The Wadi al Bih in Ras al Khaimah lies behind an imposing dam and contains more life than its barren rocky landscape would suggest at first glance.
The Sultan Al Kabeer Road leads from Ras al Khaimah city directly to an imposing dam that marks the entrance to the Wadi al Bih north of the border town of Dibba. Most of the time, the reservoir of the Al Bih Dam is completely dry and the rocky landscape stretches as rugged mountains barren and empty as far as the eye can see.
On the way in Wadi al Bih
The road that leads through the Wadi al Bih is gravelled and crosses adventurously narrow passages where the steep flanks of the mountain tower directly to the right and left of the path. Especially at full moon, the wadi turns into a bizarre wonderland of stones and shadows at night.
Tip: The numerous caves of Wadi al Bih can be explored on your own, but are completely unexplored, so it is advisable to bring your own torches (also to avoid stepping on any vipers).
Life in the Wadi al Bih
Despite its barren first impression, the Wadi al Bih is home to numerous birds, geckos and even toads! Those who go exploring among the huge rocks and in the numerous caves of the Wadi al Bih will be rewarded with the discovery of one or the other animal inhabitant.
Especially at the small waterholes, you can track down the silver-yellow tabby Musandam leaf-footed gecko, the Dhofar toad or the nimble Sinai agama, whose males turn a bright blue colour during the mating season. Because of their slender limbs and long tail, which allow them to run at high speeds, the lizards, which are just under 20cm long, are also called "wadi racers".
The best time for bird watching is early morning until about 10 am, or late afternoon from about 4 pm. This is when rock partridges and flying fowl are on the move in the Wadi al Bih and desert falcons make their circles in the skies.
Tip: The flying fowl gather at the water holes in Wadi al Bih about 20 minutes after sunset and can be spotted from the car.