Jeep Wranglers, canyons and cliff jumping - Ewan takes us on a 3 day, off-road trip around Oman
Words & Photos by Ewan Moyes
A few of us have been to Oman before and have had amazing experiences of natural wonders - completely different to what we’re used to in our home countries. Four of us, out of a group of six, live in Dubai, UAE. Dubai is about 1hr 45 minutes from the Oman border, which really isn’t far to experience entirely different scenery, culture and climate.
If you cross the border at sunset, you notice that all the light pollution has gone and the stars are incredibly bright. The people are really friendly and the air feels fresh with a perfect cool breeze at night. It’s just such a contrast to the glamour of Dubai, in a good way.
We cross the border at 10am, and drove 200km to wadi Damm (wadi is like a pool, or river). Here you can jump off cliff into natural pools, which you can also do at wadi Shab (where my brother and I visited before). This is easily the coolest place I have ever been in my life. You can see it in this video.
After an hour or so we left Wadi Damm and drove the 55km to Jebel Shams Mountain, which is 2970m high! These were steep climbs, half-road-half-dirt-road and so dusty - but we eventually got to somewhere we could camp.
We didn’t know each other well before the trip, so we sat around the camp, got drunk and made friends! We also went scorpion hunting with a UV light which was kind of stupid.
We went to Al Hoota cave, but for some reason they didn’t let us take any pics. This was just a massive cave inside a mountain, pretty cool - you can check it out on their website.
After some lunch in town, stocking up on food, ice and petrol, we proceeded to drive up Jebel Akhdar, this one was nerve racking. There was a police checkpoint at the bottom of the mountain that checked your car and gave you tips on how to ascend and descend the mountain. You need a 4x4 for them to allow you to go up the mountain - which thankfully, we had.
We rented a 2001 Jeep Wrangler TJ from a rental place in Dubai (tip: make sure you get Oman insurance). This car was bought back in 2001 to make a wildlife documentary across the middle east, so it was ready to tackle anything. One brake seized, but other than that, it made the 1300km round trip! Luckily, we had a big group with us, just in case anyone broke down.
This day was pretty epic. We were 560km back towards Dubai and came across this huge canyon.
Afterwards, we headed off towards Wadi Bani Awf - winding through the wadis and mountains for about 25km, before we stopped at Balt Sayt - a lovely town we came across on the way.
Oman’s not a place that you’d typically think of going, but with so much incredible scenery and new things to see, it’s somewhere I’d definitely visit again.