Located approximately 75 minutes by boat east of Safaga, Panorama Reef is among the most popular dive sites in the Safaga - Hurghada region. This large, oblong coral reef rises from a 400 metres bottom up to the surface, forming vertiginous walls on its sides and a series of plateaus in the proximity of the northern and southern corners. Thanks to its offshore location and peculiar morphology it offers great opportunities for spotting numerous benthic and pelagic species, including the occasional grey reef shark hunting in the current. Panorama Reef is suitable for divers of all levels - including tech divers - provided they are confident with drift diving.
Panorama Reef can be accessed by boat from Safaga, after navigating eastwards for a little more than one hour. Divers located in Hurghada who are not embarked on liveaboards can use a land transfer of one hour approximately to reach Safaga’s port, where they will embark on one of the many daily charters directed to the offshore reefs. The liveaboards departing from Hurghada tend to include Panorama Reef depending on the itinerary and sea conditions.
Once on the dive site, the boats moor on one of the two points located on the sheltered western wall, or simply approach the reef to let the divers jump in the water according to the instructions given by the dive guides. The reef is considerably large, and seeing it all in one dive is practically impossible. The guides and the captain could opt for a current-check to determine what the best itinerary is, based on the sea conditions.
The southern corner offers a spectacular series of plateaus at various depths, gorgeous hard coral formations, and an impressive population of anemones with their clownfish – protagonists of some of the most beautiful macro pictures. The dominant current is usually coming from the north, the reason why the south corner is to be considered sheltered and suitable for a loop itinerary that goes back to the moored vessel.
Continuing along the wall, the plateau gives way to a steep drop-off sinking almost vertically down to over 400 metres. On the wall, soft corals and gorgonians thrive, feeding on particles transported by the current. The feeling of being suspended in mid-water, hovering on the edge of – literally – an underwater mountain, is incomparable. Panorama Reef attracts every year hundreds of divers of all levels, including tech divers, who can reach great depths and explore the unexplored recesses of this stunning reef.
As any other offshore reef, Panorama Reef could present intense currents. The current flows southwards, making the northern corner the most challenging area of this dive site due to its exposure to water movements. However, when the conditions allow for a dive, the north corner becomes a great area to spot turtles, schooling barracudas, and sharks hunting for mackerel in the open waters.
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.