Wadis of Oman
A wadi is a dried up riverbed
found in the mountain valleys. Wadis come into
their own after heavy rains, when the rivers start
running again and the vegetation is restored.
wadis have year-round running water, with deep,
cool pools in which it is quite safe to swim if
the currents are slow. On the whole, wadis are
only accessible with a four-wheel drive vehicle,
as the terrain can be extremely bumpy. Wadis are
green, lush oases of palm trees, grasses, and
It is always safest to visit wadis in a
group or with a tour guide. Although
they are beautiful places, they are often remote
and car breakdowns can happen to anyone. Visitors
must also be on the alert for rain clouds, as
sudden downpours can lead to flash floods, which
are highly dangerous when in the gorges.
Wadi Bani Khalid:
Wadi Bani Khalid is about 203 km far from Muscat. It is
the best-known wadi of the Sharqiyah region. Its
stream maintains a constant flow of water
throughout the year. Large pools of water and
boulders are scattered along the course of the
wadi. As a geographical area, Wadi Bani Khalid
covers a large swathe of low land and mountains.
Caves form some of the interesting features of this
wadi. These include Kahf Maqal which is one of the
Sultanate's underground chambers. However,
reaching this cave takes a lot of effort and
visitors should be prepared for the adventure.
Springs of water are also common in this wadi. The
springs of Ain Hamouda, Ain al Sarooj and Ain
Dawwa, among others, are a blessing to the eye as
one ventures along the wadis. The village of Badaa
is a well-known tourist stop in the valley.
Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi:
Wadi Shab lies in Niyabat Tiwi, Wilayat of Sur, is 76
km from Qurayyat. It is easy to reach this wadi
from the Qurayyat-Sur highway. The wadi combines
the attractions of coast areas and inland wonders.
It has at least seven pools of shimmering emerald
green water studded beautiful boulders. One of the
pools is in a cave where light streams in
dramatically from above and there are fantastic
echoes as you swim and splash.
About seven kilometers away from Wadi Shab starts Wadi
Tiwi which extends 36 km inland and ends at a
mountain village known as Mibam. Many groves and
fruit trees grow along the course of this wadi
from which the azure blue sea can be seen as you
climb up the hills and descend into the valleys.
Wadi Al Abyadh:
One of the Al Batinah region's best loved valleys is
Wadi Al Abyadh which lies some 30 km away from
Muscat-Sohar highway. With a four-wheel drive
vehicle, it will be a memorable experience to
explore this wadi, which is vested in green
vegetation and white boulders and rocks, from
which the wadi probably takes its name. The rough
road runs through the middle of the wadi. There
are pink oleander trees and many beautiful birds.
Wadi Dhaiqah lies in a grand canyon about 90 km
eastwards from the Bait Hattat (Wadi Adei)
roundabout in Muscat. As many as 120 other wadis
lead to this great valley which features as a
large natural park extending from Wilayat Dima
W'attayyeen in the Sharqiyah region to the Wilayat
of Qurayyat in the Governorate of Muscat.
It is easy to reach Wadi Dhaiqah from the highway, but
after 20 minutes venturing into the wadi one is
surprised by massive boulders and deep pools
before coming across the famous fruit farms of Al
Mazarea and many other attractions. In some places
along Wadi Dhaiqah, the valley becomes narrow and
its walls shoot up and change into high, wonderful
The springs that feed Wadi Dhaiqah are constant and
contain abundant water supplies, particularly
during the rainy season, which prompted the
government to draft plans for a major irrigation
project. To explore the full stretch of Wadi
Dhaiqah is a real challenge, but, for adventure
lovers a worthwhile one.
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