Exploring the heart of Oman – the golden sands of Wahiba Sands
Ever heard of a site in a desert that is not an oasis but still surprisingly refreshing? Well, that's what Wahiba Sands is all about. Around 250 kilometers from Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, you'll reach this tiny speck of land in the middle of the desert of Oman. After an approximately 4-hour drive, with a stop for the revered Omani Karak Chai (cardamom flavored tea), we reached a rendezvous point where we parked our car and a father-son duo picked us up to drive us to our destination, Al-Raha Tourism Camp.Going back a little, let me tell you why we had to park our car. The last 20 kilometers of the stretch which is through the desert needs both : a car designed to handle the terrain and an expert driver who can navigate through the vastness. This is where the father-son duo who are a part of the company that runs the camp loaded us into their trustworthy Land Cruisers to head for our destination.
With 10,359 square kms of rippling-gold sand and dunes towering over 300ft, Wahiba Sands or Ramlat al-Wahiba is the most accessible desert in Oman. Camping in the desert is probably an experience that your kids will cherish for the rest of their life. Bedouin-style tents in the silky sands of Wahiba, spectacular craggy mountains in the distance and crystalline wadis will escalate your holiday experience immensely. Spend the day bashing sand dunes and sand boarding, and the nights stargazing. Quad-biking and camel rides are also fun activities you can opt for here. In the early evening, drive up to a high dune to witness the sunset before returning to camp. Enjoy a traditional Bedouin-style dinner at the camp under the starlit sky.
Desert SafariBeing in a desert country if you skip on a desert safari ride then you surely will leave the destination unmapped. Savor a true spirit of the region by booking an action-packed night safari at Wahiba Sands ( approx. 300 kms from Muscat ) organized by several city tour operators. You can camp in the region too under the clear night sky of the desert. There are several luxurious accomodations available with authentic Bedouin style wooden huts with comfortable beds, a dressing table and colourful carpets (with added bathrooms and other luxuries). Some form of activities such as 4X4 dune bashing, camel riding, or hanging with Bedouins. Desert Camping is best between October and March.