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The national park of WADI EL GEMAL – Egypt

The National Park of WADI EL GEMAL

“Valley of the Camels”

 Wadi el Gemal Park boasts the oldest emerald mines in the world, and is also one of Egypt’s most interesting areas due to the richness of its ecosystems and its many archaeological sites.

Wadi el Gemal is located about 45 kilometers south of Marsa Alam, and is one of the largest valleys of the Eastern or Arabian Desert, encompassing the region between the Nile and the Red Sea.

In 2003, Wadi al Gemal was designated a national park (WGNP). It comprises a terrestrial section as well as an important marine area, which extends over 120 km of coastline with a spectacular coral reef.

The park is also home to a Bedouin community belonging to the Ababda tribe.

An unpaved road crosses the park; it once connected the ancient Ptolemaic and Roman port of Berenice to the Nile Valley, and is still accessible today.

Among the richest in the Eastern Desert

An Emerald in the Desert

Among the Easter Desert’s richest, the park’s flora and fauna comprise over 140 species of plants and shrubs, characterizing the various ecosystems: the coastal strip, the mouth of the Wadi, the coastal plain and the great valleys.

One of the peculiarities of the seacoast within Wadi El Gemal National Park is the extraordinary development of mangroves that form a unique ecosystem in the Red Sea. The mangroves are almost always marked by large blue signs that remind visitors of this plant’s status as a protected species and list rules that must be followed when visiting these beautiful sites, so rich in all forms of life.

The park’s fauna includes mammals, reptiles and birds. Among these is the largest population of gazelles (Gazella dorcas) found in the Eastern Desert; the now rare Nubian ibex is also found here. These two species are both considered vulnerable and are thus included on the Red List of Threatened Species compiled by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Observe birds in their own habitat


White-eyed gulls, Eurasian collared doves, African collared doves and black nightingales

Wadi el Gemal National Park is also known for its bird life, and has been classified as an IBA (Important Bird and Biodiversity Area) by BirdLife International, an international organization for the protection of birds. The park is thus one of the best areas for watching birds in their natural habitat. The presence of abundant vegetation and fresh water makes Gorgonia Beach Resort an excellent vantage point for observing a colony of white-eyed gulls in particular. Eurasian collared doves, African collared doves, Isabelline shrikes and black nightingales can also be observed.

Reef: an underwarter kingdom


Our reef is home to 104 species of fish; the seabed is covered by 7,660 hectares of marine plants, providing nourishment for dugongs and green turtles

This fringing reef is situated immediately off the coastline and extends for varying distances, ranging from a few meters to more than a hundred. Small natural pools with sandy bottoms sometimes form within. The reef is formed by what are known as hard corals, onto which other organisms such as soft corals, sponges and bryozoans are attached.

The reef is teeming with life, including many species of small fish, dugongs (IUCN Red List), scaled marine turtles and large green turtles. Finally the park’s waters are home to a large population of long-nosed dolphins.

A treasure to be preserved


Our reef is home to 104 species of fish; the seabed is covered by 7,660 hectares of marine plants, providing nourishment for dugongs and green turtles

Gorgonia Beach is deeply bound to a sustainable philosophy, which is of course in keeping with its setting within El Wadi National Park. The resort’s management and staff have thus decided to do their part to help preserve the Red Sea’s spectacular natural world. Periodically they spend the day cleaning the beaches and park area, an activity in which the guests of Gorgonia Beach often volunteer to take part. Called Clean-Up Day, this event dedicated to the sea and ecology normally finishes off with a snorkeling excursion in the bays followed by some rest and relaxation. During the day’s activities, small donations are also collected that go towards the development and health of the nearby Bedouin communities.

Gorgonia Beach Resort usually gives each participant a small souvenir or T-shirt dedicated to Clean Up Day – Marsa Alam, as a thank-you for his or her efforts and in memory of this day devoted to environmental sustainability. This initiative is made possible thanks to the support of the TGI Diving Center and HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Agency), a non-governmental organization founded in 1992 to protect and enhance the natural resources of the Red Sea.

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