The Wadi el-Gamal National Park
The Wadi el-Gamal protected area near Hamata is a national park covering 60 km, including the Wadi Gemal islands, the Red Sea coast, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves. The site has more than 450 species of corals and over 1,200 species of fish, making it one of the most biodiverse areas in Egypt. You can still find ibex and gazelles in this protectorate, and the seagrass contains engendered animals like Dugongs, Green Turtles, and Chelonia mydas, which nest on the coast and islands.
Wadi el-Gamal has a freshwater stream that joins with seawater, forming a low-salinity marsh that supports reed beds and Dom's palms. On the inside, the Balanites aegyptiaca dominate; further inland is the Toothbrush Bush, Salvadora persica.
Wadi el-Gamal: An Ideal Place For Tourists
Wadi el-Gamal was promoted largely for eco-tourism to attract more tourists due to a privately owned eco-lodge built here. There's also a camp named El-Fustta that has been set in the protectorate. Trips that exclusively aim at wildlife exploration and bird watching, and some popular camel trips, are also organized by many tour operators here. At the park, you can also witness prehistoric rock art that contains Ptolemaic and Roman ruins. Also, the mountain Mons Smaragdus is the site of small mining communities that have existed since the Pharaonic Egyptian era.
Natural Wealth In Wadi el-Gamal
About 17% of the marine life at Wadi Gemal is native to the Red Sea. The islands are a breeding ground for 13 rare bird species, and local seagrasses are an essential food source for some other endangered species. Wadi el Gemal is one of Egypt's most celebrated and thriving national marine parks and lies just to the north of Hamata and Berenice.
The park is also renowned for featuring the largest nesting colony of the sooty falcon globally. The abundance of life and diversity of species in the coral reefs found here make them one of the most amazing in the world.
More About Wadi el-Gamal Protectorate
The area is said to have been well known to the Pharaohs, who derived some of their great wealth from the treasure mined in these mountains. During the Ptolemaic period, elephants captured in Africa were brought to the park and used in military campaigns. These land routes were vital, as it was tough to sail north against the Red Sea’s prevailing winds and hazardous to navigate its coral reefs and shoals. The traders and travelers of the region left a legacy of unique antiquities, many of which are still being discovered today. Pastoral people inhabit the area, The Ababda, who still maintain their traditional lifestyle.
Today, the area of Wadi el Gemal is well protected by a series of strict environmental laws and conservation organizations.