Ever heard of a spot in the desert that is not an oasis but still surprisingly refreshing? Well, that’s what Wahiba Sands is all about! Around 250 kilometers from Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, you’ll reach this tiny speck of land in the middle of the desert of Oman.
After an approximately 4 hour drive, with a stop for the revered Omani Karak Chai (cardamom flavored tea), we reached a rendezvous point where we parked our car and a father-son duo picked us up to drive us to our destination, Al-Raha Tourism Camp. Going back a little, let me tell you why we had to park our car. The last 20 kilometers of the stretch which is through the desert needs both : a car designed to handle the terrain and an expert driver who can navigate through the vastness. This is where the father-son duo who are a part of the company that runs the camp loaded us into their trustworthy Land Cruisers to head for our destination.
The camp offered 2 types of stays – 1st, a tent-based accommodation and 2nd was a basic functional room with basic amenities. We chose the latter. We then checked into the camp and then rushed for a sand dune safari specifically to soak ourselves in the view of the beautiful sunset. The father-son duo took us through some adventurous route with some 90 degrees slopes. In the vastness of the desert, the beauty of the lone sun was truly visible. Post sunset, we descended towards our base camp.
To add to the adventure, the camp also offers buggies for riding. We took them for a spin and it was real fun as it was the ATV’s natural playground. By this time, we were really exhausted and the camp started serving snacks just at the right time. Fruits, Karak Chai and the famous Omani dates were offered for snacks. After all of this, we were really tired and wanted to take a nap so we went to our rooms. Post our nap, we freshened up and decided to take a walk because the camp was really silent and a cool, pleasant breeze had taken over the area. After our walk, we noticed a group of local Omani residents were playing the local folk music and dancing. We relaxed there for a while and then went for dinner. It was an open and a spacious dining hall. They had ensured to make some vegetarian food for us otherwise mostly they served the local cuisine which was pre-dominantly non-vegetarian. The food was surprising delicious and the dal (split pulses) was the highlight.
If the day-time offers sunset, sand dune safari and buggy rides, the night-time brings along the perfect environment to relax under the starlit sky with family and friends. The mobile networks also take a break which definitely helps you have interesting conversations like in those times where technology had not overpowered our brains. After lengthy conversations and a walk on the camp, we then called it a day and went to sleep in our simple functional rooms.
We got up in the morning and went for breakfast which comprised of juices, eggs, ful medames and pita bread, tea, coffee, bread and cornflakes. Post breakfast, we snapped some photos in the broad daylight of Wahiba Sands. Then the father-son duo picked us up to drive us back to the place where we had parked our car.
Wahiba Sands makes for a perfect getaway for family and friends who want to experience the calmness of a desert and reconnect with each other.