Dungonab Bay and Mukkwar Island National Park

Dungonab Bay and Mukkawar Island National Park is situated in the far north of the Sudanese Red Sea coast. The area was declared as a National Park in 2004. 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.

The parks extensive beaches, islands and coastal plains host internationally significant populations of seabirds, and it is recognised as both an ‘Important Bird Area’ (IBA) and a marine IBA by BirdLife International. The eastern shore of Mukawwar Island is a regionally and possibly internationally significant nesting site for at least three species of marine turtles. Due to the remoteness of the site, the isolated islands remain almost untouched by human activities and retain their integrity and authenticity as one of the most natural conserved islands in the Red Sea.

Location and Size

Dungonab Bay and Mukkawar Island National Park lies in Red Sea State (RSS) on the eastern coastal boundary of Sudan. The park was gazetted in 2004 under the Federal Protection of Hunting and National Parks Law of 1986. The southern boundary of the park is located just south of Sheik Okod, an important cultural site, approximately 125km north of Port Sudan. The legally declared boundaries of the park cover a total area of 2,800 km2, which includes 850.7 km2 of land and 1949.89 km2 in the sea. The complex coastline, which includes the very large bay at Dungonab, together with the large island of Mukkawar, means that the total length of the coastline extends north over 200 km. The marine area of the park covers 2.94 % of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Sudan (66,412 km2).

Source: Kemp et al. 2002; PERSGA/GEF 2004 ; APF 2007; Cousteau 2013