Diving has been on my bucket list for years now. I follow at least 50 dive accounts on Instagram and am fascinated by the ocean. I love being in the ocean. I’ve snorkeled, learned how to surf and spent countless hours just relaxing and swimming in the waves.
Choosing Dahab to get Certified
I didn’t know where I wanted to get dive certified but I figured doing it somewhere abroad would be an amazing experience. It was last year when Egypt was put on my radar as a hotspot for diving and an affordable/safe option for dive classes. I didn’t know much about Egypt but I was meeting all these people who were raving about the diving in the Red Sea. I figured this year I would check it out.
A lot of people back home were surprised that I was going to be diving in Egypt. There is a lot of stigma around Egypt since the revolution, people saying that it’s unsafe and unfit for travelers. I cannot stress enough how incorrect that is, especially when it comes to Dahab. Life was a lot quieter and more relaxing in Dahab. It was the kind of place I could have stayed a while and making the decision dive in Dahab was the best decision I could have made.
Picking a Dive School in Dahab
I decided if I was going to be going back to Egypt for diving, I was going to spend a month there so I would also have the chance to explore more the of the country. I started reaching out to a couple different companies in Dahab that had highly rated dive programs. That’s when I met Steve (on the internet) Steve works with Sea Dancer Dive Center and he was so helpful and informative that choosing who to dive with them became a no brainer. I signed me and my friend (who was meant to be traveling with me) up for the Open Water Dive Course and he even offered me a discount for having two people. It was on. I couldn’t wait.
By the time I finally made it to Dahab though, I was feeling beyond discouraged. My girl’s trip had turned into a solo trip, my bus ride lasted over 30 hours and my accomodation was lacking luster. I was tired. After catching up on week’s worth of sleep I dragged myself over to Sea Dancer and was instantly welcomed by Steve who managed to cheer me right up. I threw all my problems at him and he assured me that everything would be fine. All I needed to do was to get in the water and start diving.
I spent the first two days doing all of the padi course work. I was getting that out of the way because another woman (Monica) was coming from Spain and she was going to be my dive buddy. Monica had already done the course work so I figured if I got caught up with her, we’d be golden. So for two days I spent the days at the dive center learning diver safety and the night’s at this awesome cowork space I had found catching up on Pinterest, Blogging and work. Dahab was quickly becoming home.
Getting in the Water!
Then it was finally time to gear up and get in the water. Our dive instructor was Islam, a 24 year old Egyptian from Luxor and he was incredible. I was so worried that I was going to be terrible at everything, and my biggest fear was taking my mask off underwater but he was so patient with us. I felt so comfortable the entire time and that first breath I took underwater was actually breathtaking.
The diving in Dahab was incredible. The ocean was so full of life and you could tell that the Egyptian and Bedouin people in Dahab really care about the fish and corals living there. Steve at Sea Dancer had signs up everywhere encouraging tourists not to eat the fish in Dahab and be careful where they swam. I loved how much they truly cared about the ocean and the environment.
I have never seen so much live coral and marine life anywhere in my travels. To be honest, I have never seen live corals anywhere. I wish I could have spent even more time underwater diving because I needed more time to soak it up. The ocean is incredible.
Diving with Sea Dancer Dive Center
We did our skills in the ocean which was exciting but also challenging because of the how often we got distracted by the marine life and corals. Diving in Dahab was a dream come true and one the of the most amazing things I’ve done in my life.
After finishing the skills part of the course we were able to start doing more expedition dives. Sea Dancer Dive Center is the best dive company in Egypt because they took us to the most popular dive sites in Dahab for our open water dives. By the time I had finished my Advanced Open Water Course with Sea Dancer, I had dived the Blue Hole, The Canyon, The Bells, Lighthouse Reef, The Island and Eel Garden. These are literally the best dives sites in Dahab and I got to dive them all between my two courses with Sea Dancer.
Other dive centers make you pay extra to do those dives after your course is finished instead of letting you learn while you get to do these incredible dives. I was so impressed with Sea Dancer Dive Center and would highly recommend them (no this isn’t sponsored I just love Sea Dancer so much!)
The cost for the diving course + a few dives afterwards + all the gear, workbook and certification was $600. Accommodation and food in Dahab were around $10 a day so altogether I only spent about $100 in Dahab for 10 days, outside of diving.
When you are making a choice about where you are going to dive, I encourage you not just to pick the cheapest option. There is always risk when you dive, you want to make sure that you are taking the proper precautions and diving with Sea Dancer made me feel so safe and secure in the water. We had one instructor to two students which made it easy and comfortable to do your tasks and sign things off. If we didn’t understand or master a task, Islam let us try again until we felt confident that we could do it on our own.
Thanks to Sea Dancer, I now have the confidence to dive anywhere and the certification to do so!