Ras Abu Gallum Protectorate


The starkly beautiful Ras Abu Gallum Protectorate covers 400 sq km of coastline between Dahab and Nuweiba, mixing coastal mountains, narrow valleys, sand dunes and fine-gravel beaches with several diving and snorkelling sites. Scientists describe the area as a ‘floristic frontier’, where Mediterranean conditions are influenced by a tropical climate. With its 165 plant species (including 44 found nowhere else in Sinai) and wealth of mammals and reptiles, this environmentally important area is a fascinating place to visit.

Bedouin of the Mizena tribe live within the protectorate confines, fishing here as they have done for centuries (although this is now regulated by the protectorate).

Travel agencies in Dahab offer camel, jeep and walking excursions to Ras Abu Gallum. Hiking into the reserve by following the path from the Blue Hole is also popular. The track winds along the shoreline to Ras Abu Gallum village and El Omeyid village (one hour), where it's possible to camp overnight in a hut. Most tour agencies in Dahab offer day trips to Ras Abu Gallum for around LE200 or overnight for LE350 (including return transport to the Blue Hole, lunch and snorkelling gear) or it can easily be hiked independently.

There are several walking trails in the reserve, and Bedouin guides and camels can be hired at either Ras Abu Gallum village or, if coming from the Nuweiba side, through the ranger house at the edge of Wadi Rasasah. Popular destinations within the protectorate include Bir El Oghda, a now-deserted Bedouin village, and Bir Sugheir, a water source at the edge of the protectorate.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sinai attractions

1. Bells


Bells is a narrow breach in the reef table that forms a pool close to shore. From here, divers can descend through a chimney, exiting onto a ledge at 27m…

2. Blue Hole

4.45 MILES

Carved into a reef, 8km north of Dahab, is Egypt’s most infamous dive site. The Blue Hole is a gaping sinkhole that drops straight down – some say…

3. Canyon

5.86 MILES

One of the area’s most popular dives, the Canyon is a long, narrow trench that runs perpendicular to the reef shelf, and is home to prolific hard and soft…

4. Ras Mumlach

8.96 MILES

A sloping reef about 30km south of Nuweiba interspersed with enormous boulders and excellent table corals. Depth: 10m to 25m. Rating: intermediate. Access…

5. Eel Garden

9.15 MILES

Eel Garden takes its name from the countless garden eels that carpet the sea floor. Other highlights include huge coral boulders and dense congregations…

6. Lighthouse Reef

9.64 MILES

This sloping reef is home to a bounty of fish life and is Dahab’s main night-diving site. More experienced divers can descend to the sandy bottom, where…

7. Ruins

9.96 MILES

This fenced-off area contains the very sparse ruins of an ancient Nabataean trading post.

8. Islands

11.2 MILES

This underwater Alice in Wonderland–esque site south of Dahab offers an outstanding topography of coral alleyways, amphitheatres, valleys and gulleys…