From the Desert to the Sea - Oman
The North-South route in Wahiba Sands is a trail that runs ride through the heart of the Wahiba Sands desert in Oman. This camel trek in Oman is a challenging route that requires experienced riding skills, as it involves navigating over at times steep sand dunes and fast trots in the flat valleys.
The route is approximately 150 kilometers long and takes about six days to complete. It starts from the village of Al Raka in the north and ends on the Gulf of Oman near a Beduin settlement called Quhaid. Along the way, travelers will pass through stunning desert landscapes, including high sand dunes, and recently almost lush green valleys, dotted with occasional Bedu farms and settlements.
Riders on the North-South route will need to be prepared for a journey that is a test of endurance when riding under the sun for the better part of the day and be prepared to live a simplistic camp life in the evenings.
Apart from the incomparable feeling of riding far from civilisation, this trip is a glimpse in a slowly diminishing lifestyle of the Omani Bedu tribes. It is truly inspiring to see their comfort in the desert, their knowledge of nature, elements and animals.
More than Camels
The trip is guided by Abdullah al Wahebi and his family members, who are at home on the edge of the desert and know it like the back of their hand. The wells, the dunes, the people, and his camels, customs, traditional dishes, this trip is nothing short of a rich cultural immersion.
7 night trip
ADCRC departure: 15.-22. December 2024
Total camels available: 6
Operator: Abdullah Al Wahebi
Where: Wahiba Sands, Oman
Riding level: This trip requires training. You must be able to trot at different speeds, have been riding different camels and trained your endurance.
Weight limit: Maximum of 90kg / 198lbs
Time in the saddle: 6 plus hours per day
Abdullah’s camels are all raised by him. Some he knows for longer than 20 years. They are well mannered, kind, eager walkers, and impress with their fearlessness of tall and steep dunes.
Some of the camels are still being used in the traditional camel skill presentation called Ardha.
Overnight, he lets the camels roam and graze, they will stay in the area, but it could take him up to an hour to wind them up again. Experienced riders are expected to help saddling.
Omani riding gear is similar to the Emirati gear, meaning camels are tacked up to form a seat behind the saddle. Omani pro riders ride with much thinner layers so they can ride kneeling or with one leg over.
The camels respond well to fabric halters.
The nights will be spent in either a typical cloth tent that can accommodate 4 people comfortably. We recommend to bring your own sleeping bag. If not available, we can assist in lending equipment for the trip.
There are no extra mattresses provided on this trip. Please be prepared for a raw experience of 7 nights in tents and in the sands.
There is no electricity to charge phones and gadgets, so we recommend bringing sufficient power banks, solar powered chargers, or reduce usage of electronic devices.
Bathroom and showers: on the trip, there are no fixed bathrooms. A shower tent and bathroom tent is available. There will be an opportunity to take a cold shower along the route at one of the wells.
Accommodation in tents, camels, all meals and drinks (strictly non alcoholic), bilingual guide (English & Arabic), tips
The price does not include international or domestic flights, ,transfers, travel insurance and visa costs.
Full medical and holiday insurance is required to join the ride.
Transfers from Muscat. We can help arranging for that.
For ADCRC departures from Dubai, UAE, we can help coordinate carpooling options prior to the trip. The trip to and from Bidiya remains participant responsibility.
Overall, the meals in Oman are flavorful, wholesome, and nourishing, and offer a delicious taste of the Bedouin culture and way of life. The meals on this trip are cooked on gas and fire in the desert. The provided meals during the trip are not catering to vegetarians or vegans. Please contact us to plan your participation with specific requirements. They may come at an extra cost.
Breakfast includes eggs, bread, fruit, cream cheese, coffee and tea and of course dates.
Evening meals are freshly cooked and represent Omani cuisine, often with meat or chicken. Vegetarian options might be limited. There will be lots of rice served, and of course the desert staple: dates.
Make sure to try the different types of tea in the morning and the evening.
