Wadi Gimal Protectorate

Red Sea Coast

The starkly beautiful desert of the Wadi Gimal Protectorate extends inland for about 85km from its coastal opening south of Marsa Alam, and is home to a rich variety of bird life, gazelles and stands of mangrove. Throughout the interior are scattered the tumbled remains of emerald and gold mines dating from the Pharaonic and Roman eras. This area provided emeralds that were used throughout the ancient world and was the exclusive source of the gem for the Roman Empire.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Red Sea Coast attractions

1. Karba Matthba

3.77 MILES

The mysterious ruins of what must have once been a substantial villa or complex sit on top of an isolated desert ridge. From here there are incredible…

2. Sharm El Luli

11.59 MILES

In the middle of the Wadi Gimal Protectorate, 60km south of Marsa Alam, lies a pristine sand beach with azure water and excellent coral and fish viewing…

3. Sha’ab Samadai

22.29 MILES

This lagoon 18km south-east of Marsa Alam is home to three dive sites with a reef system full of interesting coral pinnacles and fish life. What makes…

4. Nugrus

22.91 MILES

The ruins of the actual emerald mines for which the region was once famed can be seen on the slopes of Nugrus, where the ground is littered with pottery…

5. Tomb of Sayyed Al Shadhili

29.27 MILES

The Eastern Desert is scattered with numerous Islamic tombs and shrines. One of the best known is that of Sayyed Al Shadhili, a Moroccan holy man and Sufi…