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Wadi El-Rayan's protectorate was established in 1989 after a declaration by the prime minister of Egypt. It is located in Fayoum governorate and covers an area of 1,759 square km. It is primarily known for its natural heritage and resource development. Wadi El-Rayan protectorate is 150 km from Cairo.

What Is Wadi El-Rayan Known For?

Wadi El-Rayan is known for its integrated desert environment coupled with natural springs, sand dunes, large water bodies, various botanical life, a large variety of flora and fauna, and an important area for sea fossils altogether. El-Rayan Lake is characterized by its calm natural environment and pollution-free water.

Important Areas of Wadi El-Rayan 


  • A waterfall area known for various sea sports was formed due to the gathering of drainage water during farming
  • The Oyuon El-Rayan area is comprised of sand dunes and there are four natural sulfur springs as well. Fifteen species of desert plants and wild mammals can be found here alongside 16 species of reptiles and more than 100 species of resident and migratory birds.
  • Wadi Al-Hitan is a fossil area of the Wadi El-Rayan protectorate dating back 40 million years. Petrified primitive whale fossils were found here comprising skeletons, shark teeth, shells, and other sea animals. It is basically an open-air museum. The roots of Mangroves are also preserved in soft rocks. Many animals on the verge of extinction can be found residing here easily and safely.
  • The area of El-Rayan Mountain and El -Mashgaeega Mountain cover deep canyons and are also referred to as the split rock. They are a popular place to see a panorama of Wadi El Rayan and go for picnics.

Fishing At Lake Qarun

Lake Qarun

Lake Qarun features a wide variety of fish, especially Bulti which is a better species than those caught from the Nile. Lake Qarun is a popular spot for fishing. The other species which can be found here due to the increased salt content of the lake are eel, millet, sole, and shrimp. The lake is said to be the largest saltwater lake in Egypt and is open from the middle of June until the middle of April. The discovery of prehistoric fishing tackle some time back at Fayyoum Oasis along the lake has given the area a status as a hunting and fishing paradise which has remained so since 7200 B.C. There were many vacation palaces built during the Pharaonic era to help kings indulge in elite hunting expeditions along Lake Qarun. One former hunting lodge of King Farouk has been converted on the lake. 


Wadi El-Rayan protectorate in Egypt is located in the western desert and is easily reachable from the town of El-Fayoum. The protectorate is very important for Egypt's ecosystem and endangered species. It is home to the world’s only known population of the endangered slender-horned Gazella leptoceros. The Dorcas Gazelle is also still found in the area in small numbers as well as the Fennec Vulpes zerda and the Sand Fox.

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