Dive Site

Big Brother Island

  • Current: N/W in the mornings, N at midday, N/E in the afternoon
  • Visibility: J, F, M, A: 30–50 m; M, J, J, A: 30–40 m; S, O, N, D: 50–60 m
  • Temperatures: J, F, M: 22–24°C; A, M, J: 23–38°C; J, A, S: 28-30°C; O, N, D: 28-23°C
  • Depth: 100 m

Overview

Ladies and Gentlemen, may we ask for your attention. A diving spot belonging to the world's top ten (!) will soon be ours to discover. Located 60 kilometres east of the coastal town of El Quesir, the Brother Islands (Big Brother and Little Brother) are home to two large cargo ship wrecks and up to three metre-long large thresher sharks with long, lance-shaped tails which can almost always be found here – a true rarity!

Description

The name Brother Islands comes from the company which did the electrical work for the lighthouse on the larger island. Both islands are of volcanic origin and sit atop a mountain ridge which plunges well over 1,000 metres in depth from the west side to the east side. The volcanic history can still be seen today: namely on the basalt rock, which is significantly darker than the reef structure itself.

Big Brother is 650 metres long and 180 metres wide. With the exception of the eastern plateau, we encounter a steep-faced reef in all directions. There's usually the chance for you to stretch out your legs on the island, smoke a shisha with the lighthouse keepers and purchase small souvenirs or simply to enjoy the view from the lighthouse! Depending on the mood of the military, this can quickly change however.

At the western end of Big Brother, we usually have to take large waves and a stronger current into account. Should the conditions allow us to dive in the afternoon, we may quite possibly have the chance of seeing grey reef sharks and hammerhead sharks swimming between the wrecks.

On the eastern plateau, the thresher shark says 'Good night' to the spotted sea hare and encounters with grey reef sharks also occur here all the time. Beautiful depressions in the reef, which are covered in soft and hard coral, can be identified further down the north side. Mooring points are also located in the east area and around the boots there's a lot to see – from whitetip oceanic sharks to silky sharks.

Just as squirrels in the park learn to trust, so do Napoleon wrasse in famous diving sites – two specimens of this fish already accustomed to divers can be found west at any time of the day. Gigantic shoals of fish can be found in the south, near the jetty, which is used to supply the lighthouse. Mackerel, tuna and barracudas on the hunt usually rush past us in the water. Silky sharks or whitetip oceanic sharks as well as turtles top off this spectacular underwater picture.

Hotspots

  • Planning the Big Brother route is simple, as the current points us the way. For some, this dive – which must progress very quickly from the Zodiac due to the currents – is anything but a walk in the park. Many tour operators offer the use of ENOS or other similar devices. Especially at the large outer reef, it makes sense to buddy dive using such an electronic search and rescue system. Should we come across the counter current after exiting the Zodiac, it's best for us to resurface and then drive a bit further out and try once again. Safety first!

map Dive Plans

Thresher shark in the morning

In the morning the best place is the eastern plateau with its hills at 36 to 45m. It has a lot to offer, especially the thresher shark. If the certification allows, you should use your no-decompression limit in the flow shadow of the small hills at the reef nose in the east and then dive with the current to the west on the beautifully overgrown steep wall.

Thresher shark in the morning

In the morning the best place is the eastern plateau with its hills at 36 to 45m. It has a lot to offer, especially the thresher shark. If the certification allows, you should use your no-decompression limit in the flow shadow of the small hills at the reef nose in the east and then dive with the current to the west on the beautifully overgrown steep wall.

Aida at noon

This is where the Zodiac goes, if the wave allows it. The Aida starts at about 30 meters depth. The upper area is full of glass fish and the holds are open. Then it goes back over the distributed cargo, along the rugged reef wall to the east, towards the ship.

Numidia in the afternoon

If the waves and currents allow it, you should take the Zodiac to Numidia. It has a very nice vegetation of soft and hard corals on the northern side and is one of the most beautiful wrecks in the Red Sea. The southern side looks like only two days have passed since the sinking. The rest of the cargo is clearly visible. The fish population is plentiful, the current varies in strength and mostly pulls from the north around the corner to the west.

Thresher shark in the afternoon

The last dive of the day should be done at the northeast tip, because when the light fades in the late afternoon, the predatory fish hunt begins. You will then see yellowfin tuna, jacks, barracudas - and often thresher sharks on top. Take your time, don't paddle around unnecessarily and just watch. You are guaranteed to get your money's worth!