National Park Ras Mohamed (Muhammed, Mohammed) is the first and oldest National Park in Egypt. It was established in 1983 for the protection of marine and wild life, which are intrinsically linked and must be managed as a unit. The park has been expanded and the area is now about 480 km².
The name Ras Mohamed means Head of Mohamed and refers to a by the winds eroded cliff, in which fishermen recognized the head of the prophet Mohamed (pbuh). This protected area is a geological marvel not only underwater but also on land, with its rugged fossilized rock formations along the coast.
It is a headland on the most southern tip of the Sinai, where the desert edges out into the Red Sea. This fossil coral headland, left high and dry tens of thousands years ago, looks out over some of the richest coral reefs you'll ever see.
Since Jacques Cousteau investigated and presented the Red Sea area with its crystal clear water to the world, this area has attracted and surprised divers and snorkelers from around the world with its many beautiful coral reefs and terraces with more than a thousand species of life and still regularly newly discovered species.
The huge amount of life in both the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba is caused by a combination of factors.
The Red Sea is a sheltered and relatively calm sea without extremely strong currents. Tides are therefore hardly noticeable and while the water is quite deep, itis still heated by volcanic heat rising from the seabed.
Here the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba meet each other and their different kind salinity merges here.
This leads to the wide variety of coral reefs and walls and open sea life, which are attracted by the almost permanent strong currents in this area and all this together results in this delicate ecosystem.
Not just on the coast and in the sea, but also on land there is much life; invisible for most people,but our guides help you also discover these wonders of nature. You'll find the most northern gray mangroves in the world, where a colony of Fiddler crabs live and more northern live amongst other desert foxes and lizards.
Ras Mohamed also has a lot to offer for bird-lovers as it is a nesting ground Sooty Falcons, while White Storks migrate during spring and fall. Herons and shorebirds are abundant and the nearby Island of Tiran is an important breeding ground for Osprey, gulls and terns. More inland the Egyptian vulture is an uncommon resident breeding bird. There are now special birding towers.
The National Park Ras Mohamed is threatened to become the victim of her own beauty and its popularity with tourists, on land and at sea.
Many 'day-trippers' come from Sharm el Sheikh to swim and snorkel without proper guidance and these people show little or no respect for this fragile ecosystem, which leads to a lot of littering and damage.
Since the increase in national tourism and the lack of signs in Arabic, this is an even bigger problem.
The areas for recreational diving are regulated and visitors who visit the park on land, have to leave the park before sunset except those who spend the night at the designated camping area.