We got lost. Not once, not twice, but multiple times on our quest to get to experience an oasis for the first time. Our family who lives in Oman had told us this was a must do on our trip. Magazines, newspapers, and travel bloggers concurred. However, Wadi Bani Khalid seemed to be playing a game of cat and mouse with us. Each person who we stopped to ask for directions, appeared to send us on yet another path. We saw multiple signs and yet the target proved elusive. I could not be more grateful to our relative who patiently persisted and finally got us to this absolutely breathtaking location situated about 200 kilometers away from Muscat.
So, call me naive, but when I heard the word “oasis”, I was envisioning a bunch of palm trees surrounding a body of water. That’s what I had read in books and seen in paintings. But what I saw is really hard to put into words.
Nestled among the magnificent Eastern Hajar mountains, with majestic rock formations and boulders, Wadi Bani Khalid has the clearest, most gorgeous oasis where at any given time, the water appears to cover the entire spectrum of green and blue hues. It is not an easy hike to traverse the wadi, your leg muscles get a workout for sure, but what you end up seeing and absorbing will stay with you for a lifetime. We saw tourists come, spend just a tad bit of time, take pictures and leave. Please don’t do that. Plan to spend a half a day, hiking the area, swimming and just sitting back, enjoying a nice lunch al fresco before heading back to city life. I’ve tried to capture our adventure in pictures below.
Since we had family living in Oman, we chose to drive here from Muscat. You could rent a car and drive out on your own or take one of the tours offered by the many local tour companies. The only risk, as we discovered with driving, is that the mountains interfere with the GPS signal and you need to allocate plenty of time to get here.
If you choose to take a tour, here’s a link to one from Viator: