The Wadi el-Gamal protected area near Hamata is a national park that covers an area of 60 km including the Wadi Gemal islands, Red Sea coast, coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves. The area 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. At the inside the Balanites aegyptiaca, dominate; further inland is the Toothbrush Bush, Salvadora persica.
Wadi el-Gamal: An Ideal Place For Tourists
In order to attract more tourists, Wadi el-Gamal was promoted largely for eco-tourism 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 as well as 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 seems to have existed from 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 important food source for some other endangered species as well. Wadi el Gemal is one of the most celebrated and thriving national marine parks in Egypt 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 on the globe. The rich wealth of coral reefs found here is speculated to be one of the most amazing in the world in an abundance of life and diversity of species.
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 then used in military campaigns. These land routes were vital, as it was very 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. The area is currently inhabited by pastoral people, The Ababda, who still maintain their traditional lifestyle.
The area of the Wadi el Gemal today is well protected by a series of strict environmental laws and conservation organizations.