The Turtle Bay of Marsa Mubarak
This is like manoeuvering in a fish tank. Divers and snorkelers will just love it. This is the territory of the Red Sea bannerfish, the rusty parrotfish, the sulphur damselfish, the clownfish, nudibranch, octopus, the scorpionfish, the clearfin lionfish, the ghost pipefish, the yellow boxfish, stonefish, rays, morays etc. But there’s even more, such as a wide array of corals like the table coral, the grass coral, the net fire coral, the fire coral and the anemone coral.
Marsa Mubarak has crystal clear blue waters and the shape of a bay. Marsa Mubarak is easily accessible, in the close vicinity of the airport of the Marsa Alam region. Due to the shallow depth, this dive site is good for snorkelling and free diving. The depth at Marsa Mubarak does not exceed 20 meters and visibility is very good since the currents are not very prominent here. It’s easy accessible by zodiac from Marsa Alam.
Divers and snorkelers will notice that Marsa Mubarak is home to sea turtles. It isn’t called Turtle Bay for nothing…They are really amazing. Some even have the size of a man! Speaking of turtles. The most ‘common’ species in the area are the hawksbill turtle and the green turtle. But don’t be deceived. They don’t just turn up in numbers or on request. These slow and imperturbable creatures won’t pay any attention to you, stoically searching for seagrass.
There’s a difference between the hawksbill turtle and the green turtle. It’s not easy to see but you can tell with a trained eye or when you reserve specific attention.
The large hawksbill, weighing up to 80kg, has what is called an ‘elongated’ head with a protruding hooked beak-like mouth, resembling a hawk’s. The hawksbill likes the shelter of reef areas. If you see a turtle feeding in meadows for its daily fix of sea-grass, they are highly likely of the green variety. They are equally large and equally beautiful and also have large limbs like flippers but without the hawksbill’s distinctive claws.
The elusive dugong, the sea cow, is a regular guest at Marsa Mubarak in Marsa Alam. They like to reside in sheltered bays and in the vicinity of seagrass prairies. You may be lucky enough to spot one! At the end of the day, they are wild creatures and do not show upon request. But still, your chances are good!