Established in 1983, Ras Muhamed is the first and oldest National Park in Egypt for the protection of marine and wild life. The park has been expanded and covers an area of 480 km².
The name Ras Mohamed means Head of Mohamed and refers to a cliff eroded by wind, in which fishermen recognized as the head of the prophet Mohamed. This protected area is a geological marvel not only underwater but also on land, with its rugged fossilized rock formations along its coast.
It is located 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, overlooks some of the richest coral reefs one will ever see.
This area has for long attracted and surprised divers and snorkelers from around the world with its many beautiful coral reefs and terraces that are home to more than a thousand species of marine life and discoveries continue to unravel more new species.
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, it is still heated by volcanic heat rising from the seabed.
Here the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba amalgamate, leading 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 unique and sophisticated ecosystem.
Not just on the coast and in the sea, but also on land there is much life unknown to most people. You'll find the most northern gray mangroves in the world where a colony of Fiddler crabs live amongst other desert creatures like foxes and lizards.
Ras Mohamed also has a lot to offer for bird-lovers as it is nesting ground for 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 beauty of Ras Mohamed has attracted many 'day-trippers' from Sharm el Sheikh to swim and snorkel without proper guidance and these people show little or no respect for this fragile ecosystem. To regulate the areas for recreational diving, authorities have necessitated that on land visitors have to leave the park before sunset whereas those who choose to spend the night, must stay at the designated camping area.