Featured House Reef: Marsa Shagra | Egypt

Marsa Shagra Resort’s house reef is arguably one of the biggest house reefs we visit on any of our resort-based snorkeling safaris. It starts just a few meters offshore where the northern and southern sections of the reef come together to make the point of a sort of V.

This unique topographic feature offers lots of different opportunities to us snorkelers. You can enter from the beach by walking in, the bottom is a fine white sand so there’s no real need for booties, and then head north or south. Or, if you want to explore a bit further, you can jump on one of their available tender boats which you board from their offshore jetty that sits just at the water line and is accessed by a couple of wooden steps.

Marsa Shagra boats

Depending on what you want to do, the tender will take you around the northern or southern corner where you’ll drop in and then you can choose to swim back to shore, or have the tenders come and get you at a designated time. With all these options you can easily explore the house reef for many snorkels. 

The reef itself is great as the corals come right up to the surface, and depending on where you are, will either form more of a wall, or a slope. In some sections of the reef, you’ll find little alcoves, small pinnacles, and cuts in the reef offering even more territory and interesting features to explore.

The visibility in Egypt is typically very good, especially on the sections further offshore. If the wind picks up the visibility can drop a bit as you get closer to shore given the fact that there is a lot more sediment and sand being moved around by the waves.

With regards to marine life, there is a ton to see here, from big to small. The more likely subjects include schools of orange anthias, unicorn fish, barracuda, goatfish, and many different species of butterfly fish. You are also very likely to encounter moray eels, blue-spotted stingrays, scorpionfish, lionfish, and turtles. Every so often a pod of dolphins enters the bay and will hang around for a bit. The cool thing about the dolphins here is that they are typically quite friendly and if you are lucky, they might even come to say “hello.”

Currents are not typically very strong here, but if there ever was a stronger current you can either just drift with it by having a tender drop you on the up-current side of it and then just float with it back to the resort, or you can escape it entirely by spending your time in the V-shaped bay.

About Author

Alex Lindbloom
Alex is a Snorkel Venture and Dive Safari Asia guide as well as the video and photo pros for both companies. Alex is also a field editor for a popular underwater photography magazine. Prior to joining Snorkel Venture in 2018 Alex lived and worked all over the world working as an underwater cameraman, with five of those years living/working on a yacht in Indonesia. Alex's images and videos have garnered many international awards such as Underwater Photographer of the Year and can be seen on NatGeo, Discovery Channel, the UN Building, and various magazines.