At the very southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt lies Ras Mohammad National Park. It was created in 1983 to protect the coral reefs and unique desert landscape from commercial fishing and expansion of nearby Sharm el-Sheikh. It’s a must-see if visiting Sharm, especially for those interested in snorkeling or diving.
We took a half day tour leaving from Sharm el-Sheikh in the morning. Our guide was Mohammad, the same person who led us on the desert safari and snorkeling trip to the Blue Hole the day before.
We were picked up and taken to the park on a short van ride lasting about a half hour. Our first stop was for a snorkeling session. It was by far the best snorkeling I had ever done, even better than the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The fish and coral were just as advertised in the brochures for Ras Mohammad – brightly colored and plentiful. We saw stingrays, lobster, pufferfish, and even a giant grouper. In addition to snorkeling, there are several reefs and some famous shipwrecks located within the boundaries of the park that are popular for divers.
After taking a quick look at a viewpoint and seeing some dead coral, our next stop was the Gates of Allah. The gates were originally built as a checkpoint to the park. They’re now a major tourist attraction because the structure looks like it spells Allah in Arabic.
A small mangrove forest was the next attraction. The trees live in saltwater and filter the salt through their leaves and roots.
Near the mangroves are huge cracks caused by earthquakes. The cracks are filled with water and some have depths of up to 14m. The longest crack we saw was over 40m in length.
The Magic Lake is located near the cracks. It’s a lake at low tide and part of the sea at high tide. There were several seashells living near the shore of the lake. We enjoyed looking at the patterns in the sand while others waded out into the lake.
A rock formation near the Magic Lake looks like a sleeping lion. Mohammad stopped the van for the group to take some pictures.
We made one final snorkeling stop before being taken back to our hotel. This snorkeling stop was good but not nearly as nice as the first one.