If you’re anything like me, then you also love dolphins. There’s something about their smiley faces and playful character that make them great snorkelling or diving buddies. If you want the chance to swim with dolphins in the Red Sea, you should consider snorkelling or scuba diving Sataya Reef or Dolphin Reef.
Sataya Reef (Dolphin Reef) is best known for snorkelling and diving with spinner dolphins. Located in the Red Sea about 30km (19 miles) off the Egyptian coast near Hamata, which is about an 75 minute drive south from Marsa Alam, which can be experience by day boats or by Red Sea Liveaboard.
Satayah Reef (Dolphin Reef) is part of the Fury Shoals reef, which is shallow lagoon that is used as a resting place for large numbers of spinner dolphins. This is nature and they are wild dolphins, and whilst there are no guarantees to see dolphins, most trips to Satayah Reef see them there.
Sataya Reef is often nicknamed Dolphin House, which is actually another reef altogether north of Sataya Reef, which is off the coastline near Marsa Nakari and Marsa Alam. It gets the nickname of Dolphin house, as it’s like a house where dolphins live.
Here’s an example video of what Sataya Reef is like. The dolphins arrive at about 2:22.
Where is Dolphin Reef (Sataya Reef) – Map
- Sataya Reef (Dolphin Reef) is about 30km (19 miles) from Hamata, which is 109km (68 miles) or an hour and 15 minute drive from Marsa Alam.
- Sataya Reef (Dolphin Reef) is about 80km north west of St. John’s Island.
- It is a similar distance from Wadi Lahami Village Red Sea Diving Safari, which is slightly south of Hamata.
- Marsa Shagra Village and Marsa Nakari Red Sea Diving Safaris also take trips to dive and snorkel Sataya Reef too.
- Red Sea liveaboards also visit the reef for scuba diving and snorkelling with the spinner dolphins.
How to get to Sataya Reef (Dolphin Reef)
Sataya Reef (Dolphin Reef) is only reachable by boat and can be accessed as follows:
- By day boat from Hamata Port, which takes about 2 hours.
- Overnight trips by large boat from Hamata Port, which takes about 2 hours.
- Speedboat trip from Wadi Lahami, which takes about 45 minutes.
- Red Sea liveaboards from Hamata, Marsa Alam and Port Ghalib, which also take divers to St. John’s Islands.
If you would like to book a liveaboard trip to visit St. John’s Island that includes Sataya Reef, please take a look at the liveaboards below.
Why are the spinner dolphins at Sataya Reef?
The spinner dolphins use Sataya Reef as a safe resting place in between feeding trips and is a safe place for their calves.
It’s when the dolphins are resting and often playing in the shallows when divers and snorkelers can see these beautiful creatures in the wild. Sataya reef has a protected shallow area, which is about 7-10 metres (23-33 feet) that is away from the dangers of the deep Red Sea.
Sataya Reef rules when swimming with dolphins
If you are lucky, you could have between 20-30 spinner dolphins come up to you when you snorkel or dive Sataya Reef. But what rules should you follow?
- Don’t touch the dolphins.
- Don’t feed the dolphins.
- Never chase after the dolphins ands let them come to you.
- Always wear your life jacket.
- Swim gentle and without making too much of a splash.
“This place is unbelievable. Snorkeling with dolphins in the wild is something I never expected to do but there were hundreds (seriously) her it’s a good couple of hours on the boat from the marina and it was 2 and a half hours from my hotel to the marina so a long day but worth every second of travel for that experience.“Sataya Reef review on Trip adviser July 2019
You may be better to do the overnight trip on a Red Sea liveaboard, as you get to spend more time of the reef with a better chance to experience swimming with the dolphins.
Shaab Samadai (Dolphin House)
Shaab Samadai (Dolphin House) is not to be confused with Sataya Reef.
Shaab Samadai (Dolphin House) is about 10km (6.5 miles) off the Egyptian coast from Marsa Nakari Red Sea Diving Safari, or 20km (13 miles) off the coast from Marsa Alam. This reef is another place where you’ll find large pods of spinner dolphins too, together with coral gardens of soft and hard corals.
- Shaab Samadai (Dolphin House) is a marine park protected by law to protect the spinner dolphins that come to rest there during the day.
- Accessed from Marsa Nakari village by zodiac, which takes about 20 minutes.
- From Marsa Shagra add a further 30 minutes for the car transfer to Marsa Nakari.
What is it like to dive and snorkel Sataya Reef with dolphins?
Diving or snorkeling with wild dolphins is an experience you will never forget. These inquisitive and intelligent mammals often love to interact with humans, but it’s important you let the dolphins come to you.
Every time I’ve dived or snorkelled with wild dolphins, I’ve always considered the experience to be a privilege. It’s very unique and Sataya Reef is one of the best places in the world to have this privilege to enjoy being in the water with spinner dolphins. But you may also be lucky to see bottlenose dolphins too at Sataya Reef.
“Orca Dive Centre at Wadi Lahmy Azur invited me for a one day trip at the dolphin house at Sataya Reef… It was beyond amazing I can’t find words to express how beautiful it was. Worth visiting.”Review in February 2021 on Trip Adviser
I hope you enjoyed this page about Sataya Reef (Dolphin Reef): Snorkel + Dive With Dolphins
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