The National Park of
WADI EL GEMAL
“The valley of the camels”
Home to the oldest emerald mines in the world, Wadi el Gemal Park is indeed one of the most interesting sites in Egypt due to its rich ecosystem and its many archeological sites.
Wadi el Gemal valley is located about 45 kilometers south of the city of Marsa Alam with a total area of over 7000 square kilometers, which makes it one of the largest valleys of the Eastern Desert (aka Arabian Desert)-- a name that refers to the region between the Nile and the Red Sea. In 2003, Wadi el 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 breath-taking 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.
Gorgonia Beach Resort and The German KFW DEG Fund launched and financed a project for the development of several ecotourism activities in Wadi el Gemal area in Marsa Alam. We joined forces to develop and promote ecotourism by improving the existing infrastructure and training the young population of the local Ababda tribe to guide visitors on the discovery of their territory and their millenary culture. For more information on the park, see the guidebook "Wadi el Gemal National Park" by Alberto Siliotti – published by Geodia (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information, visit the project website:
Among the richest in the Eastern Desert
LAND FLORA AND FAUNA
An emerald in the desert
Among the Eastern 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 that are 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 Endangered Species compiled by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).
Observe the birds in their natural habitatBIRDWATCHING
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.
The Reef: an underwater worldTHE CORAL REEF
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 thrives 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 preservedCLEAN UP
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 in. 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 for 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.
Ecocenter in the HALL ofGORGONIA BEACH RESORT
This center is situated in the hall of GORGONIA BEACH RESORT to allow our guests to live a unique experience in the NATURAL PARK OF WADI EL GEMAL that hosts the Resort. Thanks to a dedicated website, plastic models, explanatory texts, paper materials, and high quality images and visual effects, our guests are emotionally involved in the understanding of a different reality. The goal of the center is to share with guests our best "green" practices and to encourage them to spend an eco-friendly vacation by promoting waste recycling, energy saving (water, electricity, etc) and, above all, by helping the younger ones develop their own eco-friendly conscience. The underlying philosophy is that tourism is adventure, interaction, knowledge, and training. We hope that our guests will spend their vacation at GORGONIA BEACH with the same concept in mind, as well as with an awareness and an experience that will last forever.
GREEN STAR CERTIFICATION
The Green Star certification is the result of a decision by the Egyptian Ministry of Environment to place the protection of nature at the center of its tourism policy.
Gorgonia Beach Resort obtained the Green Star certification for these reasons:
“The hotel is environmentally friendly and exhibits a higher environmental commitment than many other hotels.
The management and employees are decisively engaged in the protection of nature and the environment. Measures are taken to improve the protection of the environment”.
RECOGNITION FOR OUR ECO-SUSTAINABLE TOURISM FORMULA
In occasion of the "World Environment Day" that occurs annually on June 5th, the Egyptian Ministry of Environment awarded Gorgonia Beach Resort in recognition of its activities and ever increasing commitment to the protection of the environment and to the adoption of an eco-sustainable tourism formula.