Ras Mohammed National Park Egypt
Establishment of the park
Ras Mohammed National Park is the first and only national park in Egypt. It was declared in 1983 with an area of 97 km2.
Since then it has grown to an area of 480 km2 and includes the marine and land areas in the Ras Mohammed peninsula on the island of Tiran and all coasts until the highest annual tide between the port of Maim Sharm El Sheikh and the southern border of the Nabq Managed Resources Protected Area.
The park is famous for
The Park is distinguished by its clearly defined raised fossil coral platforms representing ancient coastlines. These coral reefs vary in age from 15,000 to 2,000,000 years BP (before today). Recent fossil sea reefs show the composition and structure of species similar to today’s coral reefs.
Recognizable species include Goniastrea sp., Galaxea sp., Porites sp. And others. Fossil reefs, like modern reefs, were also habitats of a profusion of life that are now fossil remains in the Park.
Fossil coral reef studies provide scientists with valuable information about past climatic conditions, sea-level changes and their effect on coral reef ecosystems.
The coral reefs in the National Park offer the visitor a breathtaking experience. The profusion of life can sometimes overwhelm the senses of those who visit them for the first time, but there is order on the coral reef. Careful observation will allow even the uninitiated to identify the most natural and obvious relationships.
All organisms on the coral reef have particular adaptations related to their eating behavior. The Castagnole tend their algae patches, defending them vigorously. Parrot Fish grind at the base of the corals to feed on algae, then expel clouds of undigested carbonate that settles and helps cement the coral reef. Labrids (cleaning fish) are working on larger fish such as groupers, stingrays and barracudas, removing parasites from their mouths, gills, and bodies. Sharks, Barracudas, Tooth, etc. arrive at the reef to feed on schools of reef fish.
The reef is a complex, and often “puzzling” ecosystem that once understood will provide endless hours of interesting discovery and fun. Careless use will destroy both the reef’s structure and ecological balance. Careful use will ensure the survival of this perfect ecosystem.
Wildlife in the park
The surrounding land is an explosion of colors apparently devoid of visible life, in fact, it hosts the desert fox, the Nubian ibex (in mountain areas), numerous small species of mammals, reptiles, and insects. Most of this fauna is difficult to see due to their nocturnal habit. Foxes are often seen in the vicinity of Main and Yolanda beaches. They are harmless if approached with care and should not be fed by human hands but can be fed with water. Fox cubs can be seen exposing themselves to the sun during late spring. To all other wild animals, for caution, it is best not to approach them.
The Park is also home to important resident populations including the Grey Heron, Goliath Heron, Reef Heron and their little relative, the Green Heron.