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15 Best National Parks to visit in Egypt

  • 07/05/2023

15 Best National Parks to visit in Egypt

Egypt is blessed with stunning natural beauty and a rich history that dates back thousands of years. Its national parks are a testament to this fact, offering visitors a chance to witness the country's diverse landscapes, flora and fauna, and ancient monuments. From the magnificent mountains of St. Katherine Protectorate to the fascinating marine life of Ras Mohammed National Park, there is no shortage of natural wonders to explore. In this article, we'll highlight 15 of the best national parks to visit in Egypt, detailing their unique features, attractions, and activities. Whether you're a nature lover, history buff, or adventure seeker, Egypt's national parks have something for everyone.

1. Introduction to Egypt's National Parks

Egypt is a treasure trove of ancient ruins, majestic monuments, and vast deserts. But did you know that Egypt is also home to several stunning national parks? These parks are a must-visit for travelers looking to escape the crowds and experience the natural beauty of Egypt. From lush oases to underwater wonders, there's something for everyone in Egypt's national parks.

Why Visit National Parks in Egypt

Egypt's national parks offer a unique opportunity to explore the country beyond the typical tourist sights. You'll discover hidden gems, witness incredible wildlife, and support conservation efforts. Egypt's parks are also a great way to experience the country's diverse landscapes, from the stunning Red Sea Coast to the Sahara Desert. Whether you enjoy hiking, wildlife spotting, or simply relaxing in nature, Egypt's national parks have something for you.

2. Ras Mohammed National Park

Location and Brief History

Located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, Ras Mohammed National Park is one of Egypt's most popular parks. The park was established in 1983 to protect the area's coral reefs and marine life. With its clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, Ras Mohammed is a diver's paradise.

Attractions in Ras Mohammed National Park

Ras Mohammed is home to an incredible array of marine life, including over 220 species of coral and over 1,000 fish species. Visitors can explore the park's many dive sites, including Shark and Yolanda Reef, where divers can see everything from reef sharks to schools of barracuda.

Activities in Ras Mohammed National Park

In addition to diving, visitors can enjoy snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing at Ras Mohammed. The park also has several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the Red Sea and the surrounding mountains. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the park's famous mangrove forests, which are home to a variety of bird species.

3. Wadi El Gemal National Park

Location and Brief History

Located on the Red Sea coast between Marsa Alam and Hamata, Wadi El Gemal National Park was established in 2003 to protect the area's unique desert and coastal ecosystems. The park covers over 5000 square kilometers and is home to a variety of wildlife, including desert foxes, hyenas, and gazelles.

Attractions in Wadi El Gemal National Park

Wadi El Gemal is a stunning landscape of sand dunes, rocky outcrops, and crystal-clear lagoons. The park is also home to several important archaeological sites, including the Roman port of Myos Hormos. Visitors can explore the park's many hiking trails, swim in the lagoons, or simply relax on the beach.

Activities in Wadi El Gemal National Park

In addition to hiking and beach activities, visitors to Wadi El Gemal can also take camel rides or explore the park's many wadis (dry riverbeds). Don't miss the opportunity to visit the park's Bedouin communities, where you can learn about traditional life in the desert.

4. Pharaohs Island National Park

Location and Brief History

Located off the coast of Taba in the northern Sinai Peninsula, Pharaohs Island National Park is a small island with a rich history. The island was once a major trading port and is home to several important historical sites, including a Crusader-era fortress and a 12th-century mosque.

Attractions in Pharaohs Island National Park

Visitors to Pharaohs Island can explore the island's historical sites, including the fortress, mosque, and the remains of an ancient harbor. The island's clear waters are also great for snorkeling and diving.

Activities in Pharaohs Island National Park

In addition to exploring the historical sites, visitors can swim and snorkel in the island's clear waters or relax on the beach. Visitors can also take a boat tour of the island and surrounding area, which offers stunning views of the Red Sea coast.

5. Nabq Protected Area

Location and Brief History

Located on the Sinai Peninsula's northeastern coast, Nabq Protected Area is a natural preserve that was established in 1992. It spans over 600 square kilometers and features a variety of ecosystems, including coral reefs, beaches, and sand dunes.

Attractions in Nabq Protected Area

Nabq Protected Area is home to many unique and rare species, making it a popular spot for bird-watching. It also boasts several beautiful beaches, including the popular Abu Galum Beach. The coral reefs in the protected area offer a fantastic underwater experience.

Activities in Nabq Protected Area

Visitors to Nabq Protected Area can go hiking, camping, snorkeling, and diving. The area also features natural hot springs, which provide a relaxing soak and offer healing properties. It's an ideal destination for those who want to explore nature while avoiding the crowds.

6. St. Katherine Protectorate

Location and Brief History

St. Katherine Protectorate is Egypt's first natural preserve and was established in 1983. Located in the southern Sinai Peninsula, it covers over 1,000 square kilometers of mountains, wadis, and valleys. The area is also home to Mount Sinai, which is famous for its biblical connections.

Attractions in St. Katherine Protectorate

The St. Katherine Protectorate is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including over 1,000 different plant species. The area's unique landscape and breathtaking scenery attract many visitors. The Monastery of St. Katherine, the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery, is also located within the protectorate's boundaries.

Activities in St. Katherine Protectorate

Visitors can hike to the top of Mount Sinai to catch the stunning sunrise or sunset views. The area also offers excellent rock climbing opportunities. You can go on a guided tour of the area or set out for a more adventurous experience with a self-guided hike.

7. Wadi Degla Protected Area

Location and Brief History

Wadi Degla Protected Area is a desert ecosystem and natural preserve that is located just outside of Cairo. The area covers over 60 square kilometers and was established as a protected area in 1999.

Attractions in Wadi Degla Protected Area

Wadi Degla Protected Area is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Cairo. The area features several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the desert landscape. Visitors can also spot a variety of desert wildlife, including hyenas, foxes, and gazelles.

Activities in Wadi Degla Protected Area

Hiking is the most popular activity in Wadi Degla Protected Area. The area's hiking trails vary in difficulty, making it an ideal destination for both casual and experienced hikers. Birdwatching is another popular activity, with over 100 bird species calling the area home.

8. Summary of Other National Parks in Egypt

Other National Parks to Visit in Egypt

Egypt is home to several other national parks that are worth visiting, including Ras Mohammed National Park, Siwa Oasis, and Wadi El Gemal National Park. These parks offer a range of activities, from camping and hiking to snorkeling and diving. No matter which park you choose, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience exploring Egypt's natural beauty.Egypt's national parks offer a rare opportunity to connect with nature and explore the country's rich history. From the deserts to the mountains, the coral reefs to the protected areas, there is an adventure waiting for everyone. We hope this guide has given you some inspiration for your next trip to Egypt and encourages you to explore the beauty and diversity of the country's national parks.

FAQs

1. Are these national parks easily accessible?

Yes, most of the national parks featured in this article are easily accessible by road or air. However, some may require hiking or trekking to reach.

2. Do I need a guide to visit these national parks?

While not mandatory, having a guide can enhance your experience and ensure you don't miss any of the highlights. Most of the national parks have tour operators that offer guided tours and activities.

3. When is the best time to visit these national parks?

The best time to visit these national parks is during the cooler months from November to March when temperatures are milder. However, some parks like Ras Mohammed National Park and Wadi El Gemal National Park can be visited year-round.

4. What should I pack when visiting these national parks?

It's recommended to pack sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable shoes for hiking, a hat, and a refillable water bottle. You may also want to bring a camera or binoculars to capture the stunning landscapes and wildlife

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