June 16, 2024

Adventure Awaits Journeyers

Discovering the World Anew

Wadi Al-Rayan Reserve: Eco-tourism in the serene desert

2 min read

Wadi Al-Rayan Reserve — in Faiyum Governorate, Egypt — is one of the most attractive natural reserves with integrated eco-tourism, rich in waterfalls and a calm desert climate. The reserve, which is 150 kilometers from Cairo, is an attractive outlet for visitors who love hiking in the desert and a destination for those looking for an atmosphere of relaxation away from the city hustle.

Horse and camel riding, skiing, safaris, in addition to camping, stargazing, bird watching, and many water sports are some of the activities to enjoy at the reserve. The reserve has several areas: the charming waterfalls area, which boasts a large fish population and is considered one of the areas for practicing various marine sports, as well as (Oyun Al-Rayyan) area, which consists of moving sand dunes and three natural sulfur springs, in addition to several types of desert plants.

Wadi Al-Rayan also consist of Jabal Al-Rayyan area, which has various types of migratory and resident birds, in addition to important marine monuments and fossils, as well as lakes. In a statement to KUNA, the official spokesman of Faiyum Governorate, Dr Mohammad Al-Tuni, said that Wadi Al-Rayan was an area of national, regional and international importance. He added that it was an attractive area for eco-tourism. It includes the whale valley (Wadi Al-Hitan), which is more than 40,000,000 years old.

In 2005, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) chose it as a natural heritage area. It is also a reserve for rare animals, there are about five species of wild animals, 16 species of reptiles and more than 100 species of resident and migratory birds, in addition to marine fossils, he said. In 1989, Wadi Al-Rayan was declared as a natural reserve to protect biological, natural, and geological resources, he added, explaining that it includes tourism and investment projects aimed at sustainable tourism development such as a (Safe Haven for Wildlife) project.

The “Safe Haven” project is the first cooperation between the Egyptian Ministry of Environment, the Faiyum Governorate, the Princess Alia Foundation (PAF) in Jordan, and the Austrian Four Paws International Foundation, with a value estimated of more than $21,000,000, Tuni said. The project is considered an important shift in the field of eco-tourism and one of the largest sustainable tourism development projects in the last ten years and is expected to bring about qualitative development in this region, he stressed.

“Safe Haven” aims to provide a shelter for animals that are rescued from wars or due to confiscation through illegal trade, and to support resilience and adaptation to climate change through the resettlement of wild animals that have become threatened with extinction, with the aim of protecting them and creating an eco-system that enables them to coexist in a safe and protected manner. It will contribute to enhancing economic and tourism development opportunities, as it is a tourist attraction for Egypt that comes within the framework of the state’s vision to achieve sustainable development. — KUNA

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