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Tour in Focus – Oman Desert Adventure

30th November 2017

Our Tour in Focus blogs take an in-depth look at our most popular trips. Oman is one of our favourite destinations in the Middle East, and our Oman Desert Adventure tour is one of our bestselling trips in the area. Here we cover some of the most frequently asked questions about the tour, as well as sharing the opinions of some of our clients.

If you're interested in this tour, we have several trips scheduled for 2018, you can read more here.

What is the top highlight?

Watching the sun set over the vast Empty Quarter whilst sitting at the top of a dune, with no one else for miles around, is an experience you will never forget.

What route does it take?

This wonderful adventure travels from the heart of its picturesque capital, Muscat, to the rugged landscapes of the Hajar Mountains and on to the Wahiba Sands before heading down the coast and turning inland to journey into the vast emptiness of the Rub Al Khali, the Empty Quarter. We finish in the south, in the city of Salalah.

What does the tour do differently from other tours in Oman?

Unlike most other tours in the area, we travel right into the heartland of the Rub Al Khali, or the Empty Quarter. Here you’ll spend two nights under the stars, enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the seemingly endless desert.

Who is the tour suited to?

This trip is perfect for anyone wanting to experience the vast openness of the desert, although with five nights spent wild camping, you’ll need to be prepared for some basic facilities.

What’s the accommodation like?

On this trip we will be in hotels in Muscat, the Hajar Mountains and Salalah, but there will also be five nights basic camping in two-man dome tents. Sleeping mats are provided but as we have to take all our water with us, washing facilities will be limited and you’ll need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Is there much walking involved? How fit should I be?

There is not a huge amount of walking on the trip, as you predominantly travel in 4WD vehicles, however, that said, you need to be pretty fit if you intend to scale the high sand dunes in the Empty Quarter as the sand is deep and can make the going quite tough!

Is there much interaction with the locals?

We try and interact with the locals as much as possible, but it is limited as there very few people out in the desert. We will stop along the coast and see the fishermen bringing in their catch as well as spending some time in the Bedouin villages.

What’s the food like?

The food is good and you definitely won’t go hungry. When camping the team prepare all the food fresh when they get into camp. In Oman Indian food is quite a strong influence on the cuisine, and you’ll also find the mezze style food which is common in most Middle East countries.

Any hygiene issues?

No, other than the usual keep your hands clean.

Do I need a visa?

Yes, you will need a visa which you can either get online before departure or on arrival. A one-month tourist visa costs Omani Rials (OMR) 20.

Are there many long drives?

Yes, this is a driving trip and throughout the duration of the tour we will cover approximately 1500km. However, the incredible scenery more than makes up for the time spent driving. When we are driving off road in the desert, this can be very slow and quite bumpy; but a lot of fun!

Are there any shopping opportunities?

The best shopping to be had will be in the souks in the main towns. Muscat is probably the top place for scarves, Nizwa for jewellery and Salalah for frankincense.

Is there anything in particular I should pack?

Loose fitting comfortable clothes, a sleeping bag and plenty of wet wipes for the camping nights.

What do those that have done this trip think?

We visited great restaurants and had delicious food prepared for us while camping. My amazing adventure in Oman provided access to beautiful off the beaten track locations. I particularly appreciated the local guides openness, in answering questions about Omani life. Emma Wright

Wild Frontiers Oman Desert Adventure trip was exactly that: Camping in the empty quarter was totally magical, sleeping under an enormous star studded sky with the moon shining through the tent window was the best New Year's Eve I ever had. Charlotte Barns

During our 10 day stay in Oman we travelled in 4 wheel drives from Muscat to Salalah, travelling through the mountains on gravel roads, along beaches and across deserts (plus a few roads!) Camping in the Wahiba Sands, on beaches and in the Empty Quarter next to 200m sand dunes was an amazing experience, and visiting several local markets was also a bonus. Charlotte (the tour leader) and Khalid the local guide were brilliant – very knowledgeable on the history and religion – and Khalid shared his own personal experiences to illustrate marriage etc, giving us a rare insight to the culture. Chris Hardy

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