The offshore reefs however are more suitable to divers and should only be visited with a professional guide.Abu Dabbab is close to most of Marsa Alam's hotels and located on a brach road off the main coastal road between the Sol Y Mar Abu Dabbab and Marsa Alam Hilton hotels, 34km north of the town of Marsa Alam and about 35km south of the airport and for those who like GPS coordinates you will find it at latitude 25'20'N and 34'45' East.To overcome this visibility problem divers or snorkelers can advance line abreast, three to four metres apart and when one spots anything point the others in their direction.However care should be taken that this is not done in such a way which will intimidate the turtles or the dugongs.For such a huge animal, with an enormous seal like body and paddle-like foreflippers, the dugong is surprisingly quiet and has no natural defence against predators except for its' hug size.The Egyptians dugong can grow up to 2.5 or even 3 metres long and has a average lifespan of around thirty years.Dugongs are sometimes tolerant of the occasional swimmer at near distance but they don't seem to enjoy crowds of overly curious onlookers.An Italian diver Roberto Sozzani describes how one Dugong at Abu Dabbab soon found all the attention too much. In order to avoid the wild crowd on the surface, the dugong dove and then emerged covering long diagonals, moving to deeper and deeper waters.
I can highly recommend Steven's daily snorkeling boat trips which operate from Port Ghalib on a daily basis to both Shony Bay reef and Marsa Mubarak reef where you have a very good chance to see turtles and one of the best chances anywhere in the world (though not guaranteed) to see a dugong.
You can usually find the entrance hidden behind a row of parked coaches and minibuses and behind it you will see the beach, often crowded with sun worshipers and snorkelers. It might not seem like the sort of wild place to find endangered exotic marine animals but fortunately and, despite the occasional crowds, it still is.
In fact giant green sea turtles can be seen almost every day, as can the harmless guiltar sharks, although your chance of seeing Dennis or Dougal, the famous dugongs, vary from season to season (being slightly higher in the summer), and overall on any one day perhaps less than fifty-fifty.
It is protected from the open sea on its' northern and southern flanks by reefs which widen slightly near the Eastern mouth of the bay.
The bay is therefore fairly sheltered and it's depth descends slowly as you progress further towards the sea but typically averages 15 metres.
For more fascinating and quirky facts about the dugong please visit .