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Cave Exploration

Sub Section: Parks & Gardens Museums Shoppings Scuba Diving Rock Climbing/Trekking Surfing & Sailing Cave Exploration Bull Fight/Camel Race


Oman offers some of the most hair-raising cave exploration in the world and should only be attempted by experienced, fit cavers, preferably accompanied by someone who has traversed the caves before.

Majlis al Jinn

One of the most famous caves is the 'Majlis al Jinn', which is the second largest underground chamber in the world. This is an extremely difficult cave to negotiate, and it is important that the expedition is not undertaken lightly and without professional guidance.

To enter the cave, one must initially be lowered down on a free-hanging rappel. There are two drops into the chamber: one of over 150m and the other of almost 120m. (Don't forget, you also have to climb back up these ropes when the expedition is over, so be honest about Majlis al Jinn caveyour fitness levels!). At the foot of these drops is a half-domed space around 120m high and covering an area of around 60,000m2. This is the Majlis Cave which is dwarfed only by the Sarawak Chamber in Malaysian Borneo.

Hota Cave

A popular cave for the less intrepid (although this certainly must not be considered by unaccompanied amateurs) is Hota Cave which comprises an underground cavern and subterranean lake system. Hota Cave is a 2.7km tunnel which runs in a north-south direction through the Hajar Mountains. There are many offshoots to the main tunnel, but so far, only approximately 5km have been charted by experienced cavers. Do not attempt to wander from the main path.

There are two entries to Hota Cave: the Al Fallah entrance, which is taken through a large gaping entrance below a cliff overhang; or the al Hota entrance which is strictly for experienced cavers. The latter entry must not be undertaken without ropes, safety equipment and a guide as it involves fairly perilous scrambles down slippery rock faces. Within the Hota Cave is the subterranean lake which is home to unusual species of aquatic animals such as blind fish which sense their way around the lake with feelers. The main lake within the cave system is around 800m long, but please do not be tempted to swim in the waters and disturb the delicate eco-system.

The main chamber of Hota Cave is around the size of the Al Bustan Palace Hotel's ballroom and contains some magnificent cave formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns which have evolved over millions of years. These beautiful structures are delicately coloured in shades of pink, yellow, gold, beige and grey The cave Web site www.alhootacave.com  .

Teyq Cave

What is possibly the largest sinkhole in the world, Teyq Cave, is located between Taqa and Mirbat. The sinkhole has two wadis, which replenish the pool when it rains. To find out more about this natural 'wonder', you may wish to contact the Sultan Qaboos University Earth Science Department who is an expert on Oman's geology

If you are caving, do not forget your equipment. You will need:

  1. Two heavy-duty flashlights - replace the batteries before your trip and ensure the torches are in perfect working order

  2. Extra batteries and bulbs

  3. Climbing helmet

  4. Plenty of water and high-carbohydrate snacks

  5. Good hiking boots and light-weight climbing clothing

Many caves in Oman are, essentially, underground wadis. Do not attempt any cave exploration if you suspect it may rain, or if it has recently rained in the area. Flash floods can be fatal.
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