Dahab is known for the Blue Hole, a main diving and snorkeling destination in the Red Sea, but the reef just in front of Mashraba area is quite good (although not as good as the Blue Hole) and it’s all for you, and a few more people that you will spot in the distance. This is a great place for people who want to avoid crowds, and particularly recommended for beginners, although the water entrance (on a shallow reef flat) can be tough at low tide. On the reef flat and the drop off, you’ll spot a fantastic diversity of fish species, including butterflyfish, moray eels, angelfish and stingray.

Red sea raccoon butterflyfish at Mashraba, Dahab
The reef flat is poor in coral, but many fish species can be spotted here, such as the Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish (Chaetodon fasciatus), always seen in pairs.

How to get to Mashraba reef snorkeling spot?

This reef is located alongside Mashraba area, in the southern part of the town of Dahab. It can be accessed from any hotel or private/public beach along the promenade, a lively walking area running along Mashraba’s shore.

Mashraba snorkeling map, Dahab

Water entrance for snorkeling Mashraba

The water access is direct from the promenade (or private resto-bar beach) to a rocky shore that in high tide is approximately 2ft/50cm deep. Unlike in many other places in the Red Sea, there is no pontoon on the reef that would allow snorkelers to enter the water directly to the drop off. To reach the reef drop off you will then need to swim away for 50 to 70 meters across shallow waters over the dead reef flat.

Mashraba reef snorkeling exploration

The snorkeling area encompasses the 50 to 70 meters-wide coral reef extending along Mashraba’s shore.

A geometric moray in Mashraba
Moray eels are quite common at Mashraba’s reef (here, a geometric moray –Gymnothorax griseus- among funnel weed)

After crossing a narrow rocky shore, the reef flat is partially covered by funnel weed (Padina sp.) and other species of algae. While swimming across its shallow waters you may encounter several defying moray eels or a bluespotted stingray, until you approach the reef drop off, where you’ll find a lot of activity: tens of fish species including wrasses, surgeonfish, parrotfish, squirrelfish, puffers, angelfish and butterflyfish swim around the hard corals and, looking down the reef slope, hovering schools of goatfish add to the wonderful view. The bottom soon gets very steep, but its recommended to explore the shallow reef margin, where all the action happens.

Mashraba coral reef
On the reef drop off, you’ll swim over a great diversity of hard and soft coral.

Mashraba’s reef is most of time great for snorkeling, but do not enter the water if the water is too shallow on the reef flat, or if some waves are breaking on the reef edge.

Restaurants and accommodation in Mashraba

There are plenty of accommodation choices along the promenade, including Acacia Hotel (in front of which most of the pictures on this page have been taken), Nesima Resort and Diving Center, Shams Hotel & Dive Center, Seaview Hotel Dahab and Dyarna Dahab Hotel. A large choice of restaurants, cafés and bars is available on the waterfront.

Discover Dahab’s seafront fantastic sea life in this video 👇 shot by Gavensmar.

 

  • Level required Intermediary
  • Maximum depth3ft/1m on the reef flat, +25ft/8m on the drop off
  • Potential DangersLionfish/scorpionfish, cone shells, urchins. Do not walk on the reef flat.
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes, large choice along the promenade

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.