Sinai Desert Trekking: Dahab – Nuweiba – Saint Catherine

Sinai Desert Trekking: Dahab – Nuweiba – Saint Catherine

If you want to go to Saint Catherine from Dahab, you should take a road that starts about 38 km (24 miles) away from Dahab, split into an uphill half that leads you to an interesting plateau where you can halt and admire the beautiful bird’s eye view of Wadi Ghazala.

The second part of the road goes downhill, leading to a Bedouin café and a trail that’ll take you to the Oasis of Ain Khudra. Going ahead in this direction, you’ll come across a gigantic rock called Haggar Maktub, which means “Written Stone” in Arabic. The reason this rock acquired such an interesting name is because of all the inscriptions covering most of the surface of the rock.

Haggar Maktub is like a history book, with multi-lingual writings dating back to periods like the Nabataean, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and the Crusades.

A few hundred meters away from the Written Stone, you’ll find yourself at the top of a raised ground overlooking Wadi Khudra and the plush greenery of the Oasis of Ain Khudra. To get down there you’ll have to walk for about two and a half hours.
saint catherine
Another monument similar to Haggar Maktub in the area is a rock located at about half a kilometer away from the main road. This one is covered in prehistoric drawings of creatures and beings that used to live in the region millennia ago.

Further along, another interesting primeval landmark is the formation of Nawamis, a Bedouin term for “flies”, but that’s actually designating prehistoric tombs found right in the middle of Sinai. This ancient Nawamis can be reached on the way from Dahab to St. Catherins. You would leave the car close to the street and walk the rest towards the historic tombs, that are on the edge of a huge flat, almost white appearing valley. The nawamis, the name for these tombs are more than 5.000 years old and for this even older than the great Egyptian Pyramids. Each tomb is constructed with dry-wall stone in a circular way and has its door facing west. They are - especially for their age - still very well preserved. These tombs are all built with drywall stones, in a curious round shape, with their entrances facing west.

Once you’re back on the main road, you can drive on to Saint Catherine. The Blue Mountain - jeep or camel safaris can take you to Dahab, Sharm el Sheikh or Nuweiba from St. Catherine via many different ways.

If you come to Dahab from St Katherine’s Monastery, there is a bus from the nearby village leaving for Dahab at 1 o’clock. If you want to leave earlier so you can go down to the parking just after 9 o’clock, you could go with one of the many tour buses and taxis waiting there (the monastery opens at nine and after visiting all people who came to climb Mt Sinai go back to their resort). You may find a group of people going in a minibus to Dahab.

Last Updated on Friday 14th January 2011