Wadi El Hetan “The Valley of the Whales” Protected Area
Egypt enjoys having a large number of Protected areas including Ras Mohamed, Abu Galum, Saint Catherine, Wadi Degla, Wadi El Rayan, and the wonderful Wadi El Hitan or the Valley of the Whales in El Fayoum.Protected areas, especially during the last period have attracted many travelers to visit Egypt.
Situated inside the Protected Area of Wadi El Rayan in El Fayoum around 150 kilometers from Cairo, the Valley of the Whales or Wadi Hitan is featured for the discovery of 10 complete skeletons of whales that used to live in the Great Ocean that once covered the region of North Africa 40 million years ago.
in 2005, the UNESCO decided to include the Valley of the Whales in the World Heritage List. Many tourists who travel to Egypt would like to explore such protected areas in Egypt.
The Valley of the Whales was discovered in 1903 through a biological survey that took place. There were two skeletons of whales that were discovered and one of the them was more than 18 meters long.
An archaeological mission that began its work in the area in 1989 discovered another skeleton that was five meters long. in 2006, the first the first mammal fossils were discovered and they belong to the prathium, a type of elephants that used to live in the area in ancient times.
The Protected Area of the Valley of the Whales is also featured for hosting some of the animals that are exposed to extinction like the white deer, the Egyptian deer, the Fink fox, the sands fox, some wolves, the Shahin Falcon, and the Deer Falcon. There are also some immigrating birds like ducks and quails.
The Whales Valley in El Fayoum is also featured for having a matchless ecological environment of wetlands, geological formations, water natural springs, and rare fossils. There are a large number of whales’ skeletons that exceed 400 skeletons put together in the open air museum at this interesting protected area. There are also some skeletons and fossils of sharks, dolphins, and other types of fish.
The area that is nicknamed as the Mountain of Hell represents a unique ecological and geological environment as this was the bottom of the ancient ocean that once covered all this area. This is where many interesting natural phenomena were discovered including one of the lands that surrounded the ocean, one of the ancient estuaries of the River Nile, and some mangroves fortresses.
The guests spending their vacation in Egypt would usually visit the Valley of the Whales together with the Wadi El Rayan Protected Area to view the only real waterfalls in Egypt.