Elphinstone is one of the most famous reefs for diving in Marsa Alam and the entire southern Red Sea. It is an elongated reef, only 20 meters wide and 400 meters long, resting on very deep waters. It's a great place for shark diving, and it's not uncommon to see whale sharks passing by.
Vertiginous walls full of life, the typical landscape of the Elphinstone reef. Image by Derek Keats
The southern tip features a broad plateau, about 25 meters deep, full of soft corals, large gorgonians, sponges, and whip corals. Here, we can find silky sharks, gray reef sharks, and whitetip sharks. In the blue, a bit away from the wall, groups of barracudas sway, and occasionally, oceanic whitetip sharks appear a few meters from the reef, being one of the main reasons for Elphinstone's popularity, especially from October to December.
The best liveaboard offers in the Red Sea
In the southern plateau, there are also cave entrances, about 30 meters deep, where the famous Elphinstone arch is located, connecting the east and west walls and suitable only for advanced divers.
The top of the reef has a profusion of life, with purple and pink corals adorning the east and west walls. From 20 meters onwards, you will find beautiful large gorgonians full of fusiliers, triggerfish, emperor angelfish, or anthias hovering around the steep walls, giving a spectacular shine to this dive. Turtles also come by very often to feed on the soft corals that dominate the wall. The eastern wall offers the opportunity for excellent drift wall diving, with beautiful soft corals and numerous angelfish, Napoleon wrasses, snappers, and huge tuna schools. The steep wall disappears to depths exceeding 100 meters. The western wall is full of caves and crevices where you can enjoy the aggressive titan triggerfish, numerous flashlight fish, and black snappers.