This morning we piled into the bus for the last time, and were taken out to Nabq, another protected area within the Gulf of Aqaba Protectorates. Our first stop was to snorkel off the beach and look at the many different types of seagrasses in the area - at least 5 different ones! It is strange to be snorkelling over what looks like a garden lawn, but the area is absolutely beautiful, with enormous coral mounds and loads of life. We managed to find all of the different species of seagrass and have a lot of fun in the process!
After stopping at the Bedouin village for some lunch, our next stop was the Mangroves a little further north. Donning neoprene booties with our shorts (an excellent look!) we waded into the mangrove area to look more closely at the biodiversity. There is a lot of bird life around the mangroves, and many juvenile fish species use the area as a nursery before graduating to the coral reefs. This is why it is so important to protect these areas. We also managed to find a Cassiopea - upside down jellyfish! These things are so cool, sitting in the water upside down to take advantage of the nutrient-rich water.
Arriving back at the Training Centre in the afternoon it was very hard to believe that the course had come to an end. I have learned so much about not only different corals and their ecology, but also gained an insight in to how Egypt's national parks are managed and the problems they encounter. I hope to be able to put my new found coral survey skills to good use in the future - watch this space!