PHOTOS BY Mohammed Amer Ali Al-Mashani
From September to December, a delightful spring season is known locally as ‘Serab ’ in the Dhofar Governorate. The weather takes a pleasant turn with sunny days, mild temperatures, and low humidity during this time. As the fog dissipates, cool breezes set in, and vibrant flowers bloom, drawing tourists eager to savour the natural beauty. Moreover, the tranquil sea complements the serene atmosphere, making it an ideal time for a visit.
During the Serb season, Dhofar witnesses a decline in monsoon activity (southwest), so the humidity decreases. The mist gradually clears, and the atmosphere is moderate and sunny with the appearance of some scattered clouds, and the sea turbulence characteristic of the monsoon comes to a complete stop, making sea outings a promising pursuit.
The Serab season holds vital economic significance for various communities, including farmers, fishermen, and herders. Farmers reap the rewards of crops that rely on the monsoon rains, such as corn, beans, and cucumbers. Additionally, honey production is boosted, and the abundance of fish in the region provides ample opportunities for fishermen.
During this season, a unique tradition takes place as camel owners lead their herds to fresh grazing grounds. This practice is accompanied by the enchanting sounds of traditional music and poetry, all while preserving ancient social customs.
In springtime, camels in Dhofar exhibit distinctive behaviour compared to other local animals. Instead of staying in the mountains during Khareef, they prefer the flat areas. However, when spring arrives, these camels eagerly migrate to the mountains and wadis, forming large herds that can number anywhere from 500 to 2000 camels. These herds can be spotted in well-known valleys like Wadi Khusaad, Wadi Naheiz, Wadi Darbat, and various other mountainous regions across Dhofar.
During their time in the mountains and lush valleys, the herders accompany their camels on a journey that spans a month or two. This experience resembles a fun nature-based tourist trip, where they disconnect from modern life. Many camel owners prioritize this season over their weekly holidays and annual vacations.
Spring also brings an abundance of sheep, particularly in Jebel Samhan and the surrounding mountains. Cows, camels, and sheep during this season are known for their increased milk production, owing to the availability of rich natural pastures. Consequently, many residents of Dhofar relish fresh milk during the spring season, appreciating its nutrient-rich qualities derived from the flourishing natural pastures.