Wadi El Gemal - Hamata Protected Area

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Date of Announcement : 2003
Area : 7450 km2
Type : Desert protected area 
Distance from Cairo : 850 km 

Location and description of Wadi El Gemal - Hamata Protected Area
The Protected Area encompasses the segment of the Red Sea coastal plain and mountains extending roughly between 24°51'N in the north and 24°06'N in the south; and between the Red Sea shoreline in the east to about 34°28'E in the west (the Sheikh Shazli road). The protected area also encompasses a section of the marine environment including the islands of Hamata and Wadi El Gemal Island.
Description of Wadi El Gemal - Hamata Protected Area
The protected area includes marine and terrestrial components. The terrestrial component encompasses roughly a 50 X 50 km segment of the Red Sea hills and coastal desert. Wadi El Gemal and its delta are the central theme of the protected area and the area encompasses the entire watershed of the wadi. However, the protected area takes in other adjacent desert and marine habitats, which complement the wadi, both ecologically and functionally (i.e. in terms of representing a meaningful management unit). Wadi El Gemal is the third largest wadi in the Eastern Desert draining into the Red Sea, and one of the best vegetated, with an estimated watershed area of some 1,840 km² (GEF 1998). The wadi watershed includes the northern flanks of Gebel Hamata in the south, as well as the southern flanks of Gebel Nugrus in the north. Several other important wadis are encompassed in the protected area such as Wadi Abu Ghosoun, Wadi El Ringa and Wadi El Rada. Several important peaks are included such as Gebel Hamata Gebel Nugrus, Gebel Hafafit, Gebel Hamamid, Gebel Sartut and Gebel Sikeit. The shores of the region are heterogeneous in nature encompassing rocky, sandy and muddy beaches. The coastline has several important landmarks such as the headlands of Ras Baghdadi and Ras Hankorab, and Sarm El Luli bay. The marine component of the protected area encompasses a strip of marine waters of an average width of 15 km. This component includes all the important coral reefs in the region, as well as four marine islands (the Hamata archipelago and Wadi El Gemal Island). 

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