History, wildlife, and underwater exploration – Nabq has it all!
Covering 600 km2, Nabq Protectorate offers access to the Red Sea, with plenty of stunning coral reefs and an exciting array of marine life. Announced as a protectorate in 1992, this area’s desert topography features dense mangrove forests, hosting a diverse selection of rare birds and other animals. Nabq is home to the Grey Heron, the Steppe Eagle, and the Dugong. For history buffs, the 1956 Maria Schröder cargo shipwreck is an intriguing excursion.
natural phenomena, animals and plants
Keep an eye out for the mangroves that spread across the Munqatea area in Nabq, where you’ll find the most northerly stands of Mangrove in the world. Nabq is also awash with plenty of palm trees, which yield delicious, nutrient-packed dates. See if you can spot a few Toothbrush Bushes (Arak), too! Egyptians have used the branches of this unique plant as a natural toothbrush for centuries. As with most Egyptian desert locations, Nabq hosts many camels, which provide a convenient mode of transport and navigation throughout the desert. The Spoonbill Bird, which has a distinctive bill resembling the shape of a spoon, is unique to this part of the country and therefore exciting to try and spot among Nabq’s wildlife. Be sure to check out the Maria Schröder cargo shipwreck here. Originally named the Ralph Jarl, this ship ran aground on a coral reef in 1956 and its debris has since remained in Nabq.
activities and excursions
Dive and snorkel your way through Nabq’s Red Sea waters to bask in the beauty of the protectorate’s coral reefs and diverse marine life, which includes Dugongs, Hawksbill Turtles, Giant Moray Eels, and Clownfish (i.e. “the Nemo fish”!). The presence of rare birds makes Nabq a great spot to birdwatch and a visit to the Maria Schröeder cargo shipwreck is sure to impress all history buffs!
local people and tribes
Nabq is also inhabited by the Mazayna, a large tribe with Saudi Arabian origins. As with all Bedouins in Sinai, the Mazayna are known for their hospitality and will likely offer you some of their signature Marmaria tea, made with sage. The Mazayna people are also particularly fond of the Habaq herb, which they use to make another peppermint-like tea – a Bedouin favorite. Clothing and craftsmaking is a pillar of Bedouin cultural heritage. Women among both the Tarabin and the Mazayna tribes produce traditional craft items with striking decorative embroidery and beadwork in distinctly stylized motifs reflecting the local area’s flora and fauna. This is a wonderful opportunity to find gifts for friends or source authentic personal souvenirs, all while benefiting the local community.
places to lodge
Several campsites line the Gharqana and Munqatea beaches in Nabq. +check our trusted green list