Al-Karm is a small hotel installation based on the criteria of sustainable eco-tourism, caring about the natural environment and the well-being of their inhabitants. It is a Bedouin owned and run Ecolodge that was built with EU funding under the supervision of St. Catherine’s Protectorate. The ecolodge is situated in the beautiful surroundings of Wadi Gharaba near Sheikh Awaad and Nagb Hawa, the traditional route to the Monastery of St. Katherine.
Al Karm operates on the principles of simplicity and minimal environmental impact – there is no electricity - but it has solar heated showers, sanitary compost toilets, a modest kitchen and dining facilities.
Here guests will experience the time-honoured hospitality and culture of the Gebaliya Bedouin. From Al Karm you can examine a Bronze Age settlement, wonder at a mysterious Nabatean village or be guided through the surrounding mountains learning some of the desert's secrets and looking for signs of wildlife such as hyrax, ibex, wolves and hyenas.
Furthermore, it assures employment to the local Bedouin community of Sheikh Awaad. The benefits are shared equally among members of the project. This cooperative way of doing things, results in a stronger incentive to preserve their resources and support tourism projects which promote the protection of the environment. The Ecolodge therefore favours an ‘eco-friendly’ tourism, responsible and respectful of the surrounding nature, culture and local traditions.
El Karm Ecolodge is located close to the settlement of Sheikh Awad in Wadi Gharba, off the main road leading to St. Katherine. If you have suitable transport, coming from the coast you have to turn right at Tarfa, the last settlement before St. Katherine, onto a dirt road. You are advised to have a someone to show you the way. If you request upon reservation, we can organize your transport from St. Katherine.
You can reach El Karm walking from St. Katherine in about 3 hours over easy terrain. The location of El Karm Ecolodge is also on some of our trekking routes.