diving. The following trips offer it as part of their program: