There are many wonderful places to discover in Oman, but we will definitely try to visit all (or at least most) of them. Oman has been blessed with a beautiful landscape with breathtaking natural beauty. One of the things Oman can show is theirs Wadis. Wadi is an Arabic term that means valley but actually refers to a permanent river. There are a few wadis scattered all over Oman but we decided to visit the most accessible Wadi Bani Khalid,
Wadi Bani Khalid is located in the North Sharqiya region of Oman. It is approximately 3 hours drive from Muscat, 1 hour drive from Ibra and 30 minutes drive from Bidiyah. It has large blue-green pools of water, small waterfalls and large, perfectly shaped boulders that are scattered across the wadi.
I visit Wadi Bani Khalid's water pools twice, once with my friend / colleague and sometimes with my family. When you enter the area, you have a good 5 minutes walk from the parking lot to the first large pool. It was an unforgettable sight, definitely a picturesque oasis.
They built bridges, seating areas and a tower structure that looks like a pavilion. It is good to know that toilets are open to the public. There is also a restaurant nearby with a view of the water pools. They offer coffee (1 omr), soft drinks (400 baisa), sweets, popcorn and ice cream. They also have a lunchtime buffet and often a bus load from tourists would use this lunchtime buffet. During my two visits, however, we decided to bring our own groceries. We only bought cold drinks in the restaurant. You should also put picnic mats on the floor to store the groceries you've brought with you. Some even brought their small grills to cook their meat and fish.
There are a lot of people, especially on weekends (Friday and Saturday). There are people who put up picnic mats and grills in the area. Small children waded in the shallow water and squeaked with joy. Teenagers would jump off an edge of a high rock or off that wheel with a rope that they put near the bridge. There are also lifeguards around the place. They also have a free floating device with a rope attached to some parts of the wadi. You can also sit on the edge of the water pool and get a fish massage from the pool of fish that loves to remove your hard calluses from your soles, and it's free! Haha!
We wanted to continue walking on the wadi because the 1st pool was often overcrowded, about a 10 minute rocky walk. After overcoming a difficult, steep hike and slippery rocks, you'll find smaller pools of water and a waterfall. The area is more peaceful, quiet, and less crowded. However, you must wear a decent pair of shoes to walk around the area. There are no guided trails, so you'll need to figure out how to hike around the area. It was a challenge for us to hold small children and carry our groceries and things. We recommend that you buy your cold drinks in the restaurant (if you haven't brought them with you) before climbing this area as it's not worth driving these boulders back and forth. If you continue walking from the smaller pools for 10 minutes, you will reach Muqal Cave, It is great to swim there in the Muqal cave, cold water and away from the blazing sun if you dodge the sun. Just make sure you bring a flashlight.
As soon as we have reached the place we have chosen, we put our picnic mat on the floor. We chose a less rocky area to distribute our food and swimming gear. They have big black plastic garbage bags around the square that are attached to stones to throw our garbage. I saw an old one too baba During my two visits, I cleaned up the space, collected rubbish, and walked up and down the rocks effortlessly. I also saw emergency equipment hanging in one of the trees.
During my visit there with my family, many tourists came and soon the areas we chose were full of friendly foreigners who swam in the water and hiked on the rocks. The friendly local teenagers showed themselves by jumping from the high rocks and asking the visitors to follow them. There is a dress code for visitors. There is a sign at the entrance to the place for the preferred dress code. Visitors must dress modestly as this is a Muslim country. Women should avoid wearing bikini and revealing outfits. You should wear outfits that cover your chest, shoulders, and thighs, though this doesn't stop tourists from wearing their colorful bikinis and basking in the warm Oman sun. Men should avoid tight briefs. However, you can swim with a short without a top.
The kids love to swim in the wadi. You don't want to get out of the water. They even asked when they would come back. The water was clear, especially in the smaller pools, and it felt very relaxing to just enjoy the cool water.
Check out the video my husband made from our trip to Wadi Bani Khalid Waterpools.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ish89JzdblU (/ embed)
We were there last October, so the weather was good, it wasn't super hot, but not too cold either. But sometimes watch out for annoying bees. We were told that a hotel will soon be built on the boulders. We have seen that they have already started building the hotel's foundation.
Wadi Bani Khalid is a must when you are in Oman. When you arrive in Wadi it is best to hire a driver who will get you there than rent a car unless you are ready for the adventure and not worried about the possibility of getting lost, and don't care about long journeys. Or you can opt for tour buses that take you to different locations in Oman. One of these places definitely stops at Wadi Bani Khalid. The lifeguards in the wadi lead people out until 5:30 p.m. for safety reasons, as there is no light in most parts of the wadi. Although I was told that some are still camping in the area. Most often people take a day trip to the Wadi Bani Khalid from where they come from Wahiba sand In Bidiyah they usually set off after 3-4 hours or less in Wadi sur, An insider tip: grilled chicken, cubes and hummus as well as honey-cheese pizza can be enjoyed in a Turkish restaurant near the large Al Bawarq supermarket along the alley of the Wadi Bani Khalid hospital when you go to the water pools or when you come from swimming in Wadi from the famine and wanted to eat before heading to the next destination.
Wadi Bani Khalid is one of the many beautiful wadis in the Sultanate of Oman. I can no longer explore wadis during my time here in Oman.
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