One reason to join a MeetUp group like Muscat Adventures and Social Club is to go to places that one would not dare to venture alone. The hike to Tahery Cave, in the Sharqiyah region of Oman, is one of these places. Firstly, you need a decent 4×4 skills to get to the trail-head. Secondly, the navigation to the cave is tricky. We wandered off our hike on the way back, despite being accompanied by a very experienced guide that visited the place handful of times. No videos from the hike, but you can check out some photo slides below.

Here are directions to the start of the trail. 4WD highly recommended.

And here is the map (one way only)

There is also a possibility to hike through the cave and spend a night inside. Probably the best is to join an experienced company like Husaak Adventures.

Visited in 2019

Oman Aquarium, Muscat ***

The Oman Aquarium started in 2019, it is a great place especially for kids to get close to various fishes and animals. The aquarium features a large number of local Omani fish and animals including sharks, sting rays, turtles, scorpions – as well as many non-local fauna such as penguins and crocodiles. The place is located in the Mall of Muscat. If you visit, do not forget there is an additional option to feed the fishes and turtles.

Short video from the visit to the aquarium
And the longer one…

Both videos were done using the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 and were edited in Final Cut Pro X. The music was composed using Garage Band.

Pros: Wildlife, spectacular mountain landscapes, a giant stone crater called Wilpena Pound, 4WD

Cons: Very hot in the summer, flies everywhere

One of the best national parks in Australia. It’s a long drive from Adelaide, but absolutely worthy. We recommend you take a 4WD car to enjoy Barachina Gorge. Also, although very expensive, take a flight over Wilpena Pound with one of the companies – we took an early morning flight. We didn’t go up Mount St Mary peak as it was too hot, and we also heard the walk is discouraged by the indigenous people. Please also check out the official website of the park.

Shenandoah, VA ***

Pros: fantastic colors in the Autumn, Skyline Drive – 100 miles long road going through the entire park, the Old Rag hiking trail

Cons: can get busy on weekends

The Shenandoah National Park park felt like home for 5 years when we used to live in the USA. Lots of great memories as we visited and camped there many times. Unlike other parks in the USA we didn’t see any black bears.



Advertisements

Rocky Mountain NP, CO *****

Pros: fantastic hiking (e.g. Long Peak-Keyhole Route, which is more like a climb; Bear Lake), wildlife, the park is amazing any time of the year

Cons: need to adjust to high altitude, be careful with the changing weather conditions


The Rocky Pledge (source)

“To preserve unimpaired for this and future generations the beauty, history, and wildness therein, I pledge to protect Rocky Mountain National Park.”

  • To prevent fire scars and human-caused fires, I pledge to never build a fire outside of a campground or picnic area fire grate.
  • To protect plants, meadows, and alpine tundra, I pledge to park and drive only on designated asphalt or gravel parking areas, never on vegetation.
  • To respect other visitors’ experiences, if I need to go but am not near a restroom, I pledge to leave no trace by stepping well away from the trail and water sources, burying my waste at least six inches deep or packing it out in a waste bag, and carrying out my toilet paper.
  • To respect Rocky’s wild creatures and to protect myself, I pledge to watch wildlife from a distance that doesn’t disturb them in any way. I will never feed an animal—doing so causes it harm.
  • To respect history, heritage, and natural processes, I pledge to remove nothing from the park except my own and others’ trash—not even a flower, pinecone, or rock. I will leave no trace of my visit so that the next person can experience the same beauty as I did.
  • To keep my pet, wildlife, and other visitors safe, I pledge to keep my leashed pet only on roads, in campgrounds, and in picnic and parking areas. I will never take my dog on Rocky’s trails, meadows, or tundra areas.
  • To preserve them for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations, I pledge to honor, respect, and protect all our national parks and public lands.

