29 Nov 2020
Jijel, Algeria
Sustainable Tourism

In the future Marine Protected Area of the Taza National Park in Jijel in north-eastern Algeria, a collective project has led to the establishment of an underwater trail called Ras El Afia “Grand Phare”, with a dual objective: to develop sustainable eco-tourism activities while ensuring environmental education, awareness and preservation of this marine area which will be unique of its kind in the Mediterranean basin.

The Club Raie Manta de Jijel, a diving center specialized in underwater activities, composed of about twenty people passionate about the marine environment, has contributed to the creation of the underwater trail of Ras El Afia “Grand Phare”. This is a project that began in 2013 thanks to the training offered by the Taza National Park on the management and enhancement of underwater trails, and which led to the creation of the Ras El Afia trail in partnership with the Taza National Park, Club Raie Manta and other local communities.

The location to house the underwater trail was chosen according to many criteria, but particularly for its rich fauna and flora. All along the Ras El Afia underwater trail, visitors and swimmers will be amazed by the panoply of particular ecosystems on the site (posidonia meadows, coralligenous, rocky and sandy bottoms…).

The groups of hikers-swimmers can carry out this leisure and discovery activity by the waterways, and then only with the help of masks, snorkels and fins, in depths of up to 10 meters.

In order to carry out this marine walk, the trail is properly marked and has buoys stations where plates are immersed, illustrating the fauna and flora that characterize the different marine habitats. In addition, at each observation stop, there is an instructor or animator who provides explanations to the group of hikers about the nature of the environment and the species that live there.

"It is the first underwater trail on the Algerian coastline which, today, involves several people directly and indirectly - opening up a unique opportunity from an environmental, social and economic development point of view".Yacine Fates, President of the Club Raie Manta.
Underwater trail of Ras El Afia “Grand Phare”. | The Switchers

The underwater trail of Ras El Afia “Grand Lighthouse” is much more than just an underwater hike. This trail aims to be a tool for the development of sustainable and responsible ecological tourism in the region, as well as an opportunity for professional training. This activity offers all practitioners a means of personal development and fulfillment, as it allows citizens to enrich their knowledge of the marine environment. It is also an instrument for the integration of people in social or physical difficulty.

In addition to the preservation and awareness of the general public on the conservation of the marine environment, Club Raie Manta also organizes complementary activities, such as shoreline clean-up, as well as national treasure hunting competitions.

"We have already organized three editions of the national treasure hunt competition. This is an underwater orienteering competition that aims to promote the underwater trail and to educate and increase awareness about the marine environment; but we also intend to found a team that will represent the club and Algeria in the world underwater orienteering competitions".Yacine Fates, President of the Club Raie Manta.
Underwater trail of Ras El Afia “Grand Phare”. | The Switchers
Club Raie Manta Sustainable Tourisme