Egyptian Camel Safari – Going off the grid from Dahab to Ras Abu Galum


Here is a flavor of the trip. 

Ras Abu Galum is about 6km north of Dahab’s famous Blue Hole diving site and is a gem of a place to visit. There are only a handful of Dahab’s divers that go on this trip per year hence why these reefs are still so beautiful.   Here is an outline trip report..

“We went to this tiny little Bedouin place by the name of Ras Abu Galum. It is tiny, two families live there, a population of about 20, give or take a few stragglers. To get there you either go by truck up to Nuweiba and back down again, which takes 4 hours, or you go via camel from the Blue Hole for an hour or so, it is not even possible to go by motorbike as the coast path is so rocky and bumpy you would not be able to get a bike over the obstacles.    Of course, we opted for the camels!  

The journey itself is a total experience worth doing. We arrived at the dive centre for 7am, and by 7.45 all of our kit was loaded up, tanks and all onto these odd creatures. I’ve never been a camel fan as a rule; they smell, they feel uncomfortable and all you want to do is hurry them up.  Getting onto them itself is entertaining; it’s like watching someone climb onto an extra large clothes horse in the way their legs concertina and fold underneath their bodies. The amazing thing was that once you were on board, they were away! No leading, no direction and no ropes so if the camel decided to go off on one you would be on your own. … that said they knew exactly where they were heading and are very laid back so we had no dramas. It is a very odd experience, but within ten minutes I was absolutely loving the laid back style. I just chilled and started to look around and enjoy the stunning scenery.

The seafront path you ride along is ridiculously rocky, but so very totally stunning. It’s like walking back into the Jurassic period. The cliff side and rock faces are so old you can just tell that so much history must have taken place along the trail. Frank, the owner of the dive shop and our guide for the weekend explained that the trail was actually originally used by the Romans, and they regularly used it to transport goods. You could just picture the Roman Legion pacing down the sands, heading up to cross into Arabia. It really was quite breathtaking. As you carry on around the rocky path you can suddenly see these little dark dots in the distance, these dots turned out to be the wooden huts of Ras Abu Gallum. It works out to about 5 miles north of the Blue Hole. The sun is just beginning to pick up heat as you close into the destination.

We chose our “hut”. Which literally consisted of long branches tied together in the sand but it keeps you out of the direct sunlight. We offloaded the camels and the Bedouins  greeted us and brought us fresh Bedouin tea which was deliciously refreshing after our trek. We met the local cats and the other free roaming camels in the village.

Frank showed us around, not that there was exactly much to show. We were situated on the beach with stunning views all around. A functioning toilet was about 50 meters away (Don’t expect luxury though… it’s a traditional toilet – think hole in the ground) there were mattresses for us to chill out on. Blankets in case we get cold over-night.. and stunning reef diving wherever we went!  By 10am we were loading a pickup for a short drive to the first reef (there is also a great reef 20m in front of the huts, but we were seeking out the best of the area and the coral pinacles were awaiting us about 1km away, we dived Triggerfish Alley (named by our guide – as very few other people had ever dived it).

After the first dive we changed our kit over and settled down to chill in the sunshine and await lunch. Frank explained that the Sheikh’s family would be cooking for us. We had fresh battered Grouper (caught about an hour beforehand) with rice and fresh salad. I’ve never tasted fish like it. But to fair, I don’t think I’ve ever had such fresh fish before.

A second dive on a similarly stunning reef and we were back to the camp to chill out.  That was it for the first day. We chilled out in the sun, drank the beers that we’d brought with us and took it all in. We had roasted chicken for dinner, with pasta and more fresh salad, which again was delightful. We all chatted away as the sun went down and the stars started to appear over the mountain.  Up at Ras, with no light pollution the night sky is full of constellations and millions of stars..  Just incredible, we even saw a handfull of shooting stars – truly a stunning night.  As the moon dropped behind the mountains we walked into the sea for a starlight paddle, with such low light we also noticed ting flickers of blue light, these were bioluminescent plankton that light up when you disturb them.. They were mesmersising and eveeyone went for a paddle to witness the light show.

We woke up at 6.15 the next day, just after the sky was beginning to lighten but there was no sign of the sun just yet. We’d all decided to do an early dive, 7am in the water before breakfast. We went up to a sit between the house reef and rocks but had no specific name. The one thing that made it stand out though was the amount of pinnacles sticking up throughout the corals. Very striking and different to the other sides only a few hundred meters away.

We got out of the water just before 0800 and once again set up our kit. Breakfast and tea were served, omelette, basic breads and jam but delicious all the same. We let our surface interval time climb as the sun came up and once again, we chilled. (As you can tell we did a LOT of that… but, in such a serene place it’s hard not to do anything else. You don’t want music blaring.. or loud chatter. It’s just you and a little piece of paradise).

We dives at Ras Mumla (a 1km drive further north into the gulf of Aquaba. The entry was exiting as there were a few waves but it just added to the adventure.

After the dives we packed up our kit and sat down for another great bedouin dinner, and then an evening of drinking and laughing around the fire.  The Bedioun family couldn’t do enough to look after us. Such a friendly bunch too, they have a couple of little children that come round and say hi every so often. Always smiling, always happy despite having no electricity, no internet, no computer games! They play in the sand every day.

Our camels arrived early the next day and we loaded and got underway before the sun was too high in the sky, otherwise it would be sunburn ahoy!

A superb trip, really different to normal “tourist” diving and well worth a return visit.

Watch out for the video that will be on this page soon.