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Oman: Bahla, Jabal Akhdar, Jabrin, Muscat, Nizwa, Sur, Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Shab, Wadi Tiwi, Wahiba Sands
Wadi Bani Khalid, Oman: Turquoise solace
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Wadi means a stream or a river. Off the many wadis that spring out of the mountains of Oman, Wadi Bani Khalid is one of the best-known and popular in the sultanate. Its stream maintains a constant flow of water throughout the year. Large pools of water and boulders are scattered along the course of the wadi. As a geographical area, the wadi covers a large swathe of lowland and the Hajar Mountains.
With a heavy heart and a stomach full of breakfast, we departed from our resort in Jabal Akhdar to reach our next destination - Wahiba Sands; with a stop, just about mid-way at Wadi Bani Khalid. Located in the Ash Sharqiyah region, this beautiful valley offers great respite to locals and tourists alike; especially in summer months when the emerald green waters of the pools created amongst the boulders urge visitors to dive in.
Wadi Bani Khalid is made up of two sections. The northern part is a leisure area which has palm trees, pristine pools and rock faces for picnics and swims, while the southern part (also known as Wadi Hayer) has a rocky terrain that is perfect for trekking and bouldering. It even includes Muqil Cave which is part of a cave network in the area that opens into a small waterfall.
As expected at all places touristic, the wadi has a small restaurant which offers soft drinks and modest lunch. We had our share and began our drive for the next couple of hours to reach our camp in the desert. When traveling in sand the vehicles will deflate the tyres to about half the normal pressure. That's what we did, prior to entering the sandy zone. Our stop for the night, The Arabian Oryx Camp was 11 kms off the road, bang in the middle of Wahiba Sands.
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