Place Category: Hurghada / El Gouna
Between Giftun Soraya and Giftun Kebir is a narrow strait. Along crescent of reef projects out into it from the north end of Giftun Soraya – this is Ben el Gebel (literally «between the mountains» in Arabic). It also goes by the names of ‘Shaab Torfa’, ‘Shaab Dorfa’ and ‘Torfa el Shait’. At the end of this crescent of reef are five ergs. This is your dive site. It’s about 90 minutes from Hurghada.
Though waves may be pounding on the outside reef and the wind may be howling, the lagoon stays calm. You can venture out through the channel. This whole area is washed by current which runs through the strait much of the time.
Exit through a channel at 8m. If you’re feeling lazy then go no further than the three closest ergs. There are some beautiful Gorgonians on their north end. If you’re feeling athletic then head out to the furthest erg, it’s not dived much so it is full of fish and has some impressive overhangs veiled in Glass Fish. Be careful not to venture too far out into the strait, divers have been known to get lost and surface on neighbouring ‘Gota Ben el Gebel’ or ‘Banana Reef’ by mistake. It’s a long swim back.
Painted Triggerfish, Putters, Yellow Tang Spine, Napoleons and one spot Snapper populate the reef. Orange Spot Jacks hunt the Glass Fish beneath the overhangs. On the far north side Barracuda and occasionally White Tips and Eagle Rays wander through. Close to the reef are Clownfish living in large groups in their Anemones.