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Business as usual for the Red Sea Resorts

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Despite the horrific scenes of violence in Cairo that we’ve all seen on the news over the last few days, the official line from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is that it is still safe to travel to the Red Sea Resorts in Southern Sinai.

This is the FCO’s current (as of the morning of Friday 16th August) report for the Red Sea Resorts:

In the governorate of South Sinai the FCO advise against all but essential travel, with the exception of the Red Sea Resorts including those in the entire region of Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab; the St Catherine’s Monastery World Heritage Site; road travel between the Red Sea resorts; road travel from the Red Sea resorts to St Catherine’s Monastery approaching from the east; and transfers between the resorts and the airports of Taba and Sharm el Sheikh.

In Hurghada on 14 August there were some violent clashes, in an area away from tourist resorts. One man was killed. Hurghada Police advised tourists to remain in hotel grounds. We advise you to follow their advice. You are strongly advised to avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings. If you become aware of any nearby protests, leave the area immediately. Do not attempt to cross road blocks erected by the security forces or protestors.

Here’s what some of the dive centres in the Red Sea had to say:

“Thanks to all those who have been in touch to ask how we are. Just to let our divers know it’s business as usual here in Sharm El Shiekh. Our night dive last night, Thistlegorm this morning and our usual day boat were not affected by the events in Cairo. Sharm is peaceful and quiet as usual. For those of you concerned about the profits of the Stella Bar, please be reassured that the Elite Team are doing their utmost to keep them in business! ” – Elite Diving

“Many thanks to all our guests who have contacted us about the situation in Sharm El Sheikh. Sharm El Sheikh and surrounding areas remain completely calm despite recent unrest experienced in Cairo and other large Egyptian cities. All our diving and snorkeling trips continue to run as normal. Today we have approximately 40 guests diving with us, with three boats departing for daily diving at Tiran and local sites. We have plenty of new divers taking PADI courses diving from our beach and diver training pool. Guests from nine European countries including the UK are staying with us at Camel Hotel at present. Our own restaurants, bars and beach are operating as normal, as are other venues in Naama Bay. There are no restrictions on the consumption of alcohol. Internet and mobile phone networks are fully working.” – Camel Dive Club

“An update from Sharm: The sun is out, The sky is blue, There are no tanks or fights to spoil the view, On a day like this the only thing missing is you!!!!! As ever Sharm is safe and hundreds of miles from the troubles in Cairo, so don’t let what you see on the news put you off – we hope to see you soon!” – Red Sea Diving College

“We will bring you more details as and when there are developments, but in the meantime we would like to reassure all our guests, friends and agents that our three southern villages are completely unaffected and are a long way from these incidents. Our guests on site are enjoying their holidays and diving as usual with no effect from events going on elsewhere in Egypt. We are also in close contact with authorities in Marsa Alam and Hurghada to ensure that should any incidents occur in these cities, we will be well-informed. ” – Red Sea Diving Safari

For a full report on the FCO’s travel advice for Egypt, visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt

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Euro-Divers opens to guests at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives

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In celebration of Euro-Divers’ 50 Years of Diving with Friends in the Maldives, the team have opened a new PADI 5 Star Dive Center at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives.

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives retreat lies at the northern edge of the Maldives in the tranquil Raa Atoll, reached via a panoramic 45-minute seaplane voyage from Male. The island has 80 all-pool-villas, 36 of which are over water with a private pool for your enjoyment and 44 beachfront villas designed seamlessly to immerse guests in the natural surroundings. In support of sustainable tourism, Alila hotels adopt Earth Check operating standards, integrating their environments’ natural, physical, and cultural elements.

Raa Atoll is well-known for the excellent scuba diving it offers. The underwater landscape of Raa Atoll is characterized by a high number of thilas scattered inside the lagoons. These underwater coral mountains are magnets for marine life including huge schools of tropical reef fish, a generous splash of colour, iconic bucket-list-must-see marine creatures including sharks, mantas (appearing during the entire year), turtles, and uncrowded dive sites—a perfect diver’s heaven for beginners and experienced divers. We offer a full range of PADI courses for different levels. From November till March, the Manta cleaning station is located 15 minutes away by boat.

The team from Alila Kothaifaru Maldives look forward to welcoming you soon.

Find out more at: www.euro-divers.com/alila-kothaifaru-maldives

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Marine Life & Conservation

Blue Marine Foundation launches new partnership with Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance

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Ocean charity makes initial grant of $90,000 to marine parks on six Dutch Caribbean islands. Award will fund projects including coral protection, and training youth marine rangers.

Ocean conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation has announced it is awarding $90,000 in funding to support marine conservation in the Dutch Caribbean. A range of projects run by protected area management organisations on six islands will each receive a grant of $15,000. The funding is the first step in a longer-term partnership to support the islands and help secure sustainable financing through the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) Trust fund.

To improve ocean governance, Blue Marine uses a combination of top-down intervention and bottom-up project delivery to help local communities at the front line of conservation. It will work together with the DCNA to help marine-park organisations protect the unique and threatened biodiversity of the Dutch Caribbean.

The new partnership is an important development in the successful management of marine conservation parks in the Dutch Caribbean. The UK-based charity has established a small-grants fund to provide rapid access to support for critical conservation projects run by marine parks.

The individual projects and their local partners are:

Unique ecosystems on the islands are vulnerable to threats such as feral livestock causing sedimentation on reefs, and invasive species, including lionfish and coral diseases. They are also at risk from overfishing, climate change, coastal development, erosion and the build-up of harmful algae caused by waste water.

The islands of the Dutch Caribbean are also home to important “blue carbon” habitats – ocean ecosystems such as seagrasses, mangroves and other marine plants that suck up and lock away carbon from the earth’s atmosphere. Seagrass is so efficient at this it can capture and store carbon dioxide up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests.  The management and protection of these blue carbon habitats is vital in the fight against climate change.

Current marine conservation measures in the islands include a 25,390 square km mammal and shark sanctuary- Yarari sanctuary- across the Exclusive Economic Zone of Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius. All six islands have inshore Marine Protected Areas ranging in size from 10 to 60 sq km.

Blue Marine’s Senior Project Manager Jude Brown commented: “Having recently visited two of the islands, I witnessed first-hand how special this region is. Diving the waters off Saba I saw huge Tarpon swimming amongst shoals of blue tang, and hawksbill turtles feeding on the seagrass beds. I also witnessed the challenges these islands are facing from coral disease to issues with coastal development. It is an exciting opportunity to work in the Dutch Caribbean, bringing expertise and funding from Blue Marine to join with the wealth of knowledge already on the islands, to work together to protect the important marine life arounds these islands.”

Tadzio Bervoets, Director of the DNCA commented: “The Dutch Caribbean consists of the Windward Islands of St. Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius and the Leeward Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. The nature of the Dutch Caribbean contains the richest biodiversity in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The diverse ecosystems are a magnet for tourism and at the same time the most important source of income for residents of the Dutch Caribbean. Nature on the islands is unique and important but it is also fragile. The coming week we will be in The Netherlands to present a Climate Action Plan for the Dutch Caribbean to emphasize the urgent need for a climate smart future for our islands.”


Photo: Coral reefs in the Dutch Caribbean- Photo credit: Naturepics: Y.+T. Kühnast- all rights reserved

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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