Eilat is located in the southernmost tip of Israel, on the Red Sea and that makes it a perfect diving destination. Dive site ‘Katza’ is located here, where you have more than 90% chance of spotting dolphins during sunrise dives. We thought this would be super cool! After some research we selected diving school Ahla Dive, which offers this morning dive.
In this article you will find more information about the dolphin dive and our experience with Ahla Dive.
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Diving with dolphins in Eilat
Dive site Katza is also called ‘Dolphin Reef’, as this spot is located near the dolphinarium. Eilat is home to a dolphinarium and their dolphins do not live in captivity, but in the open sea. The area is not closed off, allowing you to see the dolphins as a diver (and if you’re very lucky also as a snorkeler) in open sea. The dolphins are conditioned and know when they are being fed at Dolphinarium, so they can be found in there at specific times. The best chance to spot them in the open sea at dive site Katza is between 05:30 and 6:30 am.
Dive site Katza
Katza has been a popular dive site since 2017. The dive site is easily accessible from the coast and has, besides the chance to spot dolphins, a coral reef as well. In addition, there are a number of pillars underwater, which are completely covered with coral and marine life. The maximum depth is 30 meters, but you don’t need to go that deep. We only went down 12 meters deep and that’s where we encountered the dolphins. Anyway, we noticed that the dolphins swam near the surface of the water a lot!
When you start the dive, you walk into the water. After a while you pass the watch towers. You can have a look around before swimming further in the direction of Dolphin Reef, until you are not allowed to go any further. The Dolphin Reef area is demarcated with signs ‘private property, do not enter’.
We stayed here for a while to wait for the dolphins. After about 15 minutes, just when I thought ‘we are not going to see them’, the first dolphin appeared! The dolphin was very playful and did some nice tricks! Then two or three more came swimming by. A great experience, which lasted for about 10 minutes! On the way back, we heard the dolphins a couple of times, but unfortunately, we didn’t see them anymore.
Diving with Ahla Dive Eilat
Ahla Dive is a diving school and hostel, where you can stay as a diver or non-diver. They have their own swimming pool, a communal kitchen and offer diving and dive courses. We selected this diving school with the help of Tripadvisor, because they have an excellent rating. The decisive reason for us to choose Ahla Dive, was that they are one of the few diving schools in Eilat offering a morning dive to Dolphin Reef at 05:30. The other diving schools go half an hour, or sometimes even an hour, later, which means that you’ll be in the water with many more divers.
Our divemaster Alexander was great! He made sure that we were in the water at 5:30 and were indeed the only divers at Katza. Besides the dive to Dolphin Reef he also took us to two other great dive sites, namely ‘Underwater Restaurant’ and ‘Satil Wreck’. The last dive was a wreck dive, to a 42-meter-long wreck. Alexander was very helpful, not only during the dive, but also on shore. He showed us some nice places in Eilat in the evening and on top of that he took us to the border of Jordan on the last day.
We were very happy with our choice for Alha Dive. They took us to the most beautiful dive sites, we saw the dolphins and our divemaster was very nice and helpful, both during diving and on shore. Their equipment was top notch as well, which is also important.
The legislation in Israel regarding diving is very strict. You have to be able to prove that your last dive was less than 6 months ago. Are you not able to prove this? That means you have to do a refreshment dive first. You are required to repeat some exercises, which you already did during your Open Water course. Think of regulator recovery, getting your goggles half and full of water and taking off your goggles and putting them on under water. The advantage is that you can do all these exercises in the sea. Afterwards, you continue with a fun dive.
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