Sanganeb Atoll Marine National Park

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.

Sanganeb is a wonderful example (perhaps the best in the entire region) of the deep-water offshore reefs of the central Red Sea, exhibiting a spectacular colorful diversity of over 124 species of coral, rendering it a Mecca to divers and photographers of the world due to the clarity of the water. It has been regarded as a place of exceptional importance by marine biologists since at least the 1970s, and was first identified as a viable World Heritage Site as early as the 1980s.

Source: PERSGA/GEF 2004 ; APF 2007; Cousteau 2013


Location and Size


Sanganeb Atoll Marine National Park is located in the central Red Sea at approximately 30km north-east of Port Sudan city at N19º42’ E37º26’. Sanganeb is widely reported to be the only atoll in the Red Sea and is a small atoll by global standards: the maximum length along the north-south axis is 6.5km, and the maximum width is 1.6km. The area of reef flat and shallow fore reef is approximately 2km², and the area of enclosed lagoon is approximately 4.6km². The park was gazetted in 1990 under the Federal Protection of Hunting and National Parks Law of 1986. The legally declared boundaries of Sanganeb enclose an area of 22km².