Cover photo - Rare Free standing Mangrove tree - Monika Sleszynska
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – 20 June 2017: One hundred kilometers south of Marsa Alam, near the small, village of Hamata, you will find a gem and a miracle of mother nature, a free standing Mangrove tree. Standing under the Mangrove tree would make you think you are in a fairy tale as you take in the surreal shapes surrounded by gently shimmering sheltered crystal clear waters reflecting the white sandy bottom.
1. Standing under the beautiful Mangrove tree one can feel as if they are in a fairy tale -Monika Sleszynska
After walking through the gates of the protected area, you will be greeted by the unique scenery of low growing green and white sand stretching over the lagoon like waters of the Red Sea. While even walking over the smooth white sand already feels like you are in paradise, this location is unique. This beach has a view of a free standing Mangrove tree which has grown several meters tall, located a few hundred meters from the coast.
The secret to experiencing the magic is to walk towards the tree; you will be richly rewarded when you get close to it. The shallow clear water only goes up to your ankles for most of the walk in what is a picturesque fairy tale location.
3. Mangroves are an important link in the eco system for migrating birds - Monika Sleszynska
I can guarantee this is what you will feel when standing next to this miracle of nature - the tree has adapted to grow in waters 100 times saltier than any other plants.
When you go outside, you will meet Bedouin children offering local crafts and ornaments, the perfect gifts to remember your magical moments under the Mangrove tree.
Mangrove trees thrive in the tropical and subtropical climates on the coasts of Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Asia and Australia. Fewer than one hundred species of mangrove trees have been identified in the world out of which only two are found in Egypt.
While the Grey Mangroves are found in Gouna, the Red Mangrove grows only South of Shalateen therefore there is no surprise that all areas with Mangrove trees are protected areas in Egypt.
The magical looking Mangroves are not only pretty trees but also an important link in a unique marine eco system globally.
Their roots spread widely around like threads and they produce spikes that enable them to exchange oxygen and breathe when the tide is out. It is estimated that they used to cover 75% of the planet’s tropical coast. Ecuador is home to the world’s tallest Mangrove tree which reaches up to 60 meters high.
5. Map of Mangroves around the world – Wikipedia via Chandra Giri