Ras Mohammad (Egyptian Arabic: راس محمد Rās Maḥammad ,
IPA: [ɾɑːs mæˈħæmmæd]; Arabic: رأس محمد Raʼs
Muḥammad ) is a national park in
Egypt at the southern extreme of
Sinai Peninsula, overlooking the
Gulf of Suez
Gulf of Suez on the west and the
Gulf of Aqaba
Gulf of Aqaba to the east.
6 External links
Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt, Ras Muhammad was
declared for protection from fishing and other human activities. Some
of the fishing methods, such as using dynamite and knives also were
impacting the coral reef and the fish populations. In 1983, the
Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) established the area as a
marine reserve for the protection of marine and terrestrial wildlife.
The park was also established to protect against urban sprawl from
Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh and other coastal development. The name literally
means "Mohammad's Head", where "head" in this instance means
"headland". There is a saying in the area that the name arose because
in side view the contour of the cliff looks like the profile of a
bearded man's face, with horizontal hard strata providing the nose and
The park is situated in the tourist region of the
Red Sea Riviera,
located 12 km from the city of Sharm El Sheikh. The park spans an
area of 480 km², including 135 km² of surface land area
and 345 km² area over water. Marsa Bareika is a small bay
inlet in Ras Mohammed, and Marsa Ghozlani is a very small inlet
located across from the park visitors center.
Winch parts visible on the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm, which sunk off
the coast of Ras Muhammad
Ras Mohammad encompasses two islands, Tiran and Sanafir. Tiran Island
is located approximately 6 km offshore from the Sinai
Peninsula. Underwater caves formed as the result of earthquakes are
located in Ras Mohammad.
About 0.9 hectare of mangrove forest cover a 1.15 km shallow
channel at the southernmost end of Ras Mohammad peninsula. Near the
mangrove and approximately 150 m inland, there are open cracks in the
land, caused by earthquakes. One of the cracks is approximately 40 m
length and 0.20−1.5 m in width. Within the cracks, there are pools
of water, some with a depth of over 14 m.
The inland area includes a diversity of desert habitats such as
mountains and wadis, gravel and coastal mud plains and sand dunes. The
area also plays a role in bird migration, serving as a place of rest
Ras Mohammad National Park experiences a very dry climate, with only
minimal rainfall during the winter. During the summer, temperatures
often exceed 40°C (104°F) and low temperatures around 27°C (81°F).
Temperatures are mild during the winter, with daytime high
temperatures averaging around 23°C (73°F) and low temperatures 14°C
Coral reef, of the fringing and hermatypic types, exist along the
coast around Ras Mohammad close to the shoreline. More than 220
species of coral are found in the Ras Mohammad area, 125 of them soft
coral. The coral reefs are located 50 to 100 cm below the sea
surface, and they have a width of 30 to 50 m in most places. Though in
some spots on the western coast, the coral reef is 8 to 9 km
wide. Shark Reef and Yolanda Reef are popular areas of coral reef
in the park for divers. Other coral reef sites include South Bereika,
Marsa Ghozlani, Old Quay, and Shark Observatory. The wreckage of
the SS Thistlegorm, located off the coast of Ras Mohammad, is a
popular area for divers.
The area is home to more than 1000 species of fish, 40 species of star
fish, 25 species of sea urchins, more than a 100 species of mollusc
and 150 species of crustaceans. Among others, sea turtles, such as the
green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys
imbricata) appear regularly in Ras Mohammad.
On the Ras Mohammad peninsula, there are acacia trees and dum palms
(Hyphaene thebaica) around the wadi mouths. Ephermal herbs and grasses
also exist in Ras Muhammad.
^ Ibrahim, Fouad N. (2011). Egypt: An Economic Geography. I. B. Tauris
& Company. p. 194.
^ "محميات جنوب سيناء (Reserves of South Sinai)" (.doc)
Egypt Ministry of State for Environmental Affairs.
2006-05-08. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
^ المحميات الطبيعية (in Arabic).
Egypt Ministry of
State for Environmental Affairs. 2006-05-08. Retrieved
^ Por, F.D. & M. Tsurnamal (1973-01-05). "Ecology of the Ras
Muhammad Crack in Sinai". Nature. 241 (5384): 43–44.
Sharm El Sheikh
Sharm El Sheikh to Hurghada". TourEgypt. Retrieved
^ "Seasonal Weather Averages". Weather Underground. Retrieved
^ Fishelson, L. (1980). "Marine Reserves along the
Helgolander Meeresunters. 33: 624–640. doi:10.1007/BF02414785.
^ Nir, Dov (January 1971). "Marine Terraces of Southern Sinai".
Geographical Review. American Geographical Society. 61 (1): 32–50.
doi:10.2307/213366. JSTOR 213366.
^ "Monitoring Program report - Ras Mohammed National Park" (PDF).
University of Essex / Operation Wallacea. 2005. Archived from the
original (PDF) on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
^ Ibrahim, Fouad N. (2003). Egypt: An Economic Geography. I. B. Tauris
& Company. p. 54.
Diving Ras Muhammad
Descriptions, pictures and videos of some Ras Muhammad dive spots
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ras Muhammad.
National Parks of Egypt
Ashtum El Gamil
El Hassana Dome
Saluga and Ghazal
Wadi El Assuti
Wadi El Gamal
Wadi El Rayan
Red Sea Riviera
Sharm El Sheikh
Ras Muhammad National Park
Straits of Tiran
Sinai's nearby islands
On the Western
Red Sea shore
Sahl Hasheesh Bay
Red Sea islands