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Ras Mohamed National Park - Sinai Peninsula South Africa

This 480-square kilometre protected area lies where the Gulf of Suez meets the Gulf of Aqaba at Sinai's southern extremity. The arid desert terrain - consisting of sand dunes, gravel plains, fossilised corals and granite mountains - is home to a number of rare species, including Dorcas gazelle, Nubian ibex and red fox. Easier to spot, though, are its resident birds such as terns, herons, gulls and ospreys. Thousands of white storks pass through Ras Mohammed each year, heading south during September/October and back north during April/May. There are about 85 different types of flowers and plants in the park, including magnificent mangroves. In glaring contrast to the seemingly desolate landscape, the ecosystem underwater at Ras is a magnificent eruption of life: 200 types of coral (125 of which are soft corals), 1000 different fish, 40 starfish, 25 sea urchin, 100 mollusk, 150 species of crustacean, as well as the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle.

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