Gebel Elba Reserve is one of the largest and most important protected areas of Egypt, located in the south-eastern corner in Egypt, with an area of 35600 square kilometers, and contain many of natural, human and cultural resources between wildlife and medical plants ,local tribes, cultures and Pharaonic monuments In addition to mineral and water resources from wells and springs of fresh water, also it's coast on the Red Sea contains a lot of coral reefs and grass, also many of the Red Sea Islands are within the borders of the protected area in Elba. these islands have a lot of sea turtles and many rare species of migratory birds and the types of mangrove trees which have a large environmental and economic value to the south.
Indeed, Gebel Elba is a "biodiversity hotspot",with a biological diversity unparalleled in any terrestrial environment in Egypt.
Inscription above the false door of a temple façade carved into the face of a sandstone mountain at Bir Abu Safa; of this text, described and assigned to Ptolemy III Euergete…It concerns a one sand stone mountain , which probably dates from the Ptolemaic period. From discoveries demonstrating that this temple was also used by Roman travelers. a relationship is established with the north fortress located in Bir Abraq. On the route between the fort and the temple is a wide variety of archaeological finds made to confirm this theory. The presence of both fort and temple and the findings suggest that there is another route more southern walked alongside the famous Berenice-Apollinopolis Magna route. To date, however, there is no archaeological research has been done to this presumption. source: A Water Temple at Bir Abu Safa (Eastern Desert). STEVEN E, SIDEBOTHAM
Zabargad Island is the largest of a group of islands in Foul Bay, Egypt. It covers an area of 4.50 square kilometres . It is not a quaternary volcanic island, but rather is believed to be an upthrusted part of upper mantle material. The nearest island is known as "Rocky Island". The island is slightly north of the Tropic of Cancer, and its highest point is 235 metres. Before the mid 270s [BCE] Ptolemaic activity along the African coast of the Red Sea had been limited with few significant results other than the discovery of the 'topaz' deposits on the island of Gazirat Zabarjad southeast of Ras Banas. The island comprises three massives of peridotite, which are rich in the gemstone peridot (olivine). This gem makes the island notable as it is believed to be the first discovered source of peridot, which was called topazios in ancient times, hence the Greek name for the island, Topazios. The presence of all of these minerals has led to mining on the island which dates back as early as ancient times. The island serves as a breeding ground for at least 9 known species of birds. The most recent discovery was that of 150 pairs of sooty falcon (Falco concolor) in October, 1994. The island is near coral reefs, which are a popular diving attraction for tourists. The diving industry on the island has increased as well as the tourism industry on the island in general resulting in construction of hotels and diving shelves. The beaches are often quiet and are relatively unspoilt by development. However, most tourists go to this island as a "stop-off" before going to Rocky Island in the south.
The fort at Bir Abraq comprises a large enclosed area, on the summit of a hill, with a number of structures inside, among which this well preserved multi-room building. Both inside and outside the fort at Bir Abraq petroglyphs were discovered and copied. The petroglyphs outside the fort depict mainly cattle, those inside look more like tribal markings. The fort at Bir Abraq is in the far south of the Egyptian Eastern desert, just north of the Sudanese border. Surface pottery dated to the Ptolemaic period (ca. 330 - 30 BC), The function of the fort in Bir Abraq is somewhat enigmatic although the large number of petroglyphs, depicting cattle, camels and elephants, suggests that the fort somehow accommodated the transport of these animals. The fort of Abraq sits on a flat plateau, overlooking a large wadi along what seems to be the southernmost Ptolemaic trade route to the Red Sea coast. This massive fortress, over 160 meters wide, may have been built to protect a trade route; the nearby well was probably the main reason for the location of the stronghold. Pictographs and graffiti, which include gazelles, elephants, cows, camels, warriors on horseback, and Christian crosses cover large boulders and the wadi walls near the well. The fortress was built on a bluff that rises over fifty meters above the wadi floor. Where the bluff has a gentler slope, and is easier to climb , the outer defensive wall is over two meters thick and four meters high. In the center of the fortress, a natural rise of the rock facilitated construction of a citadel, some six meters above the level of the outer wall on the wadi side . This central building has twenty-eight rooms surrounding a large courtyard. Smaller buildings were constructed inside the outer southern wall, and at the southwestern corner a large tower once overlooked the entrance path to the fort. This path zigzags on the steep western side of the rock from the wadi floor to the entrance gate, close to the central building. Early travelers like the Frenchman Linant de Bellefonds, who visited the fort at Abraq in 1832, and the American Colston who saw it about twenty years later, considered the stronghold an elephant hunting station. It is, however, unlikely that elephants were hunted here in the Ptolemaic period, when environmental circumstances in this area closely resembled those of the present day. It is plausible that the elephants depicted near the well are memorials of travelers coming from the south. source: zarzora.com source: barnard.nl/desert/abraq.html
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