(With Titash Chakraborty)
Wadi Bani Awf, also spelled Wadi Bani Awuf, is a large wadi in Wilayat Al Rustaq in Al Batinah South Governorate of Oman, and is Oman’s largest natural water park. The wadi covers a large area with several villages and lots of cool attractions worth visiting, including the famous Snake Canyon!
This trip takes you through a crack between two mountains, where rushing water has cut right through, leaving behind smooth, colourful rocks with plenty of water pools. The trip isn’t difficult, but does require a strong heart and no fear of jumps. It normally takes about 4-5 hours to cut through it. There are caves, waterfalls and clear pools to swim in. The mountains and rock formations are magnificent, and the water was pristine
Covered on both sides, the canyon is surrounded by high cliffs that truly give you an appreciation of the vastness of the place. Scattered around this beautiful location are huge boulders and small waterfalls, one is required to scramble through the nooks and crannies as you trek but the most fascinating part is the long water pool which is about an hour away from the hike. The pool is almost 50 meters long and is in the narrowest part of the canyon. Other than the cold, it is a fun swim!
The Little Snake Canyon may not have amazing waterfalls or places to jump in the pools (unlike Wadi Shab or the proper Snake Canyon) but it is a fun place to visit and because of the relatively short trek, it is an ideal stop for people who are tackling the Wadi Bani Awf to Balad Seet off-road track.
Please keep in mind that many of the boulder stones here are super smooth and can be very slippery, so do have proper footwear and be prepared just like a trip to any other wadi in Oman.
Wadi Bani Awf is a great location for off-road and is simply one of the best examples of the beauty of the Omani mountains, and should be obligatory for anyone visiting or living in the country.
Difficulty Level: Easy To Medium:
Confident swimming is required, some technical descents, rope might be used for support and jumping into water pools is required.
You Will Need:
To reach the destination, a 4x4 is recommended as the roads can be very steep and narrow in certain places. Wear wet suits or fast drying clothes so as to avoid getting cold whilst going through the canyon. If you plan on camping, we prepared for cooler night time temperatures and have sleeping bags, warm clothes, good shoes or boots and a waterproof bag.
How To Get There:
Can be reached off the Nakhal–Al Rustaq road. The smaller Snake Canyon is almost 20 kms from the turn, and you can find it by going forward past the street signs pointing to Balad Seet, you won’t miss a large canyon on the rocks to your right a couple of kms after that. Park your car on the right (or off the graded rock going to the left) and head into the Little Snake Canyon. The larger Snake Canyon can be reached from Al Zammah village.
Go to Barka, and when you get to the centre, turn left to Al Rustaq. Before Al Rustaq is a brown road sign leading you into Wadi Bani Awf, Around 45km from Rustaq.
GPS Coordinates: N23’20’20 E57’29’22