Dive Site

Shaab Maksur

  • Current: N/W in the morning, N/E at midday
  • Visibility: J, F, M, A: 25–35 m; M, J, J, A: 30–60 m; S, O, N, D: 50–80 m
  • Temperatures: J, F, M: 22–23°C; A, M, J: 26–28°C; J, A, S: 28-31°C; O, N, D: 28-25°C
  • Depth: 100 m

Overview

Shaab Maksur is one of the northernmost reefs in Sataya and it lies approx. 15 to 20 minutes away from Shaab Claudia and Abu Galawa. Maksur means 'crack' or 'cleft' and that's exactly what we can see in the northern region. Shaab Maksur is more or less a steep wall reef, reminiscent of the east side of Elphinstone, and it´s here where we'll find one of the most beautiful lagoons in the Red Sea.

Description

Shaab Maksur measures 350 to 400 metres in length and it shares some similarities with Elphinstone: both reefs point in the same direction and therefore also have very similar currents. The southern plateau of Shaab Maksur resembles a rice terrace with two levels – the first is located at a depth range of 18 and 35 metres, the second runs from 35 metres to 42 metres. Both are approx. 50 to 60 metres in length and 40 metres in width.

Unusual for an outer reef, Shaab Maksur also has a plateau on the west side. The indescribably beautiful lagoon – that will make our hearts race – is located right here at the centre of the plateau. We find pieces of wreckage from a safari boat that only made it to its 14th day.

Another plateau is found in the north – the east side is a steep wall – and at the northernmost point, there are two pinnacles which are separated by an eight metre-long crack in the reef ('Maksur'). Warning: Shaab Maksur is famous for its undertows!

Hotspots

  • Sea anemones: A colony of sea anemones can be found on the western plateau at a depth of approx. 12 metres. Between colourful tentacles, we might just find some clownfish eggs!
  • Lagoon: In the lagoon, we discover moray eels, glass shrimp, cleaning stations for barracudas, torpedo rays, and if we're lucky, even a whitetip reef shark.

map Dive Plans

To the north plateau

It is best to start from the Zodiac a good 30m after the end of the reef at a depth of 10 to 15m, because here you have a good overview and underneath there is often a current from the north. You will find shelter behind one of the large hills so you can look around for sharks at the edge. At least a few tuna or barracudas should cross your path. If not, there is the possibility of a nice drift dive.<br/>In the morning hours you have the best light when diving out on the east side.

To the south plateau

The boat is usually south of the reef. There is also the first special feature, because two large blocks are very close. Dive further over the plateau to the south, past the cleaning stations, to the end. There is a small coral block on the left. We continue towards the large coral garden. From there back in the upper area. At a depth of 5 to 7m you can still see the crevice that gave the reef its name. With the reef on your right shoulder, head back to the boat.

To the west plateau

The best way to start here is with the single block that extends to the surface. On its north side at a depth of 12m there is an anemone colony, where you can often find eggs of the little clownfish. From there further into the inner area of the lagoon, even young white tip reef sharks can be found here. Once you've seen enough, you can dive over the coral garden to the outside area and back to the ship.