The Great Omani Outdoors

By MOHAMED EL HEBEISHY | LIFE.STYLE@ARABNEWS.COM

Are you into outdoor activities? Do you like to go hiking, camping or perhaps bird watching? Now that the cooler season has arrived, it is a great opportunity to head to Oman and enjoy the multitude of different outdoor activities the Sultanate has to offer.

The mountains in Oman might deceive you by their barren, brown, and subtle look, but once you delve into any of the many zigzag wadis (valleys), you will be surprised by how much green they conceal. Take Wadi Ash Shab, for example. The wadi runs from the coastal village of Tiwi and snakes through the mountains and is rich in vegetation, as well as in caves and overhanging rocks. Enjoy the green sceneries as you trek the wadi’s bottom before reaching its famous pools — a great place to go for a dip and cool off. Wadi Ash Shab is a one-hour trek famous among hardcore and novice trekkers alike; don’t be surprised if you stumble upon tens of other trekkers along the route.

Another famous trek in Oman is Wadi Ghul (often coded as w6a). Located in the Hajar Mountains, Wadi Ghul is dubbed the Omani Grand Canyon for its sheer 1,000, or more, cliffs. If you opt to trek in Wadi Ghul, then perhaps you would like to include ascending Jebel Shams as part of your itinerary. There are two ways to go about conquering Jebel Shams, Oman’s highest peak at 3,075 meters: either by trekking or by car. The road to the summit, 37 kilometers from Ghul village located at the mountain’s foot, is sealed all the way, except for the last seven kilometres when it becomes a graded one. The first 10 kilometers are a leisurely drive with slight change in elevation, but the rest is a steep, winding and hair-raising one, so please be super careful if you are behind the steering wheel.

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Entrance of Wadi Ash Shab. You can wade your way through to the other side or use a boat.

Note by the editor: “Oman – worth a visit!”

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