While Arizona lays claim to some rather thrilling rock formations, the American state isn’t the only one. At Wadi Bani Awf, we can assure you this is thrill-seeking of a different kind. Welcome to one of Oman’s most memorable off-road drives. Pick out your 4WD and once you’ve packed your gear – think spare tyre, spanners, water, a hearty picnic and mini barbecue – buckle up and hold on tight as you begin the gravity-defying descent over the precipice and into Wadi Ban Awf. Tackle tough climbs and jagged descents as you power across the 25-kilometre off-road trail, zig-zagging along switchbacks and through majestic mountain passes.
Prepare to lose your breath again as you soak up the incredible limestone cliffs that soar into the sky on either side; feel your eyes pop at the sheer drop into the canyon beside the road, witness bursts of colour from lemon, mango and date plantations; and spot the occasional village ensconced among the shadows of the jebel (mountain). After gawping at the incredible landscape pull up on the side of the road (in a safe spot, of course) and cook up a feast while overlooking the rugged fissures and vast chasms on either side of you. Keen to experience this arid landscape but don’t think your driving chops are up to the task? Consider joining a tour so you can simply sit back and enjoy the scenery, drawing comfort in the knowledge that you can safely keep your eyes shut at the scary bits.
Fly to Muscat, where you’ll be picked up from the airport and delivered to your hotel.
This is just one part of the seven-day Oman Adventure tour by Swagman Tours, which costs about US$1982, twin share.
You don’t need to have been fanging around dirt tracks like a rally driver all your life, but off-road driving experience – and some upper body strength – is necessary to wrestle your 4WD along this rugged trail.