Tim Butcher review 12 Aug 2022
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Being down ‘in’ the coral at ‘The Islands’ site was nothing short of incredible. In addition to a myriad of enormous corals, we saw a turtle, moray eels, octopus
and of course thousands of varied fish!Absolutely fantastic.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Finish your PADI online theory training before you go. Snorkel from the hotel beach at high tide to see a coral reef and cliff similar to the dive sites.The cash points work well and give a good exchange rate. Pay a little more for wine at the
off licence (£12ish in 2022) and it is drinkable. The off licence near Lighthouse takes cards.Try the restaurant’Shark’ one night for great fish.Take a string bag with you to pick litter from the sea
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The reef is why many people visit Dahab but I’m not clear how it is being conserved. I certainly saw some coral broken (accidentally no doubt) by
divers. Certainly there is litter present in the water, and plastic is everywhere in the mountains surrounding Dahab.
Our dives were booked at part of the vacation, so I hope the instructors are well paid, but don’t know for sure and tipped them, the waiters and the hotel chef
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
The diving is incredible and the owners of the dive company were friendly and welcoming. For a vacation where WiFi is important if you are finishing your PADI online course, it was disappointing. Having 4 O-rings blow before dives was disconcerting but not dangerous. They continue to use the yoke system - my
instructor explained this never happens with the DIN system.The litter was heartbreaking and Dahab need to renew their efforts to keep plastic from the
streets and sea.Egyptian and Bedouin people are friendly and cheerful, but
the security arrangements are overcooked. There is a pointless and time wasting checkpoint leaving Sharm. We had our passports checked 7 times whilst leaving Sharm airport for London. Jobs for the boys and they are unusually moody with
a bit of power.
Read the operator's response here:
We are really pleased that you enjoyed the diving and that you found us friendly and welcoming.
Dahab is not perfect as it is still a very young community, therefore a lot of what we expect from a developed country is still in its early days here. Rubbish, does not come exclusively from Dahab, but is brought in on the tide and wind from surrounding countries.
Some of the ‘broken coral’ at Islands for example, is in fact due to earthquake damage and not divers. But diver related damage is one of the reasons that we employ a max ratio of 4-1 divers; in fact you had your own guide even though you were only 3 in your family, and this eradicates any potential damage as well as enhancing the dive experience.
We have always paid our dive instructors above the ‘normal rate’ thus ensuring that we only have the best guides and instructors. But tips are always a nice way to show your appreciation.
We are committed to improving the situation, both with our own efforts including; regular clean ups, both on land as well as in water pick up using nets supplied with every diver. We also are affiliated with several clean up groups such as; EcoDahab, HEPCA, Dahab Defenders and the Bedouin Clean Up group.
We spend a lot to make sure equipment is of the highest standard and regularly replace and upgrade our dive equipment, however sometimes fails happen due to the conditions we work in ie sand or grit entering the o rings. It is however very rare and we always have a backup plan just in case.