Check Port Sudan Hotel Deals
Sudan Red Sea Resort Port Sudan Reviews
Possibly the only place to do diving without being on a liveaboard Mar 10, 2014
I stayed and dived with the Sudan Red Sea Resort about 30 minutes north of Port Sudan.
ABOUT THE RESORT
Firstly, about the resort. It’s quite hard to classify what kind of resort this should be. As a resort, the chalets are simple and nice (with more sophisticated new ones nearing completion) but it doesn’t really have a beach or nice water to swim in. It makes a pleasant place for Khartoum people to come and chill.
You can’t call it a dive resort as it doesn’t have the critical mass yet for good dive trips to take place regularly. The world class dive sites are far away from the resort and uneconomic for a single traveller unless there are others who happen to be going.
The owner is a lady by the name of Iman (who was away) and the manager is her son, the lovely, helpful, straight-up Hassan Osman. Both lived in the Netherlands for a while.
Hassan explains that when the resort was started, it was already 2h away from Port Sudan so it wasn’t viable to have it further up the coast where the beach was nicer. Now with the new road, it only takes 30 minutes.
ACCOMMODATION & FOOD
My accommodation is in simple cottages. Sheets were crips and clean. Toilets/bathroom were in a separate block but the new cottages nearing completion will have ensuite bathrooms. At SDG500, it was a bit pricey for what it was, especially when I didn’t have anyone to share with.
Food was very good but takes time to prepare as it’s made freshly. Breakfast starts with a large grapefruit and two oranges (which I save for later). Everything was reasonably priced compared to downtown Khartoum.
MY DIVING EXPERIENCE HERE
I did two dives with them, led by Abdul Rahman. He is described by Hassan as a navy diver who comes in freelance when required, now that they no longer have a full-time in-house dive operation.
Abdul Rahman doesn’t speak English except for a few words. I was a bit apprehensive and took the initiative to go through “al-isyarat al-salamah al-yad” (my broken Arabic for safety hand gestures) with him, just in case he uses different ones. All was cool and he uses all the same gestures.
We set off shortly after 1000 on a short ride to the first site, Abu Abdillah. The water was crystal clear and a beautiful shade of turquoise. The dive was quite ordinary but nice enough. There was plenty of hard coral and small reef fish. I’m sorry I’ve been spoilt by diving at Sipadan repeatedly.
This first dive was partly spoilt by not wearing a wetsuit (a new experience) which affected my buoyancy control in the first 15 minutes. This was compounded by the use of a steel rather than aluminium tank.
After a rest, we dived Shabuk (instead of The Race which the manager had suggested). Again the water looked beautiful from the surface. Once inside, I found it very cold and this affected my breathing and buoyancy for the first 10 minutes or so. There was plenty of hard coral again with some very big and beautiful terraces. The small reef fish were complemented by some larger fluoro and camouflaged ones.
I had asked them to prepare for 2-3 dives. I decided to quit after the second. With the divemaster not having a dive computer or depth gauge, I didn’t want risk having inadequate surface intervals and having an afternoon feeling bad.
The important equipment used were all in good order. Booties were extremely tatty but at least they were provided as they’re optional in some dive centres. Environmental awareness isn’t the best as I saw the divemaster throw his lunchbox into the water on the way back to shore.
The afternoon turned very windy. It is an indication that the weather can still be unsettled in March and revert to that of Jan/Feb.
This place is a diving option for those who don’t want to be on a week-long liveaboard. You get access to better dive sites if you come as a group, otherwise you are limited (economically) to the house reef and nearby sites.
This simple place costs nearly as much as some of the glorious resort on Egypt’s Red Sea riviera. It is still worthwhile for the few who brave the travel warnings to explore Sudan; it certainly offers another facet of Sudan’s budding tourism industry.
Part of the 2014 Sudan & Egypt travel blog
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!