Do

Wander wadis and waterholesOman

In many minds Oman is synonymous with endless, arid landscapes and fluted, rose gold sand dunes. But this Arabian nation, which is four times bigger than neighbour UAE, not only features more than 2000 kilometres of coastline, but also a bounty of hidden waterholes to boot.

Wadi Shab is one such dreamlike spot. Bathe in Tiffany-blue waters in the upper reaches of this “gorge between cliffs”, as the name translates. Trek in dry heat to waterfalls rushing in secret caverns. And wander rugged, rocky paths in search of kingfishers perched on palm fronds and pops of pink from oleanders in bloom.

The coast road that leads to Wadi Shab is speckled with fishing villages built upon crescents of sand, and numerous other wadis nestled into the hinterland. Wadi Bani Khalid is arguably Oman’s most celebrated natural pool. After ascending through the Eastern Hajar Mountains, Wadi Bani Khalid spills out in front of the eye like a Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas-induced mirage. If the shamrock-green water doesn’t beckon (though it most likely will) then there’s plenty of waterside space to idle away the afternoon with a picnic.

Lesser-known cousin Wadi Tiwi is just as much of a scene-stealer, and not only for its crystalline swimming holes: Tiwi is also known as the Wadi of Nine Villages, which offer an abundance of great village-to-village walking trails. The area also boasts aflaj – ancient irrigation channels dating as far back as 500 AD, some of which are even UNESCO-listed World Heritage Sites.

get there

Visit numerous hidden wadis on some of Swagman’s Oman tours.

Swagman Tours
swagmantours.com.au

This tip was provided by Swagman Tours, but we’re sharing it with you because we think it’s great.

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Tags: hiking, middle east, nature, oman, swimming, trekking

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