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Siyoul Kebir Gilwa

All along the south side of Siyoul Kebir there is a line of small shallow coral ridges and ergs flanking a steep sandy slope. Here the boats moor up in good protection, sheltered from the wind and waves behind the reef and island. There is no reason to drift this site unless the current, which from time to time can be wicked, dictates it. Gilwa comes from the same word as Galawa in Abu Galawa. There it means that there are shallow pools on top of the reef. Here, where there are no pools it indicates the flat sandy area between the island and the main reef.

This is an excellent last dive of the day since it’s absolutely spectacular on 5-10m. Alternatively if you are doing your morning dive here you can easily get the depth you need. Coral blocks and table corals in a classic random Red Sea fashion are spread out over the sloping bottom. The dive site is equally suitable for DSD, the deep dive for the advanced course, or a study in tropical marine biology. Jump from the boat and make it to your chosen depth. The main reef lands on about 15m where the bottom gently slants towards greater depth. Start the dive against the current, progressively shallower. Turn around and head back along the ergs and ridges till you find the mooring. The further you get to the east the depth gets greater at the point where the side of the reef meets the bottom. Close to the east corner it’s around 32 meters instead of 15. This might be good to know if there are many boats present and you have to moor up further to the east. If you have air and time, take a few minutes to explore the fringing reef at the top. Here you find a “marine nursery” with a lot of juveniles. It’s an amusing challenge to look all the youngsters up in the reef guide after your dive.

Big thanks to Anders "Samaka" Jälmsjö ( for the site map and description.

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