With the aim of developing Wadi Degla Reserve in a sensitive manner to make it more visitor-friendly, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Environment, represented by the Environmental Affairs Agency, and Met Party Foods Company, an Egyptian company that is one of Wadi Degla Group companies.
The signing was attended by Egypt’s Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad, and Chairman of Wadi Degla Group, Boutros Sami. Ali Abu-Senna, CEO of the Environmental Affairs Agency, and Nadim Majid Sami, Chairman of Met Party Foods Company, signed the MoU.
“The strategy of the Environment Ministry,” Dr Fouad said, “is based on preserving, and sustainably developing nature reserves in Egypt without compromising or damaging them. The aim is that they become tourist destinations.” She said the Ministry encourages private sector collaboration in that regard.
Dr Fouad pointed out that Wadi Degla Reserve is among the important sites that contribute to the soundness of the ecosystem of Cairo. Its natural resources, she explained, is constituted by its unique geological formation of plateaus interspersed with a group of valley tributaries that flow directly into the main valley, Wadi Degla—“wadi” is literal for “valley”.
The Wadi Degla area is located some 18km southeast Cairo, and was designated a nature reserve in 1999. A mere 15 minutes drive from the Cairo southern suburb of Maadi, the nature reserve stretches over some 60 square kilometres, extending east to west and rising to meet the Eastern Desert mountains. The Wadi runs through limestone terrain that had been in a marine environment during the Eocene Epoch some 60 million years ago, cutting into a deep winding canyon. In a few spots, the floodwater which carved the rocks into spectacular shapes may be found. Many fossils exist in the rock formations, also scattered patches of petrified wood may be found.
The rugged valley contains an ephemeral plant cover that is considered the cornerstone of the ecosystem in the reserve. It features a wide variety of bird and animal life that includes deer, hares, red foxes, reptiles, Egyptian turtles, twelve species of resident and migrant birds and 64 kinds of plants.
Wadi Degla boasts more than 100km of mountain biking and hiking trails through some spectacular cliff ledges, plateaus, and canyons.
31 January 2024