Oman holiday, Arabian Desert explorer
Description of Oman holiday, Arabian Desert explorer
Oman is famous for its hospitality, peacefulness and food, but it’s also got a huge, hostile desert. The enigmatically named ‘Empty Quarter’ of the Arabian Desert reaches down over the country. On this trip you can spend two days crossing the Empty Quarter, as well as spending time in Wahiba Sands, mountainous Jebel Shams, and the country’s lovely coastline.
Muscat, Oman’s attractive capital, sits right on the coast. Once you’ve had your fill of traditional-style whitewashed buildings and historic fortresses, you can venture dolphin-watching on the Arabian Sea. Schools of dolphins sometimes number the hundreds here.
Inland from Muscat you’ll find Jebel Shams, a spectacular mountain range, its high peaks balanced by deep canyons and wadis. From here you’ll leap off into the desert, travelling in 4WD, wild camping with local Bedouin and returning to Al Qahid to camp on the shore of the Indian Ocean.
The trip ends with two days in the Empty Quarter. You’ll discover the remains of Oman’s once prominent frankincense forests, and end the adventure in Salalah, a city on the south coast.
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PlanetThis tour visits a very remote region, which has barely been touched by the presence of humans, and we strongly believe in maintaining its pristine nature. The nature of this trip means that several nights are spent camping. We strive to ensure that we leave these areas as we find them and our team have been trained in strict no litter policies, meaning that we take all refuse to either be recycled or properly disposed of in the main cities. Washing of dishes is carried out well away from any water sources so as not to contaminate them.
Where there are tracks, we stick to them – not always possible as there are few tracks in this area.
While on this tour we visit the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary which contains rare fauna and is considered one of the most important wildlife reserves in the Middle East. The entrance fees paid here help to fund continued conservation efforts.
In conjunction with our local team, we work with hotels and guesthouses to implement best practices when it comes to environmental matters. This includes basic things like not replacing towels each day, as well as saving electricity and turning lights off.
We also visit a local family home to eat which makes a point of using local produce for the meals provided – local in the sense of being from the village, not from elsewhere. Not only is this a great introduction to the culinary culture of the region but it helps in a small way to cut down on food miles.
PeopleOman is a deeply traditional and religious country with certain codes of behaviour, and the people here are not always that accustomed to outsiders. We ensure that our travellers are appropriately briefed in order so as not to offend local sensibilities.
Using local guides also ensures money stays within local economies and means we will be treated to such valuable, in-depth and honest knowledge which you perhaps wouldn’t get from a western guide. It also means we are keeping carbon emissions down.
Where possible we encourage our travellers to spend their money with local businesses; for this reason we do not include meals where it is feasible to eat outside of the hotels, in order that local restaurants are able to benefit from the presence of tourism, rather than the income being channelled just to the hotel.
We buy supplies locally where this is feasible – usually meat and other foodstuffs, and try to have a positive economic impact upon the communities we visit.