W is for Wadi El Gemal National Park

A glimpse into Wadi el Gemal National Park

Wadi el Gemal (Valley of the Camels) was declared a protected area in 2003 and was the location for the recent Characters of Egypt festival that we attended this past weekend (more on that later). I am already planning a return trip to this beautiful park!

Located along the southern Red Sea Coast of Egypt Wadi El Gemal National Park encompasses some of the most endangered habitats and wildlife, both marine and terrestrial. The Ababda, the dwellers of this region, are an ancient people with a rich and colorful heritage which is also endangered. The park is also known for “the emerald mountain” which was the only source of emeralds within the Roman Empire. The ancient sites which were used for hundreds of years exhibit a wealth of antiquities ranging from roads to watering stations, outposts, residential settlements, temples and others. More info here.

Well worth a visit, this park also boasts amazing park rangers! They are knowledgable, passionate, and available to guide visitors through the park while providing information about the local people, flora, fauna, geology, and more! And if you are interested in discovering more about the plants in the area, I highly recommend Tamer Mahmoud’s Desert Plants of Egypt’s Wadi el Gemal National Park.

Check out these resources to learn more about the park:

Egypt Today: The Land of Plenty – Wadi el Gemal National Park shelters rare populations of falcons and foxes

Discover Wadi el Gemal National Park (PDF): Sites of Interest from the Mountains to the Sea