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Sudan's Marine National Parks are home to some of the world’s most diverse marine tropical habitats and endemic and rare species, including the globally threatened sharks, dugongs, dolphins, marine turtles, and manta rays. With a wealth of marine life and breathtaking underwater seascapes, Sudan’s Marine National Parks are renowned for their natural beauty and as one of the best diving spots in the world.
In recognition of its unique natural marine heritage, the Government of Sudan established two flagship National Parks, Sanganeb Atoll Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay and Mukkawar Island National Park , to help protect and sustainably manage Sudan’s marine resources.
Sanganeb Atoll Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay and Mukkawar Island National Park were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site July 2016.
Sanganeb Atoll was the first marine national park to be gazetted in Sudan in 1990. The only atoll in the Red Sea, Sanganeb has one of the most unique reef structures in the whole Red Sea whose steep slopes rise from a sea floor more than 800m deep. Sangeneb is renowned among divers as one of the best diving spots in the world. The park is known for its richness of marine life and breathtaking underwater vistas, hosting at least 300 fish species including numerous endemic and rare species of sharks, dolphins, marine turtles, and a good representation of other invertebrates such as molluscs.
Dungonab Bay and Mukkawar Island National Park is situated in the far north of the Sudanese Red Sea coast. The park is aesthetically spectacular, with unspoiled coastal landscapes and diverse seascapes. The park encompasses several key features including, the coastal inlets at Khor Wais and Khor Shinab, the Rawaya Peninsula, the large shallow embayment of Dungonab Bay, Mukkawar Island, the largest island in the Sudanese Red Sea, as well as numerous smaller unpopulated islands. There is a high diversity of coastal and marine habitats within the park including extensive complexes of coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, lagoons, rocky and sandy beaches. The park also supports significant populations of endemic and threatened species including a regionally important population of the endangered dugong, as well as dolphins, whale sharks and large populations of manta rays and sharks.