Hamata and Berenice
The furthest south of all Egypts Red Sea holiday destinations, Hamata and Berenice, often dubbed the gateway to Africa are situated around 400km from Hurghada on the mainland. Marsa Alam, approximately 230km north of Hamata and Berenice, is the closest airport. The journey by road from the small international airport takes around three hours.
Hamata is a favoured harbour for liveaboards heading to the most remote diving sites in the area, such as the famous Daedalus, Rocky and Zabargad islands, and the outer reef systems of Fury Shoal and St Johns Reef. The nearby town of Berenice is surrounded with remnants of ancient times.
This is a remote part of the Red Sea to visit. Divers who opt to stay here swap nightlife and shopping for silence and wilderness. The resorts are experiencing a steady and healthy growth in tourist development, however, so there is excellent hotel accommodation on offer as well as a raft of activities in and out of the water. Most of the coastal area, however, belongs to the Wadi el Gemal National Park, where only eco-lodges are permitted to be constructed.
Wadi el Gemal is one of the most celebrated and thriving national marine parks in Egypt and lies just to the north of Hamata and Berenice. It is well protected by a series of strict environmental laws and conservation organisations. The dive sites, once the realm of liveaboard divers only, are now easily reached by day boat divers from Hamata. These include the underwater gems of Qulan Islands, Shaab Makhsour, Shaab Ossama, Sattaya and Shaab Claude.
Shaab Makhsour, a high-energy site popular with passing pelagic, is claimed to be the dive site which attracts the greatest variety of shark species in the Red Sea. Dolphins are a regular feature on a dive in Sattaya, which is often referred to as the second Dolphin House of the south, the first being in Marsa Alam.

Topside attraction
Ancient history and fascinating nature sum up whats available topside to visitors of this area.
History: The town of Berenice is an historians dream. The ancient city was named by Ptolemy II after his mother and became a trading port in 275BC. A ruined Temple of Semiramis built by Trajan and Tiberius is near the modern centre and, inland, there are the remains of the emerald mines of Wadi Sakait, which were worked from the Pharaoh through to Roman times.
Nature: A fascinating landscape, where the vast desert here touches the ocean you will find mangrove swamps and palm trees lining the coast. Bird watching is among many of excursions on offer, with many species attracted to the mangrove areas. Desert trips are available by both jeep and camel and well worth joining.


CDWS The diving industry in Egypt is regulated by the Chamber of Diving and Watersports. For your safety and quality of service, ensure you book with a CDWS member operator. All CDWS members have passed an ISO audit to meet European standards for recreational diving in order to obtain their operating licence from the Ministry of Tourism.
For a full list of legal dive operators in Egypt click here: