From 15th to 24th November, 2010 an 8 day/9 day a trip is being organised to Gebel Elba in the Sudan Government Administrative Area, also known as Hala’ib Triangle.
It is the remotest and least explored area of the Western Paleartic.
At 1437 metres, Gebel Elba is far from being the highest of the group of mountains that overlook the Red Sea but because of its unique attributes it is the most important area for flora and fauna in the whole of Egypt and is the centrepiece of the Elba Protected Area, which covers an area of approximately 35,600 square kilometres in the most south easterly corner of Egypt.
The area is inhabited by the Bishari tribe who live between Beranice in southern Egypt and Port Sudan and are descended from Neolithic tribal groups of ancient Hamitic origin and may have belonged in the area for more than 4000 years.
These people do not speak Arabic, neither do they read and write but have a close affinity with their environment and if shown pictures of targeted species knew if or where they could be found.
Until April of this year, the Elba Protected Area was a restricted and the exclusive preserve of scientists who were Egyptians nationals as the area is also a military zone. The Hala'ib Triangle area is currently controlled by Egypt, a situation which is disputed by Sudan.
After years of persistence by István (Steve) Moldován, a Hungarian ornithologist permission was finally granted for a group to visit this very special place.
As a member of that group, I must be forgiven for resorting to that overused phase; ’it was the trip of a lifetime’. So, I will be returning in November and hope to see some of you there as birders in Egyptian are a very rare species indeed!
All the details of the coming trip can be found on http://www.birdinginegypt.com/gebel-elba.php
And the full trip report for April on http://www.birdinginegypt.com/docume...cal-survey.pdf