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Every Week is Shark Week at Egypt's Elphinstone Island

Located two hours away from Port Ghalib and 12 KM east of Marsa Abu Dabbab coastline, Sha’ab Abu Hamra AKA Elphinstone Island attracts divers from around the globe for its awe-inspiring sharks.

Sharks can be a frightening creature, so this excursion is not for the faint of heart. Located two hours away from Port Ghalib and 12 KM east of Marsa Abu Dabbab coastline, Sha’ab Abu Hamra AKA Elphinstone Island attracts divers from around the globe for its colourful corals, playful dolphins, and - you guessed it - powerful sharks.

Two types of sharks in particular serve as the biggest attractors to Elphinstone: the whitetip and the hammerhead. Elphinstone is one of the few places where you can come face-to-face with these ever-enduring apex predators.

It is speculated that Commander Robert Moresby from the Indian navy named the reef in 1830 after Mountstuart Elphinstone, the fourth son of Lord Elphinstone who retired from governing Bombay. Others credit Mountstuart Elphinstone himself as the person who discovered the reef in 1827 on his way back to England through Egypt.

At the reef, the whitetip and the hammerhead are not the only sharks you may see. You might also run into silky, grey reef, blacktip, whale, and tiger sharks. Of course where there are sharks,  there is shark food, and they’re just as fascinating to watch, from barracudas, to jacks and black snappers, to the eerie Moray eel.

Because of how dangerous it can be to swim with sharks, only experienced, licensed divers will be allowed to swim here. You will also need to be familiar with deep diving, drift diving, and rough sea conditions. Travel company Steven’s Taxis offers diving trips for anyone with the appropriate licences, with prices depending on the distance between your hotel and Elphinstone, with prices ranging from EUR 21 to EUR 35. You can book an excursion by emailing steven@marsaalam.com or via WhatsApp on +201284332337. Once there you will be able to get diving guidance from diving centre Emperor Divers. The price of their excursions goes for EUR 35, and you will at minimum be required to have an Advanced Open Water certificate, a 2* certificate, or to be a licensed Sports Diver with 30 logged dives.