Wadi Bani Khalid
For people who are obsessed with splendid raw natural beauty hiding in places all over the world, Wadi bani khalid Oman is the name that lights up their eyes. Filled with desert lands, date and palm farms, natural pools, along with uncountable oases and Wadis, travelers have an incredible experience of their life.
Being one of the most awe-inspiring locations, Wadi Bani Khalid becomes a favorite to all the tourists coming over to visit Oman. The tiffany-colored streams and hidden caves and the pure water coming from the lakes of Ain Hamouda, Ain al Sarooj, and Ain Dawwa; what else do you need?
This Wadi is so perfect for people of all ages to enjoy. If you are traveling to Oman with kids, a day at Wadi Bani Khalid is bound to give you memories to cherish for life.
Wadi Bani Khalid Location
Wadi Bani Khalid is located deep in the Hajar Mountains on the northeast side of Oman. It’s near the highway that connects Muscat to Sur, in the Sharqiyah Governorate. It’s at a distance of almost 250km from Muscat, about a 3-hour drive, and 120km from Sur, which takes roughly 2hours. And if you’re staying at Ibra, it’ll only take you 1 hour and a few minutes to cover a distance of 93km.
How to get to Wadi Bani Khalid
The way to Wadi Bani Khalid is well paved that will give you a pleasant and comfortable journey. You can hire a taxi or take a full-day tour offer from the various private tour agencies. Or you can rent a car and enjoy the drive yourself! Just search up “Wadi Bani Khalid Map” on your Maps, and it’ll take you all the way to your destination.
The best time to visit Wadi Bani Khalid at the end of the year or on any day between November and January can be the best decision. You will love the water temperature (17-25°C), and the sun won’t prick you like the days in summer. Also, the weekdays will give you fewer crowds and more space in the pools, restaurants, and the canyon to enjoy by yourself. Getting to the place around 9 in the morning can give you more time because exploring Wadi Bani Khalid will take you about 2-3 hours. So you can consider visiting some other attractions on the same day.
Experience at Wadi Bani Khalid
Walk to the Upper pool
Unlike other Wadis in the sultanate, Wadi Bani Khalid is the most easily accessible with the least hiking trails. From the parking area, it only takes you 10 minutes to reach the main pools. You’ll find the artificial irrigation streams throughout your way, which are locally known as falaj Or Aflaj(sing.). The Aflaj irrigation systems are ancient, dating back 5000years ago. They are considered a major ancient attraction found in between the desert land of Oman. So, the walk leading to the pool is actually pretty amazing. But what waits ahead is even more impressive.
The Main Pool
The first pool your eyes will find is massive, filled with dazzling water of the color of emerald. The dates and palm trees around and the desert gorges make it look even more fascinating. Surrounding the pool, you will find a restaurant and some small Bedouin shades(I found them really cute), giving it a slight contemporary vibe. And there’s also a bridge, built on top of the pool, where you can stand and take in all the charm this Wadi has to offer.
Swimming in the Pools
Swimming in the pools is a must here at Wadi Bani Khalid. Given such a big water body filled with turquoise water in the middle of the desert, you can’t hold yourself back from taking a refreshing dip that will cool you off and soothe your senses. And the tiny fishes keep nibbling on your toes, giving you a bit of foot massage.
If you continue walking upriver, do a bit of trekking for about 10 minutes, you will find some other smaller and narrower pools than the first one. These look more fresh, pristine, and of deeper emerald shade. There are also tiny springs coming down from further inside the stony valley, filling up these smaller bodies.
And if your thirst for adventure still does not get quenched, then muqal cave lies at a bit of distance just for you.
The venture of discovering the way to the cave is a quest for every traveler. The path comes off unsteady, sandy, and with everything that says canyon. The roads get narrower and broader at points. There are even some rough sets of steps after every few hundred meters.
The cave is kept natural with no monorails or metal steps on the ramshackle ground. Instead, it goes in getting deeper into the darkness giving adventurers the thrills. As soon as you enter, the uproar of water crashing and flowing through inside the cave trough will take you back. And further you go, freshwater gets sprayed onto your faces taking the heat away and giving you tranquility.
There’s no way you won’t find the cave breathtaking. But even if you can’t make it inside that deep, the journey to it will not be a disappointment.
Where to stay to explore Wadi Bani Khalid
The Restaurant At Wadi Bani Khalid
The restaurant is just at the edge of the main pool, giving you a marvelous sight of the water and everything around. You can get coffees, ice cream, soft drinks, and different snacks. You can also get lunch at the buffet for 4 OMR, which will include various curries, salads, rice, french fries, etc.; don’t expect it to be utterly delicious, though.
If you want to have a decent picnic of your own, you can bring your own bread, salads, and hummus. The Omani Supermarkets have a wide range of those. But pack them up before leaving the city cause there aren’t any supermarkets around in the desert.
The restaurant also has public toilets.
What to bring with you to Wadi Bani Khalid
- Make sure you are carrying torches if you plan on entering the cave.
- Sun protection
- Food and snacks
- Water, water,water
- Swimming Clothes and Towel
- A hiking or Waterproof Shoes
- Waterproof bag for your camera and gadgets (or leave them in the car)