Wadi El Gemal National Park Tour - Egypt Eco-Treasures
Duration: Half Day / Full Day
Discover the natural and historical treasures of Wadi el Gemal National Park during your holiday in Egypt. Not only is it one of the most beautiful and biodiverse parks in the country, but it is also the third largest park in the East Arabian Desert. See and learn about a huge variety of plants and animals, as well as the human inhabitants who have survived these harsh conditions for centuries. This is one of the most fascinating eco-adventures available in Egypt.
Situated about 40km from Marsa Alam on Egypt’s Red Sea Coast, the spectacular Wadi el Gemal National Park is a protected area that covers nearly 100km of coastal landscapes. The park comprises a vast range of desert and marine ecosystems, ranging from pristine coral reefs, sea-grass beds and salt marshes to mangrove forests, tropical palm groves and sand dunes, which support an incredible variety of endemic wildlife species.
In addition, the park boasts a 60km-deep wadi (dry river bed) and the impressive "emerald mountain" which was the world’s earliest known emerald mine and the only source of emeralds during the Roman Empire. Many historical monuments and heritage sites dating back to the Roman and Ptolemaic periods can also be visited throughout the park.
The beach and mangroves can be reached from the coastal road or you can take an organised tour with a specialist guide via camel, foot or four-wheel-drive to see the wadi and mountains. Travelling through valleys and desert, the scenery is spectacular. You will spot a variety of birds and animals on the way, many of which are endangered, including Dorkas gazelles, Barbary sheep, Nubian Ibex and African Wild Ass, as well as the largest worldwide colony of the endangered slate falcon, the endangered white-eyed sea gull and one of the world’s largest populations of sooty falcons. The coral reefs and mangroves also support an abundance of marine life such as the endangered Dugong “sea cow”, sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, eels, rays and hundreds of fish species.
In the middle of the park lies the Fustat Wadi el Gemal Eco-lodge, the first of its kind to be constructed in Egypt’s National Parks. Built in 2005, this unique eco-tourism project was founded to expose and conserve the beauty and wildlife of Wadi el Gemal National Park by educating and informing tourists about the ecology, geology and history of Wadi el Gemal and the surrounding areas.
Day tours and overnight desert safaris are based here and the lodge has also a cinema where visitors can view a documentary about the park and its inhabitants – the ancient nomadic Basharia and Ababde tribes. The lodge’s employees are mainly indigenous inhabitants of Wadi el Gemal so you will be able to get an insight into their culture firsthand whilst learning about the desert environment and the traditional skills needed to survive here.
At the end of the tour you will be seated in the exotic, main “fustat” (meaning tented camp in Arabic), which is adorned with antiques and traditional handicrafts. Here you will be served breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on the type of excursion you book.
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