In 2019 I got dive certified in Dahab, Egypt with Sea Dancer dive center. In today’s post, I am going to share my experience, and why I think everyone needs to go diving in Egypt and the Red Sea.
Going diving was on my bucket list for years. I have plenty of friends who dive, and I was constantly inspired by the travelers that were diving around the world. It seemed like an amazing way to experience an even more unique destination. I love being in the ocean, I’ve snorkeled, and taken surf lessons it just seemed like diving should be next. Once I decided I wanted to get certified, I had to decide where to go.
Choosing Dahab to get certified
When I decided I wanted to get certified I didn’t actually know where I wanted to do it. I just knew it would be somewhere abroad. Then when speaking to some friends and travelers in Israel and Egypt in 2018, Dahab was put on my radar. I didn’t know much about Egypt’s diving or the Red Sea. But I was meeting all these people who were raving about it. I figured on my month-long trip to Egypt that I would finally 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 and got ‘stuck’ for a while. Making the decision dive in Dahab was the best decision I could have made.
And that’s really all that went into my decision to get dive certified in Dahab. I’m pretty happy to take the recommendation from other travelers.
Getting in the water
After spending about 5 days exploring Cario, I took the overnight bus to Dahab. I met with Steve at Sea Dancer and met my instructor Islam and my new dive buddy Monica. The moment I walked into Sea Dancer I knew that it was a great place, that really cared about each of its divers. I’ve looked for that in a dive center ever since.
I did what most new divers do which is start with my open water and then go on to advanced. At Sea Dancer, we spent the first two days doing coursework and learning about diving in general, before heading into the sea! Yup, to this day I’ve never done any dive stuff in a pool. We walked straight into the Red Sea. And that first breath taken underwater… WOW.
My dive instructor was Islam, a 24 year old Egyptian from Luxor and he was incredible. I was anxious before the course started. Especially about the skills that involved taking your mask off or filling it and emptying it underwater. I wear contacts and I was paranoid that I would lose a contact if I messed up. Islam was so patient with me, he sat with me, let me close my eyes, and guided me through the whole exercise.
Sea Dancer makes sure that you are in a small group, and when I got certified in January of 2019 it was just me and my dive buddy Monica from Spain. Having such a small group also helped me to get confident underwater. There was plenty of time for Islam to help us with each skill, including getting our buoyancy just right.
The diving in Dahab is 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. Even though I haven’t been back to Egypt yet, it’s on my list to return to for diving again, and I will definitely dive with Sea Dancer again.
Diving with Sea Dancer Dive Center
We did our skills in the ocean which was exciting but also challenging because of how often we got distracted by the marine life and corals.
After finishing the skills part of the course we were able to start doing more expedition dives. Sea Dancer 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 with Sea Dancer, I had dived:
- The Blue Hole
- The Canyon
- Lighthouse Reef
- The Bells
- The Island and
- Eel Garden.
These are literally the best dive 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 loved Sea Dancer Dive Center and would highly recommend them.
The cost for the diving course + a few dives afterward + all the gear, workbook, and certification was $600. Accommodation and food in Dahab were around $10 a day. All together 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 a 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. 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 as well.
If you’re thinking about getting dive certified in Dahab, I highly recommend going with Sea Dancer. You can learn more about them here.