Zion, UT

Pros: Amazing hikes including the classics: Angel’s Landing and the Narrows, great wildlife, close to other national parks

Cons: gets very busy, one of the few national parks were I saw snakes (the Elephant Butte Trail), so be extra careful

Zion National Park is one of a handful of parks that I must see again, one day. Please also visit, frequently overlooked, Kolob Canyons which is as rewarding as the main park, but with less people.



Wadi Darbat Waterfall

Wadi Darbat is a beautiful scenic spot for all nature lovers worth visiting especially during the Khareef (monsoon) season in Dhofar, Oman. We visited the wadi, waterfalls, and lookouts as part of our Khareef 2019 trip. During the Khareef, Wadi Darbat turns into a splendid lush green valley. While it’s the perfect spot for a little family picnic, during the Khareef the wadi is literally packed with locals and tourists who want to experience the green landscaped hills and streams full of water… in Oman.

We highly recommend that you follow the hike to an amazing Darbat Waterfall. The path is not easy, but we did it with a toddler on our backs. Here is the video from the hike.

Darbat Waterfall Hike

And some photos from Wadi Darbat and lookouts surrounding the wadi:


Please also check out:


Samharam Old City

Samharam is located at the outlet of Wadi Darbat. Is is an ancient city, now just ruins, known to be part of the frankincense road. We visited the wadi and Samharam as part of our Khareef 2019 trip. The location tells the story of an ancient civilization in Dhofar and its reliance on having access to fresh water. Samharam city and its port’s history dates back to 1000 BC, the place constituted a link between Dhofar and other parts of the world. Researchers date back the city of Samharam to 3000 BC. The area is currently called Bokhor Rori (or Khor Rori).



More about this ancient place:


Please also check out:


Ayn Razat and around ***

Ayn Razat

Ayn Razat is a tranquil place perfect for a nice walk and lunch (video). We visited the wadi, waterfalls, and lookouts as part of our Khareef 2019 trip. While in its own way a distinct place, it reminds of other ayns. The amazing aspect of this location is the surrounding. You will need ideally a 4×4 car with good clearance to enjoy absolutely spectacular views. Just be careful, because even with a 4×4, I would probably not recommend to travel when it rains. As you can see in the photos below, the surrounding is bustling with green tress, bushes, and grass. We couldn’t believe our eyes that we’re in Oman…


Ayn Razat

Please also check out:


mirbat castle

Mirbat is a coastal town in the Dhofar, in southwestern Oman. It was the site of the 1972 Battle of Mirbat between Communist guerrillas on one side and the Armed forces of the Sultan of Oman and their Special Air Service advisers. Mirbat way back was involved in the export of frankincense. Mirbat Old Town and Marina were part of the Khareef’s highlights.

Here is a short video from this trip:


Please also check out:


We visited Efftalqut Beach as part of our Khareef 2019 trip. The place is a great lookout of Efftalqut Beach. You can enjoy passing clouds and relentless waves. About 2 km east of the beach there is an abandoned ship that got stuck here – we didn’t have time to visit, but worth checking it out. You will need a 4×4 car to get there.

Here is a short video and time-lapses taken at the end of the Khareef 2019 season.


Please also check out:


Taqah Castle - door

Taqah is a small coastal town 30-minute drive away from Salalah, Dhofar (Oman). We visited the place as part our Khareef trip. Lonely Planet considers this small, but well-preserved 19th century castle as the starred highlight of the region. We enjoyed the views from the castle hill, but suggest you spend more time exploring various Taqah lookouts east of the town. You can drive (4×4 preferred) all the way to Khor Rori Reserve.


Please also check out:


Ayn Jarsis (or Ain Garziz) is a pleasant place for a picnic but don’t forget an insect repellent as both flies and mosquitoes will drive you nuts. It is only 15 minutes away from the airport, so it’s easy to put it on your Khareef’s highlights list. We suspect it’s probably dry outside of the khareef season though.

Here is a short video from our trip to Ayn Jarsis.

Ayn Jarsis

Please also check out: