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The house reef of the Shams Alam Beach Resort, located in the Wadi Gimal Nature Reserve, offers convenient snorkeling with a mixture of coral reefs and seagrass meadows, and a myriad of marine creatures. Along with an abundance of vibrantly colored reef fish, green turtles, guitarfish, crocodile flathead and octopus also reside on the site. However, the corals there are in poor condition.

Snorkeling with green sea turtles at Shams Alam
The seagrass beds at Middle Bay are frequently visited by Green sea turtles.

How to go snorkeling at the Shams Alam Beach Resort?

The Shams Alam Beach Resort is located in the southern part of Marsa Alam, more than 100 kilometers south of the region’s airport. It is part of the Wadi Gimal Nature Reserve. The snorkeling spot is about 1500 meters south of the Gorgonia Beach Resort, which also has good snorkeling.

The possibilities of accessing this spot without staying at Shams Alam Beach Resort are uncertain, as the beach is private and guarded.

Shams Alam Beach Resort snorkeling map
Shams Alam Beach Resort snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling at the Shams Alam Beach Resort

This spot has several snorkel entries:

  1. The beach at the Shams Alam Beach Resort, which faces Middle Bay, where you can usually encounter sea turtles (snorkel entry 1 on the map).
  2. North Bay Beach. This snorkel entry (number 2 on the map) is especially recommended if you want to drift snorkel following the north-south current and then exit the water either at the jetty or at the southern exit point.
  3. The pontoon facing the diving club (snorkel entry 3 on the map), is the recommended water entrance if you want to explore the South Bay. Indeed, if there is a current, it can be tough to snorkel from the pontoon to Middle Bay. Alternatively, you can enter the water from the beach (snorkel entry 4).
  4. If you are an advanced snorkeler, you can consider walking north to the Gorgonia Beach Resort (20 minutes), entering the water from the resort’s jetty, and then drift snorkeling back to the Shams Alam Resort (1500 meters, approximately 1 hour). Don’t go alone and wear swim fins.

Shams Alam Beach Resort reef snorkeling exploration

The house reef of Shams Alam has several interesting features, in particular seagrass beds and coral reefs.

A blackspotted rubberlip and a twobar seabream at Shams Alam
A Blackspotted rubberlip and a Twobar seabream at the foot of the house reef.

1/ The seagrass beds of Middle Bay

The central part of the bay is sandy and shelters seagrass meadows where 5 or 6 Green sea turtles are found almost every day. The Halavi ray, a spectacular fish that can grow to 50 inches in length, is also a frequent visitor to the bay.

The seagrass beds are visited by other species such as pufferfish, boxfish, and flounders.

Greasy grouper at Shams Alam
A Greasy grouper at the jetty.

2/ The reef areas of North Bay and South Bay

The north and south of the snorkeling location feature a diversity of underwater reliefs including flats, patch reefs, slopes and drop-offs. The corals are unfortunately in poor condition, with large areas of bleached corals.

The sea life, however, remains extremely dense and includes around a hundred species of reef fish, octopuses, and other invertebrates.

Halavi guitarfish at Shams Alam
The Halavi ray, also called Halavi guitarfish, is commonly encountered in Middle Bay’s seagrass beds.

Snorkeling the reefs, you will easily spot Bluecheek butterflyfish, Red Sea anemonefish, Coral hind, and Lionfish (see the list of species already observed at this location at the bottom of the page).

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

This spot is the house reef of the Shams Alam Beach Resort.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaWadi Gimal Nature Reserve
  • Maximum depth20 feet/6 meters
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach or a jetty
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsStay at the Shams Alam Beach Resort
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

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.