Shaab Samadai Reef is a breeding ground of spinners dolphin in the Red sea, in Marsa Alam, Egypt.

© Sunphol Sorakul/Getty Images

Sha’ab Samadai

Top choice in Marsa Alam

This lagoon 18km south-east of Marsa Alam is home to three dive sites with a reef system full of interesting coral pinnacles and fish life. What makes Samadai so special, though, is the pod of spinner dolphins (numbering up to 480) that regularly visits the lagoon. As with any wildlife-watching, there is no guarantee that you'll see dolphins on your visit; however, the huge diversity of corals and other sea life makes snorkelling or diving here a wonderful experience.

Samadai is managed by a local conservation NGO, the Hurghada Environmental Protection & Conservation Association (, which has established a daily cap on visitor numbers to protect the dolphins and introduced an admission fee that goes towards maintaining the conservation of the lagoon.

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