Ras Muhammad National Park information, tours, prices and online booking
Ras Muhammad National Park declared in 1983 and subjected to a comprehensive development program initiated in 1989. Since then, Ras Muhammad National Park became an essential feature to the economic development on South Sinai. The boundaries of the park extend from a point opposite the Qad Ibn Haddan lighthouse. It is on the Gulf of Suez to the southern boundary of the Nabq Protectorate on the Gulf of Suez. The area includes Tiran Island and all shorelines fronting Sharm El Sheikh tourism development area. Tourism in Southern Sinai inherently linked to the natural resources of the area.
Degradation of these natural resources as a result of tourism or development activities is not in the best interests of the investors or the tourists. The Protectorates program seeks to establish an equilibrium between development activities, tourism and the natural resource conservation measures needed to achieve sustainable economic development. It is essential that all users recognize their individual responsibility to protect the natural resources of the area, remembering that these are common property resources, of international importance, and the heritage of future Egyptian generations.
More information about Ras Muhammad National Park:
Coral reef ecosystems found in Ras Muhammad National Park recognized internationally as among the world’s best. This recognition based primarily on the diversity of flora and fauna. Moreover, it also based on clear, warm water devoid of pollutants, their proximity to shorelines. Furthermore, it also based on their spectacular vertical profile. The reef exists as an explosion of color and life in stark contrast to the seemingly barren desert adjacent to it. In reality, the desert is rich in fauna, mainly nocturnal. These ecosystems intrinsically linked and thus they managed as a single unit. The Park is notable for its sharply defined raised fossil coral platforms which represent ancient shorelines.
These reefs range in age from 15,000 to 2,000,000 years BP (before present). The more recent fossil reefs show similar species composition and structure to present day coral reefs. Recognizable species include Goniastrea, Galazea, Porites, and others. Fossil reefs, like modern reefs, were also habitats for a profusion of life seen as fossil remains in the Park. Studies of fossil coral reefs provide scientists with valuable insights regarding past climatic conditions, changing sea levels and the effect of these on coral reef ecosystems. Coral reefs in Ras Muhammad National Park present the visitor with a breathtaking experience. The profusion of life can at times overpower the senses of the first time visitor, but on the reef there is order. Close and careful observation will enable even the uninitiated to identify the more obvious relationships.
Further information about the site:
All organisms on the reef have particular adaptations which related to their feeding behavior. Damselfish tend their patches of seaweed, defending these with vigor. Parrotfish grind at the base of corals to feed on algae. They then excrete clouds of undigested carbonate which settles and helps to cement the reef. Cleaner wrasse seen at work on larger fish such as groupers, rays and barracuda. In fact, they remove parasites from their mouths, gills and outer body. Sharks, barracuda, jacks, etc. come to the reef to feed on schools of reef fish. The reef is a complex, often bewildering, ecosystem that once understood will provide endless hours of enjoyment. Careless use will destroy both the structure and ecological equilibrium of the reef. Careful use will ensure the survival of this ecosystem.
Terrestrial areas in Ras Muhammad National Park are a stark contrast to the exuberance of color and life seen on the coral reef. Seemingly devoid of visible life, they are in fact home to the desert fox, Nubian Ibex (in the mountain areas), numerous small mammal species, reptiles and insects. Most of this fauna is difficult to see given their nocturnal habits. Fox often seen in the vicinity of Main and Yolanda Beaches. They are harmless if approached with car they should not fed but can be provided with water. Fox cubs can also seen at sunset during late spring. All other wildlife should not approached.
More details about Ras Muhammad National Park:
The Park is also home to important resident bird populations including Grey Heron, Goliath Heron, Reef Heron, and their small relative the Greenback Heron. Numerous Gulls and Terns are resident and can often be seen feeding on small invertebrates found on the shores of Hidden Bay and on shorelines fronting the Gulf of Suez. At least 5 groups of Osprey (a fish eating falcon) are resident and breeding annually. The island on Tiran (a closed area) has one of the largest recorded Osprey populations in the Red Sea. During late summer, thousands of White Stork stop over in the Park during their annual migration to East Africa.