We recommend long, light colored (linen) shirts, traditional jalabiyas and kandooras, or anything that blends in well, with the stunning landscapes, covers your skin from the strong sun, and makes it easy for you to sit on the camel and on carpets to have meals. Riding pants, are recommended or any type of pants that does not have a high synthetic material content, to avoid sliding on the camel.
To protect your head, it is recommended to wear a sheila, or head scarf. Footwear can be either barefoot, or sandals, that are fixed to the foot to avoid falling off while riding.
The nights in the desert can get rather chilly, so do include a pair of socks, and a warm jacket for the evenings.
Prices and Availability
Abdullah welcomes guests almost all year round for a different types of adventures, including shorter trips, or desert explorations. Reach out to us for a customized journey.
Maximum group size of six and minimum of two.
We have special departures for solo travellers, couples or pairs of friends that would like to ride.
15-27 December 2024
AED 4,925 per person / 7 Nights / 8 Days / six Riders
Fill in an obligation free Rider Form to book and we will get back to you with more information.
A rare glimpse in true Omani Bedu Culture
Day one is our arrival day, and there is no riding planned for today.
The group will meet at the meeting point at 5 PM, to meet the Omani guides Abdullah and Hazza, who will arrange for the transfer to the desert camp either in your own 4×4 or in their car, where the unmissable Omani coffee, tea and dates are served.
Tune into the silent mood of the desert, and disconnect and relax after the long journey in the car.
There is no better end to this evening than gathering around the campfire with cup of traditional tea, then getting ready for bed to prepare yourself for a new adventure on the second day of the trip.
Early morning, sunrise, a new day, breakfast, help to prepare the camels and get ready for this day’s journey.
You will continue riding till lunch time, with an approximately 2 hour break to relax and then continue again until before sunset , the guides prepare the camp for the night and dinner, gathering around the campfire, exchanging conversations, and laying down to watch the stars that shine in the sky.
The program will be similar for the next four days, with passing through Bedouin communities who live in this area. The landscapes change as the trek continues.
Rise early, make sure you are able to saddle the camel now on your own, help break down the tents, and pack up for another day under the sun.
Rides continue until a lunch break, and the second leg of the day from lunch to evening.
Make sure you observe your camel, the environment, and take it all in. It is special to be disconnected from elements of civilization for a while.
Slowly, getting closer to the shore. By the evening of Day 4, you should have already covered nearly 100 kms. We will stop at a Beit Bedu, literally translates to House of the Beduin, to have coffee and dates, and to pick up a lamb. Celebrating a big journey, a special event, is done by sacrificing a goat or lamb, which will be prepared in typical Omani fashion in the desert. Dishes include Arsi, Saloona and a type of sausage.
What seemed long and far away, is suddenly near. This is your second to last day of riding and you can’t help to think you wish it wasn’t nearing the end of the trip.
Shortest day, to arrive at the beach.
Congratulations, you crossed the entire Wahiba Sands.
There will be a car waiting to give you a ride back to Bidiya.
The day you will finally see the blue, crisp Omani Gulf. It is quite a feeling, to arrive on the last dune, that gives way to the shimmering blue in the distance. The camels will start feeling excited too, as you descend one more time towards the beach.
You will pass through another last settlement of small Bedouin dwellings. The people liver here seasonally, off the grid, with no electricity and barely any cellphone signal. They fish, and work on the boats, before returning to Bidiya and other desert cities in summer, where they have houses with electricity and the comfort of an AC.
At the beach, it is time to take the camels in the water. let them dip into the cold branding before they will be loaded on a truck and sent back to Bidiya.
After lunch, the group will also travel back to the first camp by car. And you can’t help but be amazed, that it takes days on camels, and it is a matter of hours in the car.
Time to wrap up the adventure with a last breakfast and an opportunity to shop some local food such as dried fish, dates, Omani Halwa, or a little key Chain.
Expect a 7 hours drive back to the UAE.
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