The Sinai Trail was developed to showcase Egypt’s beautiful, iconic wilderness and boost responsible, low-impact tourism for the benefit of local communities. The trail opened in December 2015 following a year of development, led by local Bedouin: this early development of the Sinai Trail aimed to chart a viable hiking route across the Sinai for modern times, and to develop the maps, trail guides, and other resources hikers would need to walk the trail safely and responsibly. As the Sinai Trail enters its second year the aim is to consolidate the work done in the first year, whilst growing the project in key ways to attract more hikers and spread the benefits to more of the Sinai’s communities. This will be done with further funding and from the generous time and expertise given by volunteers. If you would like to help fund the ongoing work of the Sinai Trail or contribute to the project, please contact us.
What has the Sinai Trail achieved so far?
- Egypt has finally got its very own long distance hiking trail! Jordan has one, Palestine has one, and Lebanon too; now Egypt can stand with them, offering an exciting new hiking route to visitors.
- Hiking maps have been made for the whole 200km Sinai Trail route, in English and Arabic; these are an invaluable navigational/ planning aid for hikers, all freely, publicly available.
- Other trail resources have been produced in English and Arabic, including this website. These are making the trail and hiking in general more accessible and are encouraging safe, responsible practice.
- The Sinai Trail is working. Hundreds of hikers have hiked parts of the trail so far, Egyptian and foreign. Guides, cameleers, cooks, drivers and camp owners are all working in the local community.
- It is helping to preserve Bedouin culture. The Sinai Trail maps in particular have recorded many previously undocumented place names, many known only to Bedouin elders.
What is the Sinai Trail doing in the year ahead?
- More trail development! Special ‘hiking hubs’ with new trails will be developed; one in each of the three main tribal territories on the main route, ensuring benefits are spread to more communities.
- Guide training: a professional training programme will be run for Bedouin guides. 20 young guides will be trained to work on the trail, learning skills to keep the Sinai’s guiding tradition alive.
- Growing the Sinai Trail. As well as hikers, events will be organised for bikers, climbers and other user groups to widen the Sinai Trail’s appeal and build a strong, resilient economy around it.
- Outdoor education: educational events will be run by expert volunteers, aimed at growing Egypt’s hiking community and establishing good, responsible and safe hiking practice in the Sinai.
- Cultural heritage. A small team will walk the Sinai Trail, documenting its Bedouin heritage: they will collect place names, stories, poems and more, for a series of cultral trail guides to the route.