RED SEA DIVING SAFARI
Our opinion after 6 days diving with them during November 2002 - 'We loved it'
"Run by divers for divers"is a common slogan adopted by many dive resorts around the world. Unfortunately at many of these resorts you are packed onto large crowded boats, visiting dive sites that are more suited to student divers rather than experienced divers. Wadi Lahami is different. Excellent management from Australian Ross and his Italian partner Tamara, results in the smooth running of Wadi Lahami. Both are experienced divers with a wide knowledge of the local area. Ross first started diving as a teenager in the pearl industry of Western Australia and has continued recreational and commercial diving ever since. Many of the local reefs were unknown before his arrival, now he has explored and mapped the best of them.
A minimum experience level of 50 dives is recommended for guests to ensure that all divers are competent in the water. This not only helps to protect the reefs from novice divers (no disrespect intended) but also ensures the best dive sites are offered to experienced divers. At last truly a dive centre that is 'Run by divers for divers'.
Wadi Lahami is a remote desert camp not close to any shops or towns. Bring any items such as tobacco, alcohol, chocolate, batteries, decongestants etc.with you as you can not buy them on site. Local Egyptian beer is available at the camp, but it's not very cheap. The tents or 'cotton houses' as Ross sometimes calls them are basic but adequate - 2 single beds, floor mats, an electric light and some shelves. Western toilets and hot showers are available in the central building where there is also a dining / relaxing area. Three ample hygienic and varied meals are served each day. Unlimited free coffee / tea or soft drinks are always available.
The biggest disadvantage has to be the long transfer
time from Hurghada Airport (6 hr) or Luxor (7hrs+). German, Italian
and Swiss flights already operate to Marsa Alam only 2 - 3 hours away.
2003 will see the first flights arriving from the UK.
|The dive sites are reached by ribs (rubber boats) which are ideal for getting to the more remote dive sites of Fury Shoal, up to 50 min from shore. Whilst these boats do not suit everybody, due to a sometimes bouncy ride, they are best suited for this camp. Traditional hard boats are too slow and are often a cause of seasickness, speedboats are fast but much more uncomfortable than ribs. The advantage of ribs becomes apparent when you see divers that have travelled many hours/days by liveaboard to visit remote sites, and you appear, as if from nowhere. This would not be possible without the ribs.|
|Fury shoal is a chain of reefs offering a wide variety of dives including deep drop off's, walls, pristine coral gardens, wrecks, caverns etc. Some dives have strong currents, all the better for seeing big fish. During November we saw whitetip and grey reef sharks. We are informed that May - August offers the best chance of seeing big fish including hammerheads, mantas, oceanic white tips etc.... We will be back in May next year to see for ourselves.|
|A diving day starts with breakfast at 6.30 am. When breakfast is finished load yourself and your equipment onto the rib. The tanks (12 litre aluminium) are already loaded and filled to a generous 200 - 230 bar. Din or international yoke valves are offered. 2 dives at different sites on the reefs of Fury Shoal in the mornings. Water/ coffee / tea and cake are available during the surface interval. Return to base for lunch and siesta before an afternoon dive on one of the many inshore reefs. Night dives are offered every night where spanish dancers or turtles are commonly spotted . The only diving rule is max. 60 min dive time, after this the captains are trained to start searching for you. You can choose to go with a guide or if you are confident you can go with your buddy or even solo dive. Remember that you are responsible for ensuring your own dive safety. Your guide will not be demanding to know how much air you have or forcing you to follow like sheep! If you have 50+ dives this should not be a problem.|
|If you have a camera remember to keep a few shots for the journey home, you never know what might swim by. On the way home we stopped and snorkelled with 30 or 40 spinner dolphins and a couple of days later with as many pilot whales!!!|
The evenings are spent either night diving or chatting
with other guests. There is a friendly, international atmosphere
and as everybody shares the same common interest, talk is easy. Most
people choose an early night, ready for another early start the next day..........
The nearest recompression chamber is 2 - 3 hours by road in Marsa Alam. An insurance charge is payable at the camp to cover you in case of emergency.
There are facilities for charging torches, cameras etc. - European 2 pin plugs only. 230V
There are fresh water dip tanks and a drying area.
Most guests have their own equipment, if you need to hire anything then you must advise them in advance.
There are no dive courses currently offered and
unbelievably not a PADI flag in sight!!!!