Dahab’s Blue Hole is one of Northern Egypt’s most famous dive sites. Located in the small coastal town of Dahab, its peculiar morphology attracts thousands of recreational divers, tech divers, and freedivers from all over the world. The Blue Hole is a large sinkhole positioned right next to the shore. It has a diameter of approximately 30 metres and a depth of over 100 metres. It communicates with the open sea through a huge natural vault called “The Arch”.
“Blue Hole” is a generic name given to peculiar sinkhole-shaped structures located in many of the world’s oceans. Examples of different blue holes can be found in Belize (the Great Blue Hole), in the Bahamas (Dean’s Blue Hole – popularised by a freediving video featuring Guillaume Nery), and in Egypt - home to the spectacular, yet mysterious Blue Hole in Dahab.
Dahab’s Blue Hole is a 100-metre-deep, 35-metre-wide sinkhole that opens up in the reef right next to the shore. It’s so close that you could almost leave the flip-flops next to its edge and jump right in. However, regardless of how inviting its crystal-clear water may look, it is a place that deserves respect and a cautious approach.
There are two main ways in which divers execute the dive on Dahab’s Blue Hole: one is typically chosen by recreational divers, the other one is the preferred option amongst tech divers. Traditionally, recreational divers gear up in the area directly in front of the Blue Hole. Later, they grab their fins and - with the mask around their neck - hike northwards for 200 metres in order to reach El Bells, a narrow creek that rests - from the surface down to 35 metres and beyond - along a vertical wall.
On the way to El Bells, divers will encounter a small memorial site dedicated to the people who lost their lives exploring the depths of the Blue Hole. Many of them were pioneers of Dahab’s diving during the mid and late nineties, at a time when it was relatively common for experienced divers to go very deep using normal air. However, doing so exponentially increases the chances of narcosis and embolism: the names and dates engraved on the rocks of Dahab remind us that scuba diving implies taking the most prudent approach, and putting safety first.
At the entry area, the divers giant-stride directly into El Bells, deflate their BCDs, and equalize their way to the deeper waters using the narrow canyon as an elevator to the abyss. At the pre-established depth, divers exit from El Bells and head in the direction of the Blue Hole, swimming with the steep wall on their right. The wall itself is impressive, as it drops vertiginously down to over 1,000 metres - perfectly vertical.
The divers ascend along the wall to shallower waters, until they reach an area called “the saddle” - which corresponds to the side of the Blue Hole facing the open sea. This is one of the most colourful places in the entire site: a gentle surge, together with the bright environment, created the ideal growing conditions for a stunning reef composed of several different species of soft and hard corals. Once the safety stop is over the divers swim above the saddle into the Blue Hole and proceed to the exit point, completing the itinerary.
Another possible itinerary, favoured by technical divers (and professional freedivers!) due to the greater depth reached, starts by jumping directly into the Blue Hole from one of its entry platforms. In this case, the objective of the dive is to see - or swim through - the huge gothic vault-shaped opening that connects the inside of the Blue Hole with the open sea. The divers descend along the Hole’s sides - or right in the middle of the hole if they are skilled enough - until they reach a depth of 55 metres (or more).
Here’s the "Arch" - a gigantic natural vault with the top at a depth of 55 metres and sides sinking to 100 metres and beyond - it creates a breathtaking window that frames the bright blue light coming from the outside. It is possible, with the proper gas-mixes and training, to swim through the 26-metre-long arch and reach the open sea to then ascend along the Blue Hole’s exterior walls before swimming over the saddle and back into the Hole again to finish the dive.
This text is for information purposes only. It has been written by members of the website and can be inaccurate. Always contact local professional divers before diving.