I've just been on my 28th trip to Egypt and eighth (or 9th?) trip to Marsa Shagra, near Marsa Alam. This trip we stayed in a Royal Tent, which is glamping as you get plugs, a fan, a fridge, rattan rugs, a huge comfy bed, 2 big bean bags and a views of the sea and reef right outside your tent.
Last time we went, about 18 months ago, Shagra was crazy busy and I thought I might not go again because I don't like crowds. However, due to a friend winning a holiday, we agreed very happily to go again. This time, the place was empty. There were never more than 10 people in the kitting up /dive shade area and there were only 3 Royal tents occupied. The neighbouring hotels were empty or closed so the evenings and nights were totally silent which was bliss for us but not good for the local economy.
People asked if we were mad to go to Egypt. No - not mad at all. Shagra is pretty remote as dive resorts go and very unlikely to be bombed. But tourism is so dire that the sister resorts of Marsa Nakari and Wadi Lahami have temporarily closed. It is a real struggle for Egyptians and for tourism generally.
We were quite happy to do most of our diving on the house reef but we did a couple of RIB trips to Shaab AbuDabab, Um Halal and Nemo City. Didn't bother with Elphinstone this time as we saw more than we expected locally and we were happy pootling about.
We saw Octopus mating - never seen that before!
And saw turtles on nearly every dive. This is Barny freediving down to a turtle that I was having a chat to
Nemo City, 10 minutes away was very beautiful
We were lucky enough to see dolphins three times too which was a thrill for our dive buddies, who have never seen one. There was much excitement and a bit of a crash trying to see this one