The Dolphin Reef – Sataya
Have you ever dreamed to dance with dolphins? If yes, then this, Sha’ab Sataya, is for you. also known as the Dolphin Reef. This amazing reef provides a truly unique opportunity to observe dolphins, swim and dance with these graceful and intelligent creatures in the wild.
Sha’ab Sataya is part of the Fury Shoal system in the relatively unexplored Hamata region of Marsa Alam. It is a great crescent-shaped reef and features an intriguing, huge coral lagoon. Since Sha’ab Sataya is exposed to the elements, divers are likely to see pelagic species such as sea turtles, trevallies, barracudas and sharks.
Sha’ab Sataya’s most distinctive feature however is the presence of a pod of permanently residing dolphins of the spinner variety; some sixty in total. It is widely considered as one of the world’s most pristine locations to experience dolphins in their natural habitat.
There’s a good likelihood that you’ll enjoy an epic dolphin-swimming experience throughout the day but, even if you don’t, the abundant other marine life will make the trip Sataya Reef worthwhile.
The dive usually begins at the western edge of the reef where divers descend and start exploring the steep wall, keeping the reef on their left. The depth along the wall ranges from 18-22m/59-72ft, lessening to12m/39ft at the lagoon’s entrance. The wall is covered in beautiful coral growth with all the associated small-sized marine life. As they go deeper along the wall, divers may encounter sleepy whitetip sharks slowly moving away when divers approach them.
Best time to go
Diving at Sha’ab Sataya is possible all year round. The average water temperature ranges from 20C/68F in winter to 27C/81F in summer.
What to expect
The exposed location of Sataya Reef creates good living conditions for big pelagic species, such as barracudas, sharks, trevallies, dolphins, and large sea turtles. In the many crevices in the wall, divers will also see a variety of little marine creatures, including sea anemones, nudibranchs, shrimp, scorpionfish, and colourful anthias.