An Ultimate Guide to Abu Galum Protectorate
Abu Galum Protectorate is a haven of biodiversity, an epitome of natural beauty, and a sanctuary of cultural richness. This protected area covers a vast expanse of 400 square kilometers, a landscape highlighted by the meeting of coastal mountains and the azure waters of the Gulf of Aqaba. It is a destination of great environmental importance and a must-see for any nature enthusiast visiting Egypt. The Ras Abu Galum Protectorate is near Taba and was declared a reserve in 1992 primarily for protecting mangroves and coral reefs. The reserve lies north of the Nabq Protectorate along the Gulf of Aqaba.
An Overview of the Protectorate
The importance of Abu Gallum can be seen in the existence of a unique topography in the area. Here, you can see the mountains near the beaches, and the varied terrains include coral reefs, sea herbs, sea creatures, lagoons, mountains, and a desert environmental system, meaning almost everything is in one place. The valleys and mountains here are home to many birds, wild animals, and plants, which have helped turn this protectorate into a significant tourist attraction in Egypt. Also, there are diving plans, safari, and animal and bird-watching programs for newbies here. The reserve has more than 165 species of plants, of which 44 are restricted to just this habitat. The account is also known for the underwater cave system, which lies at a depth of more than 100 m. The system is hazardous and unstable. Thus, management of this area is critical to ensure the continuous flow of tourists to the place. The protectorate is called the best-kept secrets of Sinai and depicts a picturesque protected area of Egypt. Its spectacular granite mountains ending abruptly on a narrow coastal plain fronted by rich coral reefs make it a worthwhile visit.
Location and Geography
Situated on the southeastern coast of the Sinai Peninsula, Abu Galum is nestled between the bustling towns of Dahab and Nuweiba. Its unique geographical features characterize the area, ranging from dunes and gravel beaches to narrow valleys and coastal mountains. Dramatically different from other protected areas in the region, Abu Galum is often described as a 'floristic frontier,' a unique location where a tropical climate enhances Mediterranean conditions.
Abu Galum is a treasure trove of biodiversity. It boasts 165 plant species, including 44 endemic to the area. It is also home to many mammals, reptiles, and marine life. The coastal region is adorned with undisturbed coral reefs, rich in diverse species of coral reef fish and associated flora and fauna. Evidence of the area's richness is evident along the shoreline, which is littered with various mollusk shells.
The Mizena Bedouin tribe resides within the confines of the protectorate, continuing their centuries-old fishing practices, albeit now regulated by the protection. The Bedouin community is vital to Abu Galum's cultural fabric; visitors can learn about their traditional lifestyle and customs.
Whether you're an adventurer, a nature lover, or a culture enthusiast, Abu Galum has something for everyone. Camel, jeep, and walking excursions are readily available from Dahab, offering visitors an up-close experience of the protectorate's diverse ecosystems. Hiking along the path from the Blue Hole to Ras Abu Gallum is a popular activity, offering mesmerizing views of the shoreline and the opportunity to camp overnight in a Bedouin hut. Other attractions include the now-deserted Bedouin village of Bir El Oghda and the water source at Bir Sugheir.
Abu Galum encourages responsible travel to ensure the preservation of its unique ecosystems and cultural heritage. Visitors are urged to follow marked trails and avoid sensitive habitats. Bedouin guides and camels are promoted to reduce environmental impact and support the local community.
Planning a trip to Abu Galum requires careful consideration and preparation. Dahab travel agencies offer day trips and overnight stays, including return transport, lunch, and snorkeling gear. However, independent hiking is also possible for those who prefer a more personal experience.
How to reach Abu Gallum
You can reach Abu Gallum by driving from Taba. Also, you can trek from the Blue Hole Camp at Dahab, which can take around an hour for the journey. Also available is a camel ride to Abu Gallum, which can be rented along with a local guide from the Blue Hole. The road trip may take two hours if you consider driving to Abu Gallum from Dahab.
The Abu Galum Protectorate is a narrow coastal plain with high coastal mountains, and the area plays a significant role in regulating land use. The many channels are home to more than 165 plant species, including the medicinal plant Batheran, used to treat abdominal colic. The wildlife in the area includes the Hyrax, the Rupell's Fox, and the Striped Hyena. Also, ten species of snakes and lizards can be seen when at this protectorate. Visitors are always advised to avoid the sandy areas with vegetation, and a local Bedouin guide must always accompany you when visiting this area.
For those wishing to stay overnight, there are options to camp in a Bedouin hut in the village of El Omeyid. This gives visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Bedouin culture and enjoy their hospitality.
Health and Safety
While Abu Galum offers an unforgettable adventure, it's essential to prioritize health and safety. Visitors should adhere to established paths and avoid entering underwater caves, which are unstable and potentially dangerous. Regular cleaning of the protectorate is carried out to maintain its pristine condition, and visitors are encouraged to contribute by disposing of their waste responsibly.
Abu Galum Protectorate is undoubtedly an Egyptian gem. Its unique ecosystems, rich biodiversity, and cultural heritage make it a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic and memorable adventure. So, pack your hiking boots, put on your sun hat, and get ready to discover the wonders of Abu Galum.