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 Post subject: Safaga, Egypt by Geppy
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2003 10:20 am 
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I spent a week (from 21/12/02 to 27/12/02) in Safaga, Red Sea, Egypt, here you can find a small report on the spot.

Hotel : Holiday Inn.
Nothing special, 4 stars comparable to an european 3 stars: international food (quite bad), spacious and confortable rooms, quite clean.
Outside the hotels only sand and rocks, no night life.
Temperature : water about 20 celsius, all the kitesurfers I met had a long wetsuite: I used a 2/3 mm Neil Pryde and shoes to protect feet from cutting coral.
Air temperature was perfect with no or light wind (25 or 26 degrees) but with wind above 7/8 knots, in early morning or right before sunset (in this period at 16:30/17) better to stay covered.
In the evening no more than 13 or 15 degrees, on saturday night it was 10.

Being italian, maybe i'm biased about temperature and food.

Wind: in the hotels' beaches area, where are located the windsurf and kitesurf centers (from upwind to downwind Mistral, F2, Fanatic), the wind in the morning is off shore and gusty: it becomes at 11 or 12 from side off shore to side shore, but at the same time it becomes less stronger.
This is the statistic in the week:
Saturday 21/12: 25+ knots.
Sunday : 13/16.
Monday: 12/14.
Tuesday: 25/30.
Wednesday: 10.
Thursday: 12.
Friday: 13/16.

IMHO it is impossible or not reccomended to start from Holiday Inn beach and from the Fanatic center beach (I don't remember the hotel name, anyway immediately downwind the Holiday Inn): a bit better from the Shams Hotel beach, were is located the Mistral center, but here too you have small space to acces the sea (there are the windsurf area, the swimming area, the diving area, the boats area...) and some coral in front the kitesurfing area.
Some guys tried, but then they agreed with me that it is not a very good idea...
There is a quite good desert beach (and for quite good I mean better than others in the area but not very good in absolute), upwind and outside the hotels area, about 400 mt of walk from Holiday Inn, but the problem is that every hotel's beach has guardians at each extremity that ask money to anyone wants to access the beach itself: so the Holiday Inn guests have to pay to access Shams' beach and vice versa.
The first time I tried, without kite and board, they allowed me to give a look for few minutes, but the day after, when I arrived with all kite material, they asked me 20 egyptian pounds (about 5 euros), even if I clearly specified that my intention was to cross, and not to stay on, the beach.

Due the not very good situations, the guys at the windsurf centers organize daily kite trips with boats to a spot few kilometers upwind the hotels' area, Creasi Beach, for a price that goes from 12 to 28 euros.
This spot is locate in a large bay and it is a sandy area( about 2 km x 500 mt/1 km) with 30/40 cm deep water in the morning with high tide, that become almost completely dry in the afternoon with low tide.
You leave the hotels with the boat at 8:30 in the morning and reach the area after 30 or 40 minutes of navigation, and you will come back at 15:30 or 16.
The boats drop anchor where the water becomes shallow and the kite is inflated and rigged on the boat.
The water is almost flat, with a very small chop.
The spot is quite good, but, also in this bay, the wind is quite gusty and off shore, so if you have problems, you don't have a safe beach downwind: the only possibility is a boat rescue.
On tuesday, the best day of all the week, I measured form 15 to 27 knots in less than a minute: I rigged an Airblast 8.4, alternating periods of low wind where I needed to fly the kite to keep speed and periods where I was absolutely owerpowered (I believe some gusts where 30+ knots).

In the morning is possible to stay on the shallow water, but I didn't feel it safe enough for jumps and tricks: the water is not deep enough for my taste, and there are some small blocks of dead coral, very difficult to see being of the same color of sand.
On the other side of the Creasi beach there is the area where you can go for all the day, with high and low tide, trying to avoid some coral areas where the water is not deeper than 1 meter, but they are very well visible on the sand.

In conlcusion, I cannot reccomend Safaga for kite: on friday 27/12 afternoon, returning to Hurgada Airport, I saw from the bus a lot of people (25/30) kiting at the Jasmine Hotel, where is located a windsurf center and other 10 kites flying at the Magawish Village, very well described by Toby in this forum.
The wind was side on shore, the beaches bigger than Safaga ones and the wind was less gusty.

Maybe in summer the condition is better, with more regular wind: some friends reported me that in the warm season the wind become side shore earlier in the morning and stay stronger for a longer time, but I really think that I'll never return in Safaga to see if it is true.

I think that Safaga is more suitable for windsurfers, the only advantage on Hurgada I can see is the fact the statistics say that the wind is generally 1 Beaufort stronger than in Hurgada.

Ciao.
--
Geppy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:27 pm 
:oops: ma va a cagare......


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