Here is Why Wadi El Gemal Should Be on Your Travel Bucket List

By: Muhammed Aladdin

Situated on the Red Sea, near Hamata in Marsa Allam, Wadi El Gemal National Protectorate is one of the most underrated destinations in Egypt. It’s a piece of heaven on earth and a landscape where wildlife roam freely without any human disturbances. It is the perfect place if you’re looking for quiet evenings, being surrounded by starry nights, and the feeling of unity with nature.

Here are some astonishing facts about the protectorate and why it’s a must visit:

It is considered to be one of the most bio-diverse places in Egypt

With more than 450 species of corals and over 1,200 species of fish, this destination is teeming with marine wildlife. Not only that but on any random day by the beach you can still find endangered animals like ibex and gazelles roaming around.

The Nubian Ibex in Wadi El Gemal Protectorate. Via Pinterest
Diver swimming with sea mantis. Via All Tours Egypt.

It is one of the few destinations which is ideal for Eco-tourism

Wadi El-Gemal promotes eco-tourism with privately owned eco-lodges built there, and many operators organize eco-friendly sightseeing and birdwatching trips. One of the most renowned camps there is El-Fustat Eco-lodge. It was built in 2005 using traditional materials and architecture; the staff there is employed to educate tourists on the ecology, geology, and history of the valley. There is also a miniature cinema there, where visitors can watch documentaries about wildlife, native inhabitants, and overall history.

A wild herd of camels swimming. Via Wadi El Gemal

It’s rich in history

The area was well-known to Ancient Egyptians, Greek Ptolemaians, and the Roman rulers of Egypt, the latter made fortunes mining the world’s oldest emerald mine, which was located in the heart of the valley. On an organized tour, you will still be able to see the ruins of the mine and the ancient artifacts that the workers excavated there.

There are also the ruins of the ancient city of Umm Kabu, which the workers brought down the emeralds from the mountain to prepare it for inland transportation to the Nile. It then traveled down the great river to Alexandria and finally, it was shipped to Rome.

If you have time, you can still visit the ancient Roman settlement of Sakit. There, you can visit the Temple of Isis, dedicated to the ancient Egyptian Goddess of motherhood and fertility, whom the Romans adopted into their Pantheon of Gods.

Ruins of Umm Kabu. Via Egypt Sites

The people there have their own unique culture

Wadi El-Gemal is home to the native Ababda Bedouin tribe, who possess a unique authentic culture and traditions. The historically nomadic people still earn their bread by herding their flocks of goats through viable grazing areas between the valleys. The Ababda’s authentic cooking is out of this world, and they are renowned for their sweet traditional tea.

Al-Ababda Bedouins. Via Marsa Alam.
Men of Al-Ababda Bedouin tribe tracking their herds in the protectorate. Via Trip Advisor.

The protectorate is full of beautiful sightseeing hot spots

The Valley of the Camels is one of the hidden gems in Egypt and unsurprisingly, there are lots of things to see there. Here are some photos that will have you jumping on the next flight.

Coral formations at Wadi El Gemal Protectorare. Via Seacology.
A school of fish in the Red Sea at Wadi El Gemal Protectorate. Via All Tours Egypt.
A herd of camels grazing at the protectorate.  Trip Advisor.
The calm and beautiful Red Sea at the protectorate. Via Egypt Today.
Mangrove trees at Qulan Bay in the protectorate. Via Egypt Today.

We Said This: Don’t miss “Here are 9 Must-Visit National Protectorates in Egypt!



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