Abu Kafan North
Diving Abu Kafan north is to begin with a little bit like Elphinstone but the plateau itself has somewhat more dramatic topography with a few pinnacles and big coral blocks. The main reef drops down to about 18m and on the west side there is a tall pinnacle reaching for the surface. It’s attached to the main reef with a ridge accentuated by two tops interrupting the slope. Further out you find another smaller pinnacle covered with soft coral. Huge schools of anthias facing the current. A few fin kicks north from here, at a depth of 25 metres, three hill-shaped coral formations are situated close to each other whereof the most westerly is hollow and pack jammed with glassfish. These are protected by the red mouth grouper that’s fighting a losing battle trying to keep jacks and lionfish away from his herd. Continuing out to the north end of the plateau you’re swimming over a beautiful coral garden and arriving at the drop off you look out in the blue for schools of red snappers, jackfish and surgeonfish. These, together with the anthias close to the reef indicate the split point of the current and the area to look for larger pelagic predators. You should turn around with at least 100bar in your tank, the reason for that being that it’s not only an ascent but also a fair distance swim back to the reef. During a morning dive you follow the east side of the plateau and reef, in the afternoon the west, so that you have the sunlight on the wall.
Abu Kafan South
When you dive the south plateau you chose strategy depending on the current. A day with strong current from the north you drop in half way up the wall (east or west depending on time of day/sunlight) and glide back along the reef. As you come up to the plateau you make your decision how far out to go after assessing the current. If there is no or just a light current this is also a wicked dive made from a stationary boat. You are likely to be moored up right over the spot where the west side of the plateau gives way to the wall or slightly north thereof. You start your dive on the edge of the plateau on your left shoulder at a depth of about 25 metres and swim over a beautiful drop-off covered with soft coral and gorgonians. Keep an eye out into the blue for big predators. You pass a massive pinnacle right on the rim of the plateau and after a few more minutes an enormous table coral just below the drop-off. Next feature is a ridge shaped coral formation and before you know it you are at the south tip of the plateau at 35 metres. From here you work yourself progressively shallower by following the profile of the reef, passing some gorgeous coral blocks draped with shoals of sweepers, anthias, pullers, damsel and chromis. You swim back between the massive pinnacle and the main reef at 22 metres and directly ascend to 17 metres where you find a very photogenic overhang/cave. At this point it’s probably time to think about the safety stop which is made along the top of the reef.