Oman is famous for its emerald and turquoise natural water pools. However, these pools are not easily accessible and many travellers still can’t believe that a desert country can hide beautiful secrets like those found in the country.
During summer, wadi hikes top the list of fun activities to do in the Sultanate of Oman. The natural pools come as a reward after a hard hike inside the mountains.
Each wadi is different which makes hike experiences not the same. Depending on your stamina and level of adventurism, there is always a wadi that would suit what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for some nice wadi to explore this summer, check out these three recommendations.
This gem is hidden in one of the mountains of Samayil, nearly two hours drive from Muscat. This is one of the easiest wadi hikes to take but if you’re afraid of heights, then the earlier point of the wadi can be a bit of a challenge as you will be passing through an elevated falaj that serves as a bridge for you to cross on the opposite side of the wadi. Finding the wadi location is quite easy as all you have to do is punch it in Google map and it will lead you to a mosque and the foot of the village where the hike begins. After crossing the approximately 30 metres in height falaj bridge, the rest of the way is enjoyable and more relaxed. The wadi is also surrounded by walls of mountains which meant it’s not as hot as other wadis in Oman. At the end of the hike, you will be rewarded by a waterpool that is welcomed by a beautiful emerald pool. Wadi Qurai is a marked trail and can be done without a guide. This hike takes mostly 2-3 hours to complete.
Technically still part of Wadi Tiwi, located at its mountain point, Wadi Mibam is one of Al Sharqiyah Governorate’s best gifts to its people. Going to Mibam requires off-road driving passing through tiny village roads and rocky terrain. Mibam got its name from the village where you start the hike. After walking through nearly a hundred steps of stairs down towards an amazing waterfall, you would have to climb down the side of the mountain to get down. Here, the hike is like exploring a garden filled with different adventures. Once down in the wadi, you have to keep swimming until the far end to reach what is perhaps one of the best paradises on earth. Green is the dominant colour in this wadi and both sides of the mountain hiding the wadi are filled with plantations. Once you reach the last pool, you can select any rock, rest and enjoy the beauty there. This is indeed a place where anyone can connect with nature and enjoy the sound of the waterfall. There are two ways to exit out of the wadi. One is going through the same trail you entered which required climbing back the rope or taking the longer path by the gardens. Few of the spots are tricky and very slippery so always hike with vigilance. Wadi Mibam can take easily 5-6 hours depending upon how long one would like to get lost in this paradise.
Wadi Hawir is a recent favourite for the hikers in Oman. As this is comparatively less known, the possibility of meeting other hikers on the trail is less. The wadi can take up to 3 hours to finish from beginning to end depending on how fast you are. To get to the end, you have to cross three long natural pools, hike through massive rocks and climb down cliffs. At the end of the hike, apart from the water pools, one can enjoy the natural water slide. Wadi Hawir takes about two hours drive from Muscat and is located after the Mudharib village in Al Sharqiyah. As observed, this wadi is moderately easy but few places the rocks are absolutely slippery and need proper guidance to cross.
Things to remember:
Wadi hikes are always more entertaining than the mountains during summer but at times can be more dangerous than mountain hikes. It is always advised to have a guide who is a certified swimmer or hiking expert.
Proper swimming knowledge is a must, however, one can use life jackets to complete all these wadis. It is always better to carry a life jacket even if you consider yourself a pro swimmer.
Carry enough water and light snacks, along with the water bag.
Some spots, you would have to jump off a cliff. If you’re taking this more adventurous route, make sure to learn all the proper techniques in jumping into the water. Always make sure as well where the pool you are jumping is safe and there is enough depth so you don’t get hurt on the process.
If you are interested in abseiling, Wadi Mibam and Wadi Hawir can be great places for this activity. To do it, you would require however the help of a professional team. Check out different groups that offer abseiling packages.
Remember that these places are home to the villagers that live in the area. Always respect their privacy and observe proper decorum when interacting with the locals. Always ask for permission before taking their photos. Furthermore, the pools on these wadis are used by the villagers for their daily life needs. Make sure to keep the environment clean and bring your trash with you.