Dahab is still considered to be one of the Sinai's most treasured diving destinations. The desert comes to an abrupt end at the Red Sea, where exquisite coral reefs provide a fine underwater playground for divers and snorkeler’s from around the world. The coral reefs along the Sinai coastline are among the best in the world with many reefs immediately adjacent to waterfront hotels. The nearby Blue Hole and Canyon are internationally famous dive spots. The Red Sea has one of the highest amounts of marine life variety in all the tropical seas. Extreme Sports Café offers you the chance to learn free diving in this under water paradise.
Dahab is a small town situated on the southeast coast of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Dahab was formerly a Bedouin fishing village, located approximately 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Sharm el-Sheikh. Historically, most visitors to Dahab had been backpackers travelling independently and staying in hostels. In recent years though the development of new hotels has facilitated the arrival of a wider range of tourists, many of who visit Dahab specifically to partake in the windsurfing, diving and other activities.
Extreme Sports Café newest Free diving partner is located in Dahab and was started by Lotta Ericson and Linda Paganelli in 2004. The Freediving centre provides everything a freediver could possibly need. Along side the training and AIDA courses they also offer equipment rental and sales, organize freediving events of all kinds including; free diving safaris and training, National record events and freediving competitions. Most notably they organize and host the famous annual “Triple Depth Competition” in Dahab.
Dahab is an ideal location for free diving with easy access to deep water right off the shore. The visibility here is extremely good all year round and there are no currents, no thermo clines and no great white sharks to worry about. Diving is mainly done at the BlueHole. The Blue Hole is a hole in the reef table 90mt deep and 50mt wide. It’s deepest spot is just 20mt from the shore. In the last few years it has become a challenge for freedivers to swim through it’s 35mt long ‘Arch” which is the wide opening of the Blue Hole to the outside, with the Arch top situated at 55mt. You don’t need to be a deep diver to dive at the Blue Hole and since the reef wall always surrounds you, even a 20mt dive is a spectacular dive.
The winter months January – March are the coldest. Water temperature drops to 20 degrees Celsius. A combination of short daylight hours, water temperature and wind require a good selection of jumpers, windbreakers. The summer months August & September can be quite hot. During heat waves the air temperature often exceeds 40 degrees Celsius. The months in between can be considered moderate and the most suitable for free diving.
Freediving Courses and Experiences in Dahab Egypt with Extreme Sports Cafe
This Introduction into Freediving is for confident snorkeler’s who want to explore the underwater world more closely. Course content includes:
- 1 breath-holding session, during which you will learn basic techniques of breathing, relaxation and breath-holding.
- 1 theory session, during which you will learn some freediving physiology and the risks of hyperventilation.
- 1 diving session, during which you will learn how to swim safely underwater, up to a maximum depth of 10 meters. You will be surprised of how easy and effortless it will feel!!
After this Introduction most divers continue their training with the 2-Day AIDA ** Freediver Course! No prerequisites.
This is a course for beginners who want to learn all the basic theory and techniques of freediving and immerse into the sport of Free diving. Course content includes:
- 1 breath holding-session: During which you will learn breathing and relaxation techniques, and you will be able to extend your breath-hold times easily.
- 1 dynamic apnea session: During which you will practice horizontal underwater swimming and learn how to move efficiently.
- 3 theory sessions: During which you will learn the basics of free diving physics and physiology, how to prevent shallow water blackout, how to rescue a freediver in trouble.
- 4 diving sessions: During which you will practice rescue procedures, technique training and streamlining, and at the end of the course you will be able to dive comfortably to the depth of 15-20 meters.
After this course divers can continue their training with the 3-Day AIDA *** Freediver Course! Prerequisites: 18 years (16 with guardian’s signature).
This is an intermediate course for free divers who want to learn more advanced techniques tips and tricks to improve and dive a bit deeper, up to 25-30 meters. Course content:
- 1 breath-holding session: During which you will practice O2 and CO2 tables, learn training concepts for static, and how to prepare a maximum attempt.
- 1 dynamic apnea session: During which you will practice horizontal swimming, prepare a maximum performance, and practice safety procedures.
- 3 theory sessions: During which you will learn what happens to the body (and lungs) when the surrounding pressure becomes greater and how the body adapts to this (mammalian dive reflex); we will go deeper into equalization techniques.
- 4 diving sessions: During which we will refine your swimming technique and streamlining, learn how to freefall and practice the new equalization techniques. We will also practice more rescue scenarios on the surface and at depth.
The free diving course includes a trip to Blue Hole on the last day of the course. Prerequisite: AIDA ** or equivalent. 18 years. (16 with guardian’s signature)
This is the advanced course for free divers who would like to dive deeper and are ready to start diving deeper than 30m. All the necessary techniques for deep freediving will be covered. Course content includes:
- 2 pool sessions: During which we will practise new breathing techniques, prepare maximum performance, and practise coaching a buddy through a static and a dynamic session.
- 3 theory sessions: During which we go deep into all the theory regarding deep diving and deep equalization techniques. We speak about cross training, and nutrition for free diving.
- 6 diving sessions: During which we put into practice the new skills learned and master the deep equalization. We practise how to simulate depth at shallower depths in order to get the body adapted to increased pressure. We practise advanced rescuing skills at depths.
The free diving course includes trips to Blue Hole on the last 2 days of the course. Prerequisite: AIDA *** or equivalent. First aid Course. 18 years. (16 with guardian’s signature)
All free diving course include all equipment need & AIDA certification ** /*** or **** level depending on which freediving course is taken.
AIDA – International Association for the Developments of Apnea is a worldwide federation for freediving, established in 1992. It manages and oversees the recognition of records, organises competitions and sets the standards for free diving education. AIDA certifies freedivers, instructors and judges.
