Wadi El Gemal is the third largest national park in the Arabian desert
It was officially declared a national park in 2003. The park covers an area of approximately 7,000 km2, comprising of 4,770 km2 of land and 2,000 km2 of marine waters. The desert sea contrast makes this park’s one of Egypt’s gems.
The park’s affluent biodiversity is comprised of plant species such as Acacia trees, Balanites aegyptiaca, Tamarix aphylla and medicinal plants like the Anastatica hierochuntica said to be used traditionally for the treatment of menstrual cramps, asthma, high blood pressure, headaches and fatigue.
The park hosts large mammals such as the Nubian Ibex, Dorcas Gazelle and African Wild Ass. Reptiles calling the park their home include the Jerboa and Horned Viper. Bird species in the park include the Striated Heron, the Western Reef Heron, the Spoonbill, the Osprey, the Caspian Tern and several protected falcons such as the Sooty Falcon.
The park is most famous for its crystal clear waters boasting a large diversity of marine species such as sea turtles, dolphins, dugongs, sharks, snappers, emperors, goatfish, wrasses, parrotfish, sturgeonfish, rabbitfish and much more!
Wadi El Gemal is home to about 7,000 indigenous people from the Ababda tribe. The Ababdas are known to have been at constant war with the Romans. For the longest time, they served as guides to caravans through the Nubian desert and up the Nile valley. They are believed to be engaged in telegraphy across the Arabian Desert till this day. The Ababda are said to have lived in southern Egypt since 2,500 BC as part of the Beja tribes that also lived in eastern Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea.
When visiting Egypt, don't drink the tap water - it's highly chlorinated. ... It's a similar situation in Egypt. It is advisable to drink bottled water during your entire holiday. That is why I would advise strongly that you don't drink the tap water and use it only for washing and brushing your teeth.