Brother Islands, Red Sea: the most complete diving guide
by Jorge Mezcua on Mar 14, 2023
The Brother Islands are a pair of small islands lost in the middle of the Red Sea. They are located about 200 kilometers south of Ras Mohammed and act as magnets for pelagic fish. The islands are exposed to currents that bring enough food to support an extraordinary coral population, really dense, with beautiful soft coral gardens. In their shelter live everything from the smallest reef fish to manta rays or some of the most impressive pelagic sharks. The only way to dive the Brothers Islands is from a liveaboard.
Declared a National Park in 1983, its remote and difficult location means that it is in an almost pristine state. So much so that it is considered the Mecca of the most experienced divers. It is a magnet for those who want to know one of the best and less crowded diving areas of the Red Sea, which also holds two extraordinary wrecks. It is not a dive site for inexperienced divers. So if you have less than 50 dives, it is better to enjoy the Red Sea in areas like Sharm el Sheikh or Hurghada and then make the leap to these small islands later. You know, good things come to those who wait.
Wrecks in Brother Islands
The Numidia was a British freighter that sank almost vertically after hitting Big Brother Island. Today, after more than 110 years at the bottom, the wreck is beautifully decorated with soft coral. And several sharks visit it, attracted by the current that runs along this reef. A great opportunity to dive a beautiful wreck for both recreational and technical divers as the wreck is sunk between 10 and 85 meters.
The Aida was a 75-meter long ship in charge, among other tasks throughout its history, of transporting supplies and troops during World War II and sank in 1957. It lies between 30 and 60 meters fully loaded with soft and hard corals and a large number of the most representative reef fish have made its remains their own..
Coral reefs in Brother Islands
Big Brother, the larger of the two reefs, is a plateau about 400 meters long with a famous Victorian stone lighthouse. The abundance of corals is extraordinary, starting at the surface and getting lost in the depths where we will see stupendous gorgonians and long sea whips. As with all reefs, currents can be strong, so diving is not too easy. The number of small reef fish is so large that they can block the light: anties and glass fish are counted by the thousands. There is no shortage of Red Sea bannerfish, butterfly fish, scorpion fish, Napoleon wrasse, lion fish or giant snowflake morays. Among the most interesting pelagics are oceanic whitetips, silky and thresher sharks, especially in winter, and large schools of barracuda and tuna.
Little Brother, the smaller of the two islands and shaped like a drop off, has deep walls except on the north side. This plateau is one of the best places in the Red Sea for shark diving, with white-tipped and gray sharks all over the reef and visits from groups of hammerheads from the blue. The walls of the reef are remarkable for the large amount of corals and from 30 meters we can find real black coral forests, gorgonian fans more than two meters wide and dense populations of soft corals.