Since 1993, AIDA has recognized 165 official world records, organized 5 team world championships and in 2005 the first individual world championship.
Lotta is a well-known Swedish freediver, and former world record holder she started the Freediving center in Dahab in 2004, when she moved to Dahab with her family. Since then she has been teaching AIDA courses, and organizes record attempts, competitions and free diving events.
Linda is an Italian freediver who has lived in Dahab since 2002, training and teaching freediving. She joined Lotta’s Freedive centre in Dahab in early 2006. Living in Dahab allows them to dive daily and to train frequently with many other top freedivers.
Both Lotta and Linda are national record holders in several freediving disciplines.
If you are already freediving or have just finished a course and would like to refine or extend your current skills and techniques, private training with Lotta or Linda is the way to go. There are 2 training sessions per day diving at Blue Hole, or Lighthouse. During your training sessions you will be given tips, tricks and suggestions to improve on your current skills and all equipment, buoy, rope and bottom weight are included. Price are per person, per day.
Dive Sites – Dahab
The Blue Hole
This location is the preferred spot for deep constant weight training with a maximum depth of 93m and is not affected by wind, waves or currents. This dive site offers a spectacular 700m drop-off with massive overhangs and usually exceptional visibility (+30m). Inside the Blue Hole itself a permanent training line can be fixed easily.
This is a perfect location for training and fun diving, sheltered from the elements. The Lighthouse Reef offers a variety of pinnacles with sand bottoms between them at 15m, 25m and 40m. In the Lighthouse Bay diving to a depth of 60m is possible.
The Canyon’s coral garden offers some of the nicest corals in the Dahab region at depths of around 10-20m. The Canyon itself is a large underwater cave with a few entry points between 18m and 52m. Advanced freedivers can enter the canyon for an amazing view. On calm days this is one of the most spectacular locations.
This is a beautiful dive site just around the corner from the Lighthouse Reef offering very relaxing and enjoyable freediving with a shallow coral reef and a sand bottom at 10-20m.
Accommodation Whilst Free Diving in Dahab Egypt - Extreme Sports Cafe's partner Dahab Freediving centre also has 2 apartments available for free diving students located right on the beach with breath taking sea views. Located just a 2-minuet walk from the centre of Assala village or a 10minuet walk along the beach from the more touristic parts of Dahab. This is also the meeting point for all students.
The apartments are brand new and built to European standards. There are 3 air-conditioned rooms, 2 doubles and 1 triple all with kitchen and fridge.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel we recommend The Octopus Hotel, which can be booked through the centre. It is a nice small hotel with a small pool and is located in the Mashraba area of Dahab. It is a 5-minuet Taxi ride or 20-minuet walk from the apartments. Prices start from 15€ per night for both options.
- Arabic is the official language although English and French are widely spoken, especially in the tourist areas.
- Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.
- The unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP), which is divided into 100 piastres. Most credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants.
- Dahab has two distinct parts. To the north is the former Bedouin village of Assalah on a kilometer-long beach. To the south lies Laguna or Dahab City, the modern town of Dahab, where the resort hotels, banks and other amenities can be found.
- Getting around Dahab itself on foot is quite simple, the promenade runs right along the seafront and all the usual amenities are located along it.
- Bicycles would be an excellent way of getting around, but most rental bicycles are poorly maintained and as such are in terrible shape.
- Tipping is known as 'baksheesh' and some small change is expected for most services, though small change can be hard to come by. A service charge is added to most restaurant and hotel bills but a 5% tip is normally given directly to the waiter. Taxi drivers are tipped about 10%.
- Travelers to Egypt should come prepared to beat the heat with a high factor sun block and drink plenty of water to combat dehydration.
- Drinking water in the main cities and towns is normally chlorinated but it is advisable to only drink bottled water.
- Cases of bird flu have been reported, and human fatalities have occurred. Although the risk is low for travellers, all close contact with caged, domestic and wild birds should be avoided, and all poultry and egg dishes well cooked as a precaution.
- Medical treatment can be expensive and standards vary so insurance is strongly advised, including evacuation. Medical facilities outside of Cairo can be very basic.
- Shared taxis, in essence mini-buses, are a cheap way to travel locally. Shared taxis tend to conform to a timetable, so they become useful if you have missed the day's bus to the nearby spots like Sharm el-Sheikh, or if you need to get into Dahab when arriving from the Aqaba ferry.
- To get to Dahab from Eilat, if you don't have a car, take a taxi to the border, walk across, and grab a shared taxi on the other side.
- The main Airport is Sharm El Sheikh (SSH) Sharm El Sheikh is about 90km from Dahab.
- An alternative to Sharm El Sheikh, is Taba (TCP) this is close to the Israeli boarder and about 200km from Dahab.
- Or fly to Cairo, and then continue to Sharm El Sheikh with Egypt Air.
- Buses connect Dahab with Sharm el-Sheikh (11EGP - 1h), Cairo (65/75EGP - 9h) and Suez daily.
- Alternatively, Eilat and the Israeli border at Taba are only around 2 hours away by taxi (300-400EGP) or 3 hours by bus (21EGP).
- You can book bus tickets from most of the hotels and hostels, or simply turn up at the last minute.
- Hotels will also arrange a taxi (5EGP) to the bus station, a short drive out of the tourist strip, about 2km.
Freediving Dahab Courses In Egypt from extreme Sports Cafe
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT FREEDIVING SHOULD NEVER BE ATTEMPTED ALONE - EVEN IN WATER AS SHALLOW AS YOUR BATH. ALWAYS TRAIN WITH AN EXPERIENCED BUDDY AND KEEP WITHIN THE LIMITS OF YOUR TRAINING.