If you want to explore one of the most beautiful and best developed wadis in Oman – Wadi Bani Khalid is just the right place for you. The remote wadi, which rises from the Hajar Mountains, can be reached via an asphalt road after a signposted junction from the NA23. The ride is a real pleasure. The road meanders through a bizarre rock and mountain landscape, that is characterized by the most beautiful colors and shapes.
The first pools appear in the last third of the journey. Surrounded by reeds and palm trees, you get an initial idea of the beautiful oasis that awaits you. The street ends in a dead end and a large parking lot. If you can somehow avoid it, you shouldn’t come on the weekend (Friday and Saturday!), as the wadi can be quite overcrowded.
GOOD INFRASTRUCTURE, DIFFICULT HIKE
In contrast to Wadi Shab, Wadi Bani Khalid is well developed for tourism. Toilets, a restaurant and even a lifeguard make the stay safe and comfortable. If you want to venture further into the wadi, you have to be able to walk well. If you follow the signs in the direction of the cave, you need sturdy shoes, surefootedness and good nerves. The weather has made the stones smooth as a mirror. Every step should be considered carefully. On my last hike, a tourist slipped so badly that he had to be taken out of the wadi on a stretcher.
If you manage to cross the wadi to the cave entrance, you should also dare to take a look inside the cave and maybe even crawl into it. Yes, that takes a bit of courage, because the cave can only be accessed on all fours. It’s sandy, incredibly hot, and stuffy. The further you go in, the more clearly you can hear the rushing water. You also get to meet some bats and spiders along the way. Usually there are a locals around the cave who take tourists inside.
If the hike seems too demanding for you, you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings with a cold drink at the edge of the pools and watch the young men plunge headfirst into the water basin.