Maagana Camp: Nuweiba’s Splendid Cove
Tanya El Kashef
Life in Cairo is mostly characterised by the need for an escape and an
ongoing search for tranquility. In a city
that bustles from sunrise to sunset, the generosity the country affords in
holidays and ideal weather, makes surviving the city that much easier.
On the road between Nuweiba
and Taba, 7km after the Nuweiba city crossroad, you’ll find the Maagana Camp. Founded in the early nineties, it is situated on a bay and surrounded by the
stark beauty of crimson-tinted mountains.
Compared to the several other camps
around the area, the most noticeable thing about Maagana is how spacious it is.
With the main hut relatively centred, the rest of the grounds are spread out quite
a distance to the right along the sea shore and to the left into the
The camp offers three kinds
of accommodation: bungalows, beach huts and ‘khoshas’. The bungalows cost 200LE
a night for two people and are easily the nicest of the three options. Built
within the levels of the mountains, they come with beds, nice lighting and
quaint detailing, including built-in shelves for storage. The front of the
bungalows have wide wooden platforms made to relax and lay back on while
enjoying the mesmerizing view of the bay.
The beach huts and khoshas are
on the other end of the camp with the view of the mountains. At 150LE
for two people, the huts also come with electricity and beds; but they are not
directly by the water, so they seem cramped and not half as enticing as the
bungalows. At 50LE per person, the khoshas are similar to the huts’ overall look
except they are built more simply – the huts have a stone base while the khoshas
sit directly on the sand. They are without electricity or beds.
Though they’re the
cheapest option, the khoshas are particularly nice. Located directly on the waterfront, they are constructed
with high, peaked ceilings and with windows; they are a lot less confined than
the usual design. There isn’t a lot of furniture in terms of cushions to sit on and mattresses to sleep on, but if you have the
energy to go around collecting some cushions, a khosha can soon become a home.
Although the electricity
option seems out of place for camping, the camp conscientiously uses solar
energy for its needs. Six solar panels placed on top of the main hut feed two
generators that work throughout the night and at some points during the day.
While the shore isn’t of soft
sands, it is still easily swimmable and with a stretch of coral reef the camp
is a popular spot for diving – a centre for courses and renting equipment is
available. Snorkeling equipment is also rentable for those who prefer a simpler
way of appreciating underwater life.
The menu at Maagana is the
usual in Sinai style. The breakfast, included in accommodation, consists of eggs, foul
and taameya along with white cheese and salad. The lunch and dinner options are
a range of salads, pizza and pasta (between 20LE to 40LE) and the choice of fish,
chicken or meat meals, with prices around 50LE to 70LE. The service is usually slow,
so one should be prepared to wait at least an hour to receive the food.
On a trip like this, it is
good to bring along snacks and munchies that are easy to store. A cooler is
another useful addition to have; there is rarely ice available at these camps
and it keeps water, juice and whatever other beverages nicely chilled.
Perhaps because of Maagana’s
location there were virtually no mosquitos or flies around, at least during
this reviewer’s time of visit. However, there was a camp donkey that could be heard
hee-hawing at sporadic moments, day and night.
All in all, the Maagana Camp provides
pleasant stay and is highly recommended for those seeking the place to laze
around in, read, reflect and just enjoy good company.