Steve Millard discovers Makadi Bay house reef

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Makadi bay is a tranquil, horse shoe shaped bay nestled between the sand dunes of the desert and the exquisite, clear, life-filled Red Sea between Safaga and Hurghada in Egypt. It is within travelling distance of many wonderful experiences such as dolphin safaris, wreck dives and cave diving. It also boasts its own tropical house reef ideal for Freediving, snorkeling and SCUBA.

The atmosphere in the area is one of relaxation, calm, peace and serenity, away from the hustle and bustle of Western life. Gentle ocean breezes and the sound of waves, the Egyptian mountains standing proud in the background, some amazing sunsets meaning it all equates to a sense of wellbeing when in the area.

In future blogs, we can look at the opportunities in this area and surrounding areas, but this post will concentrate on the house reef and diving opportunities there.

The reef is easily accessible from the shore, you can quite literally don equipment and walk to the water from the centre. The depth is a gentle shelf, ideal for snorkelers near the edges, and it drops down very gradually giving suitable depths for all recreational SCUBA and freediving levels. Under the area roped off for the power craft you can easily get 30-40 metres of depth, and only a short swim further you are at whatever depth you want, certainly more than 100 metres as anyone remembering the Freediving world championships held there just over a decade ago will know.

The water visibility is fantastic as shown in the pictures, but a small torch could be useful as there are many parts of the reef with great hiding places for the resident octopus, moray and lion fish amongst others. The octopus are a particular favourite of mine as they have an amazing ability to change colour and shape and blend in with their backgrounds.

The health of this reef means that there are many big shoals of fish too, trevally, glass fish, angel fish and more; the shoals are spectacular, you can completely immerse yourself in them as if you are part of the shoal.

To help the reef further a few areas have had artificial reefs added, and these have already blossomed with a wide variety of reef life; a great idea to add them to a couple of the flatter areas.

There is at least one resident turtle on the reef too, who gently glides past every now and again on his travels. We have spotted eagle rays, and whip tail rays, crocodile fish and many nudibranchs for the keenest of eyes. All of the usual ‘suspects’ can be found there too, and because the bay is so sheltered and calm it is a photographer’s dream to be able to get themselves set up for great shots.

Once the dive has finished, a one minute walk, wash the kit in the well maintained cleaning tanks, and you can be at the café or bar before you have dried off completely. Great location indeed.

Our recommendation in the bay for the perfect dive school is IDive which a 5 star PADI IDC Centre, and is owned by Carlo Cogliati and Erika Marchino who are two great, approachable and loveable personalities, making the back bone of a very experienced and professional team. They have a host of other instructors and staff, all of whom are dedicated and passionate about giving the best experience possible for customers coming to the centre. They know the area incredibly well and will be able to look after your needs.

You can find out more about diving with IDive below:

Steve Millard

Steve Millard

Steve Millard is a UK based AIDA Instructor Trainer who is the owner of Apneists UK freediving group. www.learn2freedive.com . Currently Chair of the British Freediving Association and the UKs leading competition organiser.

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