west of as peninsulknown as E the 130 Abu Diab.si, 3 km oft fira Sataya
Erg Abu Diab, also known as Erg Sataya, lies near the Ras Banas peninsula, 3 km off the mainland and 5.8 km west of Abu Diab. Since it lies far from the usual routes, the 130 m long reef is of little interest to liveaboards. However, because of its proximity to the coast, it provides daily boat passengers with a good opportunity to dive along steep reef walls. It must be noted though, that Erg Abu Diab is no longer a top dive site. Ten years ago, hammerhead sharks and other big fish were regularly found here, but now only few fish swim about in the water around the reef.
The site’s abundantly covered walls A drop vertically to a depth of 10 m and host fish, such as surgeonfish and butterflyfish A, while lionfish hide in its cracks, and sergeant majors occasionally pass by in the blue. Starting at a depth of 10 m, the walls A slope at an angle into the deep, and the corals become increasingly covered with sand and less marine life is found here. To the south, the slope is interrupted by a small, sandy plateau beginning at around 22 m A, and coral gardens
AA grow on top of the reef to the north and south. However, they cannot be reached because of their proximity to the surface.
Erg Abu Diab can be circled in one dive, provided that you do not dive too deep or use up too much air. Nevertheless, beginners should not dive here because of its depth. Moreover, the currents are sometimes quite strong and can sweep divers away from the reef.
Erg Abu Diab currently does not offer outstanding dives, and only few divers come by. It is, however, precisely for this reason that the reef seems to be slowly recovering. Perhaps in a few years sharks may once again be found here.
Dive Routes Route A: circling the reef Duration: about 50 min. Difficulty: **
Since the current usually flows from the south, we recommend diving clockwise around the reef, which allows you to dive in the direction of the current when starting from the southwest. On the way back you will be sheltered from the current on the northeastern side. Nevertheless, still make sure to check the current before diving.
Start the dive directly from the liveaboard I a. Descend to 20 m and circle the reef, keeping it on your right shoulder. There is no need to descend further, since there is little to see at greater depths. Gradually ascend while circling the reef to reach the most beautifully overgrown areas at a depth of 10 m and above A.
Towards the end of the dive near point A, a current may flow against you. You should, however, already have completed the safety stop by now, so you can surface anytime and return by RIB, or head to the boat nearby with a few strong fin kicks.