Overview of the Protectorate
The Petrified Forest protectorate is located about 30 km away from Cairo near Maadi. It is at least 35 million years old and was declared to be a protectorate in 1989. The reserve is an ideal example of the physical history of the earth. The six-km area is covered with the remains of trees from the ancient era which were brought here due to the floods on the Red Sea hills. The period during which such floods occurred was referred to as the Oligocene when the temperature of the earth dropped massively. The uniqueness of this period is that the drop in temperature led to the creation of an atmosphere that supported the creation of many new species like elephants and horses.
The Petrified Forest protectorate is located about 30 km away from Cairo near Maadi. It is at least 35 million years old and was declared to be a protectorate in 1989. The protectorate is located on the North Katameya- Ein el Sokhna road. Its geological history makes it very important. The natural treasures present at the place have given it a strong reputation as a cultural, touristic, and scientific destination. There are a large variety of stones, sands, petrified trees, and trunks present here which can help in finding out more about the ancient geological period of the earth. The Petrified Forest is a relatively small geological protectorate compared to others in Egypt and covers a land area of only 7 square kilometers. It is also classified as a natural heritage site.
Petrified Forest Vegetation
The reserve is densely covered by acacia trees, various pastoral plants, and bushes. These help in maintaining the health of the Mediterranean coast which was otherwise damaged by various developmental projects that disturbed the natural environment of the region.
The high density of acacia trees helps in increasing the level of soil water and preserves the natural qualities of the subterranean water. The Petrified Forest protectorate is one of the best natural sites in Egypt and the government has created it in order to conserve and protect the importance and richness of the wildlife flora and fauna seen here. It's also a popular tourist destination.
The Petrified Forest is also known as Gabal el-Khashab or Wood Hill. A visit is best for someone who is a nature lover, because if not there is nothing much to see in the reserve except the stones, sands, and rocks. The biggest threat to the reserve now comes from the constant construction work around the area. The many construction jobs nearby have led to most of the animals and wildlife disappearing from this area over the past ten to 15 years.
Overall the small size of the Petrified Forest reserve does not detract from what an important pearl it is in the natural heritage of Egypt.