Natural wonders of Oman: Wadi Hawer and Wadi Bani Ouf

    21 Aug 2021

    Wadi Hawer casts a magic spell on you with a combination of huge boulders, crystal clear blue pools and beautiful waterfalls. It is a fantastic wadi for swimming, diving and climbing, Oman Obsever states.

    The gorgeous Wadi is located in Wadi Bani Khalid, which is approximately 200 km from Muscat.

    After parking in Wadi Bani Khalid, visitors need to walk about 15 minutes until the main pool equipped with basic services to receive tourists appears in front of you. Those who are looking for an adventure, must make sure to continue your journey uphill to discover more of the valley’s hidden and amazing vistas.

    The farther you go, the narrower the valley and the stream will become. One will have the opportunity to enjoy the peace and quiet of the site due to the lack of crowds. After walking about 20 minutes from the main pool, there is a small pool surrounded by a distinctive landscape, which is suitable for diving.

    “Wadi Hawar is one of the most beautiful spots in the Sultanate. The way to the wadi is full of adventure so we have to prepare not only for long walks but also to crawl into small narrow spaces and jump into some heights,” a visitor told Observer.

    “The mountains in different shades of brown and pastel contrasting with the dense green of the streams and pools, and cool gushing waterfalls, is worth the adventure. After overcoming the hard part, the rest of the visit is fun, excitement and discovery. Especially as there are many pools that allow you to swim calmly away from the crowds,” he added.

    To see the waterfall hidden behind the rocks, tourists have to scramble from one giant boulder to another. Emerald water pools and lush palm trees are surrounded by rocky valleys, as well as steep slopes suitable for rock climbing enthusiasts.

    “Visitors to this valley should be aware that they are in a remote location. There are no facilities on site and the nearest village is about half an hour away, so you should be very careful and go with someone familiar with the terrain and location” residents advised.

    Getting to know the fertile villages of Wadi Bani Ouf

    Wadi Bani Ouf in the Wilayat of Al Rustaq in the Governorate of South Al Batinah is one of the main wadis and a tourist destination throughout the year, Oman Observer states.

    The wadi, which is about 15 km away from the centre, is distinguished by its beautiful mountain villages that are distributed on the sides of the wadi and between its steep mountains. It is also the link between Wilayat of Al Hamra in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate and the Wilayat of Al Rustaq, Al Batinah South Governorate.

    Shaikh Ibrahim al Oufi said that Wadi Bani Ouf is one of the beautiful wadis in the Wilayat of Al Rustaq, and the wadi witnesses tourism movement throughout the year due to its rich geographical nature in the steep mountain heights, which differ in their colours and types.

    The number of villages in the wadi is about 15 villages, which are: Al Fara, Al Tikha, Al Qasmatain, Al Bardeh, Al Hawit, Al Zama, Al Eer, Al Bir your Al Jafr, Al Heil, Salma, Bema, Balad Seet and Hatt.

    He added that the village of Al Fara is considered the gateway to Wadi Bani Ouf from the Rustaq side, as it is located at the entrance to the wadi. The Fara tower, parts of which have disappeared, gives a unique view to the place along with al Furs tower (Persian Tower) built of stones on the top of the mountain, in addition to its farms extending on the banks of the wadi and irrigated by the waters of the western falaj by 80 per cent).

    The Al Aqq / Al Sharqi Falaj irrigates the rest of the farms, and in the middle of the wadi is Ain Al Hawit, which is one of the most famous water springs frequented by tourists.

    He explained that the village of Balad Seet, which is located at the head of the wadi mountains, is one of the most famous tourist villages and is characterised by its mild climate in summer and cold in winter, and by its agricultural terraces that paint a beautiful painting with the bright colours of its ancient architectural houses, as well as the diversity of its agricultural crops of fruits and vegetables. The village is visited by tourists from inside and outside the Sultanate during holidays and official holidays, to enjoy the tourist attractions.

    As for the village of Hatt, it represents the link between Al Rustaq and Al Hamra, as it is located at the bottom of the eastern mountain in Al Hamra. It is known for its beautiful scenery, charming nature, and green farms that are irrigated by its falaj that flows from the peak of the mountain to the surrounding village.

    He pointed out that the villages had their share of the achievements of the blessed Renaissance, as three schools were established at different levels of education, namely Wadi Bani Ouf School, Balad Seet School, Hatt School, and the Wadi Bani Ouf Health Centre, which provides primary health care to the people. The Wadi Road was paved for a distance of 11 km from the entrance to the wadi on the Al Rustaq / Al Awabi road to the village of Al Tikha, which contributed to the ease of movement of people in those villages.

    He indicated that the inhabitants of the villages of Wadi Bani Ouf are interested in cultivating date palms and seasonal crops such as onions, garlic, and other crops, in addition to raising livestock and raising honey bees. There are lots of wild plants in the mountains of the wadi like acacia and the locally called boot trees, al Jaada, Zatar (thyme), among others.

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