Ras Abu Gallum – The Desert Meets the Reef
After living in Egypt for just over three months, I’d heard the words Ras Abu Gallum mentioned a few times. When my friend asked me to join her and 13 other people on an overnight adventure there, I had no idea what to expect.
We each packed a bag with food and beer, mask and snorkel. Other than that I was told you only needed a towel and bikini and maybe a change of clothes. But food and drink was most important so if the rest didn’t fit then it had to be left behind.
We got a cab to past the Blue Hole until the road ended and there we were met by a guy and two camels. I wondered how 15 of us were going to fit on just two camels but when he started loading the camels with our bags, I realised that they were the porters, not the taxis and so started the two hour walk into the desert.
With the reef on one side and the massive desert mountains on the other, the views were amazing and the two hours went rather quickly. When we got to Ras Abu Gallum we were greeted by our Bedouin hosts and given our tent or hammock right on the beach, literally 20 metres from the water’s edge.
As the sun sets they built a fire for us as we relaxed on the beach and enjoyed the forever changing light displays on the mountains and ocean. We gave them our supplies and they cooked it for us and added their fresh catch from that day. Seeing as though they didn’t get to town very often, they relied on visitors to bring them things and we were their connection to the outside world that week. Since it was only $2 a night to stay there, it was the least we could do!
They played music for us and we sang through the night, dancing until the fire died out and the sun was coming up. After sunrise we slept for a few hours then hit the water for an amazing snorkelling experience of untouched reef, clear water and hundreds of fish and cool critters. My friend hit her all time record depth of 24.5 metres for free diving so it was something more to celebrate.
After lunch we had to pack up and head back to reality, something none of us wanted to do! A few decide to stay another day but the ones who had to dive the next day, needed to go back. The return trip was harder than the walk there as we didn’t have our camel friends helping us out and we were all very tired. We stopped a few places along the way to ease the heat and found some more magical reefs to explore, another added bonus to an already amazing trip.
If you visit Dahab you need to find a way to get to Ras Abu Gallum and the best way is to ask one of the local Bedouin people in the town centre about how to do the trip. The place is magic, the people are so kind and generous and with all your best mates surrounding you it’s an experience of a lifetime and my favourite memory in Egypt.
By Kelly Luckman