The sea is not a zoo as we all know. Animals tend to do their own thing in their own time, depending on current, time of day, other animals and time of year. There are loads of factors that influence the whereabouts or behavior of animals and surely we only have an educated guess as out knowledge of underwater life is still very small. However we do know out of experience what animal is likely to be found where and under what conditions.
In the following some of the species that a lot of divers are looking for or asking about. Most of these species are only found around the offshore reefs and deep waters, especially when we are taking about shark and ray species. To seek these beauties it is best to book Liveaboard diving trips as they move far away from the mainland. These sharks and rays are unlikely to be seen close house reefs.
So lets have a look.
In the area of Sataya is a big reef with a massive laguna that is known to be a dolphin house for spinner dolphins. Usually in the morning they come in the laguna to relax and play as they are fairly protected from predators while in the laguna. This species is one best to snorkel with inside the laguna. Great for a day or even a week! They can be found year round except for mating season as they start to travel all the Red Sea to find new mates.
Big Bottlenose dolphins
In the north, close to hurghada, you can find a dolphin house where these bottlenose are found. Next to that reef they can be seen in the area of hurghada and El Gouna on a series of divests throughout the year. Also in the south these dolphins are seen, usually in the southern part of the Saint Johns area.
Dugong or Seacow
This large mammal moves around every day, seeking seagrass and a fresh water source. Usually found around bays in the Marsa Alam area as they feed on the grass and can be found year round.
The torpedo ray
This electric ray species prefers sandy areas close to reefs, where it can hide in the sand awaiting prey. Although rarely seen as she hides in the sand she is always around.
Feather tail ray
As we rarely see this ray it is quite hard to say what time of year is best to spot it. What we do know is that it prefers sandy areas and that she is easily scared off.
Blotched stingray or marbled ray
This stingray is a very common ray species and can be fount year round. They prefer sandy bottoms close to reefs with deeper waters.
Oceanic manta ray
Known as one of the smartest fish species she can become quite a big fish. They are curious but a bit shy and can be seen in the Saint Johns area around April and around Daedalus Reef in springtime.
Spotted Eagle ray
This ray species is very curious however quite shy to meet divers. The best way is not to approach them directly but instead put your head in the same direction as theirs and try to hang. Just wait and relax and these beauties will almost surely join you. They eat in sandy areas and like to hang in the current to relax. Juveniles tend to stay in the same area of the reef and adults travel a bit more. To be found year round but quite lucky to encounter one.
Giant moray eel
Feared by some, loved my most and surely one of our best known species in the Red Sea. They like too hang around in the day and get their mouths cleaned by boxer shrimps while at night they come out to hunt. We have them on as good as all reefs and can be spotted year round.
These large wrasse species has the wonderful ability to rotate her eyes individually same like a chameleon. Curious as they are they tend to come and have a look, even though we seem to scare them at the same time. They have a specific reef where they usually live and can be found during the day. At night they hide into the reef for a bit of a rest. Can be found year round and on Saint Johns caves there is a family that usually comes out to play with divers.
Usually found around the side of the reef where it is protected from the current. Its ability to bled into the background is amazing and makes it a hard to spot animal, as this reef octopus mimics the reef. She can be found year round and around many reefs. However she prefers to stay away from divers.
Turtles, green and hawksbill
Seen all year round and best found in the south around Marsa Alam / Port Ghalib and further south although they can appear on any reef.
Grey reef shark
This shark species hangs out around the reef, usually in places where the current hits the reef or the current changes are the biggest. This shark can be found single or in groups and is usually quite shy. Location wise you need to think of deep falling wall like on Elphinstone, Ras Mohamed, Brother Islands, Rocky Island, Zabargad and of course Deadalus.
The scalloped hammerhead shark is quite shy and prefers to live in larger groups. They tend top hang in the colder waters meaning at greater depths. On Daedalus Reef the schooling hammer can be found in the blue water, usually at great depth but at times they shallow up. Single sharks usually are seen on their way to the cleaning station on several reefs, like Brother Islands, Daedalus, Elphinstone and several reefs of Saint Johns. Best chance of meeting them is on Daedalus Reef during the moths of
Longimanus or Oceanic white tip shark
This blue water shark is seen around off shore reefs like Elphinstone, Brother Islands, Daedalus, Rocky Island and Zabargad. She is known to give one of the most intimate shark experiences as she is not scared of any divers and a training/briefing of how to handle this shark while in the water is strongly advised. Best time of year to see this species is around September – December, although she is around all year.
All year round this shark can be found around Daedalus Reef, although around summertime she is seen more. Their appearance very much depends on the currents around the reef. For instance with a current coming from the west they are likely to be seen around the south plateau of the reef.
This oceanic shark species is recognized by its tremendous large upper lobe of the tail and deep big black eyes. She tends to circle reefs at depth and visit cleaning stations as we see them. Best places top spot them is Big brother Island early morning on the cleaning station of the south plateau. Or circling the reef under you on Small Brother Island.
These traveling shark species is usually seen in June, July or August in the area of Hurghada, or Ras Mohamed, Or Brother Islands and Daedalus Reef. She is the largest shark species and feeds on plankton and fish eggs, making her a giant teddybear in the water.
White tip reef shark
This shy shark species is found on several reefs around the Red Sea. In Saint Johns there are several nurseries where you are likely to see a juvenile. The adults are never far away, although they tend to go the other direction as soon as they spot us.
These giants are rarely seen in the Red Sea although we know that they are always out there. They seem to live on deep plateaus and surely live around deeper waters and not directly on the coastline. Best places to keep you eye out is Brother Islands, Daedalus, Elphinstone, Rocky Island, Zabargad and some reefs in the Saint Johns Area.
Of course this is not all!
The amount of species and their variety is amazing and of course we cannot show them all here. So if there is something specific that you are looking for, an animal that you really want to see, than feel free to contact us and we can explain when and where you can find this animal most likely.