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.

Australia, National Park

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.

If you love hiking and happend to travel to Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman sometime between October and March, here is the list of my favourite ones. All of them are less than 1 hour away drive from Muscat.

  1. Crossing Muscat Mountains – great day walk to cross the Muscat mountains. You will need another car to wait for you on the other side. If you hike after some rain, you can enjoy some unexpected greenery.
  2. Sa’al steps – classic hike, fantastic walk to check amazing views, perfect in an early morning.
  3. Mutrah Geotrek – another classic short hike with some nice geological features.
  4. Qantab – few options to explore and enjoy amazing views of Qantab village and beach.
  5. Al Munkhariq trek at Wadi Sa’al – you may not want to explore the wadi, but just to enjoy and wonder in awe how the hole (5 minutes from the start) was created.
  6. Wadi Aqbiyah – pleasant walk with a couple of swim holes close to the start, you can walk as far as you can.
  7. White Mountain – even the start of the trail presents some fantastic views of Muscat.
  8. Mount Baushar – it is about 650m of vertical climb. Beautiful views of Muscat.
  9. Table Top Mountain – any person travelling to Nizwa will notice this flat mountain. Although the top of the mountain is quite flat, the actual trek to the top is a steep scramble that needs a bit of stamina and caution.
  10. La Lesefe cave – well marked, but relatively difficult.

Not sure if that’s the right name of the cave. The place is very close to Muscat, yet is quite inaccessible. You can park your car next to Highway 17 or if you have 4×4 you can save up about 2km on walking. A well-marked trail will lead you to an interesting cave on the top of a mountain. Inside, you may see Arabian paper wasps and bats. Please check out my video.

Here are directions and coordinates for the hike.

The hike is very close from Sa’al Mountain. A short walk leads to a hole and a cave feature that is used for beginner abseilers. You can continue further to explore the wadi. Here are coordinates and for more info check out this website.

Rock Garden, Duqm ***

What a surprise in the middle of the industrial area of Duqm. This is a great place to explore and wander. Leave ample time to walk around, find fossils, and take amazing shots. This place is best visited at sunrise and sunset. Please note you NEED to submit Rock Garden permit application on Special Economic Zone Authority website, most likely a day before.

A minor improvement could be made to make sure that the site, as fragile as it is, is better protected. Also, some description of what the rocks are, how they were created, what all the fossils were would be great.

But then again, a fantastic experience for anyone interested in the natural beauty of Al Wusta and Oman.

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Pros: An overall fantastic place to visit for a day, close to Muscat with water flowing all year round, ruins and new/ancient falaj system in As Suwayh, great hiking in Al Awabi, friendly people

Cons: Be careful were you put your feet as we spotted Arabian painted carpet viper, be extra careful hiking with little ones as many places are exposed.

We roughly followed Route 19 from Oman Off-Road book, starting with Al Awabi fort at the entrance of Wadi Bani Kharus.

This is a place that I would highly recommend visiting for any nature lover. You will spend at least 5 hours driving there from Muscat, so plan your escape well. As this is quite a desolate place where you can easily get lost or bogged down, please do not travel alone.

Our trip’s directions you can find here.

Pros: identify one of nearly 30 crab species and over 80 bird species, drive on ‘sabkha’, enjoy crystal clear waters, plan to go there again!

Cons: 1) you MUST NOT travel alone as it is way too easy to get lost, 2) RUBBISH nearly everywhere so please pack up at least yours, 3) check weather forecast when you go there as the prevalent WINDS can make your stay unbearable (unless you are a kitesurfer)

Just before the COVID crisis started, we had a great opportunity to visit Al Ula in Saudi Arabia – a place of amazing natural beauty and historical significance. We flew to Al Madinah and drove from there to Al Ula. No doubt Al Ula will become a touristic hub for years to come (CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO), thanks to its (pros):

  • Beautiful Nature – mountains, wadis, and rock formations
  • Cultural offer – modern and traditional music
  • Ancient history – Mada’in Saleh complex and Dadan’s tombs

Cons: need more development to enjoy the surrounding mountains

Our rough 3-day itinerary included: Dadan’s Tomb, Elephant Rock, Jebel Ikmah and wadi, Tantora festival, King Abdulaziz Park and Mada’in Saleh complex.

Al Ula highlights

Morning hike in Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

Traditional Saudi drums

Pros: protected forests, imposing sand cliffs, a chance to see a bison

Cons: not a great place on a windy and cold day that can happen even in summer (we visited in late August 2020)

You can visit the key highlights of the park in a day, but to truly enjoy it you may need so spend 2-3 days. Wolinski Park Narodowy contains a varied flora and fauna e.g. features European bison sanctuary. The park is a breeding place for white-tailed sea eagle (pol. bielik) which image you can find on the coat of arms of Poland.

Foraging wild mushrooms

I am not a mushroom expert, but my mom is. Picking mushrooms is not only her hobby since she was a child, but also the best way to find some vital ingredients for many of her best dishes – including pierogies. It’s a meditative activity that requires lots of attention and focus… For advise on which mushrooms are edible or poisonous please check other sources e.g. this or this one.

Here are some photos and videos from our short trip on a late September afternoon. Location: Wilga, Poland.

Crossing Oresund Bridge

We crossed the bridge in August 2020, so we were stopped in the middle as part of the covid precautions. The video below is 2x speed.

Øresund Bridge from the air in September 2015.jpg
Source: Wikipedia –