The Wadi bani Khalid is the most famous oasis in Oman and has water all year round in the middle of the mountain desert of Al Hajar. Nothing stands in the way of a swim under palm trees here.
The Wadi bani Khalid in the Al Hajar Mountains in northern Oman is the best-known wadi in the Sharqiyah region, is one of the most 10 Most beautiful wadis in Oman and one of our top 10 sights in Oman. In the midst of an inhospitable mountain desert, crystal-clear water on palm-studded shores delights every green-loving eye all year round.
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PICTURES: Wadi bani Khalid
Journey to Wadi bani Khalid
The idyllic valley lies about 300km from Muscat and just under 200km from Sur. Approaching on the winding asphalt ribbon from the Omani capital, one can hardly imagine life in this stone desert at the sight of the lonely valleys and treeless mountains.
But far from it! Suddenly, out of nowhere, more and more palm trees appear, finally grouping together to form a veritable forest!
Green oasis in a dust-dry environment
Several springs, including Ain Hamouda, Ain al Sarooj and Ain Dawwa, provide water in the Wadi Bani Khalid for the otherwise dust-dry surroundings and create green patches of vegetation between the grey-brown rock of Al Hajar.
Four times a year, the dry wadi turns into a raging river, whose fords then often cannot even be crossed with an off-road vehicle. From a car park, a narrow concrete path leads to the source of the oasis.
Tip: Especially on weekends and national holidays, you should visit the Wadi bani Khalid as early as possible to get a parking space.
Bathing and relaxing in Wadi Bani Khalid
After about a quarter of an hour's walk, the heart of the wadi comes into view - a huge, turquoise-blue pond whose banks are lined with palm trees in an almost Caribbean manner. Behind it, several natural rock pools invite you to take a dip. After the heat of the day, the crystal-clear water brings welcome cooling.
After a refreshing swim, it is best to take in the spectacular scenery in the shade of the palm trees. After the pond, there is now also a small restaurant with sanitary facilities.
On the right edge of the oasis, a path leads even further up into the mountains, where it becomes even more paradisiacal. After a few hundred metres, a waterfall splashes into a crystal-clear pool here.
Tip: Despite the presence of water and palm trees, it is usually unspeakably hot in the Wadi bani Khalid. Therefore, never set off without headgear, sufficient drinking water and sun protection!
Besides the many welcome ponds and vegetation, the caves of the Wadi bani Khalid are also interesting. The Kahf Maqal is one of the Sultan's underground chambers, but is unfortunately difficult for tourists to reach.