I am going to write about as lots of us may find it useful. You don’t have to get a full visa if you are planning to stay only in Sinai between Sharm el-Sheikh and Taba. You can get 15 day stay, free of charge entry stamp at the Sharm main airport or in Nuweiba port. Nevertheless if you plan to visit amazing marine national park – Ras Mohammed – you need to get full visa!
Ras Mohammed – around 30 km west of Sharm and definitely it’s a home to some spectacular coral reefs. It is said that it is the most beautiful and rich of various species of fishes of the Red Sea.
So what happened to us – Well, before we got to marine paradise, a sort of dramatic to us thing had happened. Around 10 km before Ras Mohammed we noticed a massive check point. It was inside border crossing between Sinai and rest of the Egypt. They started checking our documents and told us at the beginning that we had to wait more than an hour as they needed to phone somewhere and properly inspect our and Rusty papers. We asked them whether they could be faster than an hour as it was getting dark and we didn’t know where the nearest camping or something like that was. Border officials verified our paperwork shorter than it was expected (30 min), but it was already dark. They also informed us that marine park and campsite is about 10 km from the check point.
It was very hard to see something in that darkness, so we barely noticed the National Park sign. We turned and we saw a small shanty which looked like main gate office/ reception. Of course no one was there, but the gate was open so we drove in. The only light we were able to see was our car’s light. THEN we saw a big barrel and…Suddenly a guy with a massive gun jumped in front of Rusty. He was furious and he was pointing his rifle once at the Rusty engine, once at the windscreen…We were seriously scared –We didn’t understand each other – he was shouting something in Arabic, while we were shouting only “Tourists, tourists” of course in English. He couldn’t really see us as van’ light was blinding him, but on the other hand if we had turned the light down, he would have started shooting….I was so scared that I decided to get off with my hands up, Charlie did the same and we noticed that the guy was actually a soldier. We also noticed other were guys coming towards us. They were soldiers as well (but dressed up in casual clothes). They were trying to calm his colleague down. They were nicer to us and they told us that despite the fact it was late, we still could join the campsite. However, here was a problem – they took our passports. We wanted to leave them our passport copies, but they said they were army and we didn’t have reason to worry. We didn’t want to argue with army and we gave them our passorts… They showed us the way to the campsite and we left. When we arrived to the place, a friendly gentleman – Gamea (the owner) greeted us nicely and offered us cup of tea. We joined the table on the beach, where group of French engineers/architects was already sitting and enjoying their time. Within an hour Mr. Gamea came back to us with our passports (We told him what had happened before we reached the campsite and he decided to help us). Moreover, campsite had a proper bathroom and to us it was a real luxury as after a whole week we were able to take a proper shower.
Ras Monammed was amazing and beautiful. We were planning to stay only 2 days as we wanted to relax after long stay at Nuweiba Port. However our two days turned into almost a week. Campsite for us was for free as we were sleeping in the car. Moreover, there were almost no people – and we had feeling that the beach nearby the campsite belonged only to us – at least for a whileJ
Second reason why we needed to stay and rest longer, was that I got dehydrated. I was feeling very weak and dizzy, but even thou it was really hot, being on beach and swimming were refreshing and I was getting better. Furthermore, twice we had a chance to eat dinner prepared by a campsite/local chef. It was simple food, but absolutely fresh and delicious (Mostly fishes, but we were very impressed by a mixture of potatoes, onion and tomatoes – yummy!). The owner of this camping site was amazing – first dinner he offered to was for free and second – half price. Although, we had this incident with marine army at the beginning, we seriously enjoyed our time in Ras Mohammed – nice company, amazing food, calm and stunning underwater world compensated us first not the best week on Egyptian land.
We definitely recommend to everybody Ras Mohammed Campsite:
Elras Camping, South Sinai
Gamea Abo Nweaga –
Tel: +2 01005093743; Tel: +2 01008837607