There is one place in Dhofar that comes alive with waterfalls, streams making the wadi wind its way to Khor Rori, the lagoon and then onto the sea - all because of the influence of the monsoon from the Arabian Sea.
Traditionally it occupies a special place often inspiring poets but ever since Salalah has been established as a regional and international destination, Wadi Darbat has become one of the most popular tourism attractions - always on the list of visitors.
Cattle and camels enjoy grazing in the lush grassland, which is also a haven for birds, especially migratory birds that go through the region as a summer stopover and others during winter.
Over the years, Wadi Darbat has become a destination for all ages because of the boat rides and other attractions laid out by Dhofar Municipality.
“At some parts Wadi Darbat looks like a river, then yet in another area it is like a small lake, of course the highlight is the waterfall. There are caves with old inscriptions and drawings, but to explore the caves it is better to visit Wadi Darbat before or after Khareef " -- Mohammed al Awaid, nature photographer
This summer too local tourists from other parts of Oman have already reached this enchanting place that is a home for a variety of trees and caves.
The Darbat Lake is at the heart of Wadi Darbat. When the cliffs of Darbat bring down the water the 100 feet cascade is a breathtaking sight.
“Wadi Darbat is a unique place. It is not like other wadis -- it is much wider and has water and the water falls when it rains. Another interesting feature is the number of caves in the place. It has so many features varying from cliffs to valleys, lakes to a variety of tree species,” explained Mohammed al Awaid, nature photographer from Jibjat, Taqa who now lives and works in Salalah.
He added, “At some parts Wadi Darbat looks like a river, then yet in another area it is like a small lake, of course the highlight is the waterfall. There are caves with old inscriptions and drawings, but to explore the caves it is better to visit Wadi Darbat before or after Khareef because during that time it is easier to drive up to the exact locations of the caves. The tourists may not know too well about the caves.”
The wooded highlands rises to 1,500 m on either side of the wadi and makes Darbat uniquely attractive with intriguing patterns formed by wind erosion.
Mohammed has been photographing Darbat Waterfalls since 1996 and he shared some of his photographs of the falls.
“This year Khareef 2021 the water had just begun to fall slowly from the cliff just before the Eid holidays and we are sure it is going to be good because the monsoon is strong this year,” he noted.
Birdwatchers from around the world visit Darbat throughout the various seasons and have recorded sightings of KingFishers, Tree Pipit, Eagles, Little Egrets, Wagtails, Ortolan Bunting, African Bunting, Pallid Harrier, Greenshanks, Common Sandpipers, Snipes, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Abyssinian White Eye, Tristam’s Grackle, African Paradise Flycatchers, Hoopoe and the list goes on.