As a resident of Salalah for the last five years, there is no better way to describe Salalah during khareef but the season when God decided to turn everything green with one tap of his finger.
Out of all the seasons that Salalah is gifted with, khareef has always been the most famous as it is not just a season but a celebration — an occasion to celebrate the beauty of Mother Nature.
During this season, especially before corona, tourists from all over the world come to witness this magical moment in the Gulf. When the rest of the countries in the Middle East are suffering under temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, Dhofar, the southernmost region of Oman, not only enjoys a temperature of below 20 degrees Celsius, it also some of the most frequent rains and the mesmerising fog covering the mountains.
At its peak, the once barren mountains will be covered by vegetation becoming a lush green paradise. The continuous “perfume rain” is itself an instant source of happiness. Imagine walking in the rain and still not getting wet — that’s the beauty of this season as if the governorate is suddenly enveloped in powerful magic.
Khareef is not only a celebration for humans but also animals and birds as the season is the perfect opportunity to spot them in plenty all over the governorate. Flowers of all colours bloom, be it next to the mountains or in the main city. If you plan to go for a long drive, you will find camels walking next to your car. Witnessing this annual camel parade will make you feel grateful for the little blessings Dhofar enjoys.
When visiting during the khareef season, the waterscapes of the governorates are the perfect markers that it’s a magical season. If you get to see waterfall here that means khareef is amazing this year.
Through the different initiatives of the government and tourism sector of Oman, there has been lots of improvisation taking place that made many of the attractions accessible particularly Wadi Darbat.
The way to cascade waterfalls have been revamped and it is so convenient to witness these magnificent waterfalls now.
With the opening of lockdown, you will witness people enjoying and celebrating with family and friends just next to the road. Camps are also set up almost in every corner while kites become the kings of the sky.
As a recommendation, these are the waterscapes or places you should not miss this year:
Ayn Khor Waterfalls — It involves a 40-minute trek but the view will be mesmerising.
Wadi Darbat — The best place to watch nature unfolds and come alive. One of the best family-friendly adventures to do here is to go boating next to the waterfall cascades.
Ayn Tabrook — While this waterfall may be smaller in size and length, it’s the perfect place to refresh and nature bathe.
Ayn Athoum — As the most famous waterfall, Ayn Athoum usually doesn’t need an introduction. Expect quite a large volume of tourists coming here.
Ayn Humran — If you’re looking for a bit of off-the-beaten-path location, the view here is just so serene.
Ayn Razat — While the pools here are shallower, they can be best for your aching feet. Make sure to dip your toes and then visit one of its popular features — the gorgeous cave overlooking the pools.
Mughsayl — From the blowholes to one of Oman’s breathtaking seascapes, this is a must-not-miss. Enjoy the picturesque walks and enjoy the breeze while sitting under the shade of the cliff canopies.
As a bonus, don’t forget to pass through and stop by Ittin. This is where you can find the best barbecues. Don’t forget to try Fatira.
We can all relate to the challenging Middle Eastern sun. But a travel down south into the welcoming embrace of the lush green paradise of Salalah will make you appreciate the beauty of God’s creation.