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.
Click here to discover Wadi el Gemal Experience more information on the park.
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).
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.
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.
Gorgonia Beach has embraced an eco-sustainable philosophy, compatible with its presence within the El Wadi National Park. The management and staff of the Resort therefore decided to help the nature of the Red Sea and environmental sustainability. "Periodically they dedicate days to cleaning the beaches and the territory of the park in which guests of Gorgonia Beach can participate. These days dedicated to the sea and ecology usually they end with a snorkeling trip in the park's bays and moments of relaxation and refreshment. In memory of this day, dedicated to environmental sustainability and as a thank you for the effort, each participant usually receives a small souvenir or a shirt dedicated to the Clean Up Day - Marsa Alam, offered by the Gorgonia Beach Resort. "This initiative is made possible thanks to the support of the TGI Diving Center and HEPCA (Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Agency), the non-governmental organization founded in 1992 to protect and enhance the natural resources of the Red Sea.
This center was created in the hall of the GORGONIA BEACH RESORT to allow all Guest to live a unique experience on NATURAL PARK OF WADI EL GEMAL, within which the Resort is located. Through information panels on the area and a model of the Wadi el Gemal national park, the Guest will be informed about the natural elements of the area. "The underlying philosophy is that tourism is adventure, interaction, knowledge, training.
We hope that our Guest will live his vacation at GORGONIA BEACH with this idea as well as awareness and experience that will last forever.
The Green Star certification is the result of the decision of the Egyptian Ministry of the Environment to place the protection of nature at the center of its tourism policy. The Gorgonia Beach Resort obtained it for this reason: 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 continuously improve the protection of the environment.
On the World Environment Day "which falls every year on June 5, the Egyptian Ministry of the Environment has awarded the Gorgonia Beach Resort recognition for the activity and ever-growing commitment dedicated to the defense of the environment and to the affirmation of an eco-sustainable tourism formula. "