Wadi El Rayan National Park
Date of Announcement: 1989
Area: 1759 Km2
Located less than two hours away from Cairo, Wadi El Rayan is one of Egypt’s most famous nature reserves. Named after King El Rayan Ibn El Walid who had lived in the area with his army, the nature reserve is part of El Fayoum governorate and located about 75 km away from El Fayoum city.
The Wadi El Rayan reserve consists of seven parts; the (loosely translated) upper and lower oases, El Rayan springs, El Rayan Falls, El Modawara Mountain (or Jabal El Modawara in Arabic), El Rayan Mountain (Jabal El Rayan) and Wadi El Hitan (The Valley of the Whales). All these areas are full of amazing landscapes such as oases, mountains, rock formations and waterfalls.
Egyptian wildlife can also be seen in the area including white gazelles, Egyptian gazelles, sand foxes and fennec foxes, as well as rare species of resident birds, migrant birds and various kinds of eagles and falcons.
The area is also a major attraction to archaeologists and geologists due to the volume of marine fossils and archaeological remains found in there. Wadi El Hitan or the Valley of the Whales is named after the pre-historic whale fossils discovered in the area, which are considered to be the earliest whale fossils ever found and earned the valley its position on the UNESCO list of protected World Heritage sites.
El Rayan’s waterfalls are about 15 km away from the reserve’s gate on the left side of the road (of which nearly two kilometers are unpaved). The waterfalls are beautiful but the unfortunate lack of attention by authorities makes them look worn out; not the best sight for a tourist. We recommend not spending much time here and investing your time instead in the fascinating protectorate.
Only five kilometers away, Jabal El Modawara is the definition of beauty. When you climb this amazing mountain– which isn’t too bad to climb by the way– the view from above will easily take your breath away. It’s also a great spot for bird-watching, especially if you plan on catching a glimpse of eagles or falcons.
Venturing further past Jabal El Modawara, adventurers may continue to the Magic Lake, a small lake surrounded by sand dunes. the place is perfect for sand boarding and swimming.
Further past the Magic lake you may drive east for 30km on a dirt road to Wadi El Hitan.
The importance of Wadi El-Rayan is attributed to the fact that it is a natural environment for animals threatened with extinction like white deer, Egyptian deer, sand fox, wolf and rare migrating birds like shahin falcon, deer falcon, free falcon, and other types of migrating birds like some kinds of ducks, quail, some kinds of herons, goats and others. Wild plants like: Aqool, zygoghyllum, Athl Tomarex, Halfa, Ghatdaa, Ghaab, Sammaar, reed and others.
|Wadi Rayan||2 L.E||3 US Dollar||5 L.E||10 L.E Egyptian –
5 US Dollar Foreigner
|Valley of the Whales||5 L.E||40 L.E||5 L.E||10 L.E Egyptian – 80 L.E Foreigner|