Oman is a country where the traditions of an ancient land and its people perfectly merge within modern times. It’s the place where the footsteps of prophets, kings and legends have left their mark and where you find serenity and reverence in the beauty of the mountains, the fjords, the deserts and the wadis. Here a visit to ancient fortresses, castles, Royal Palaces, Grand Mosques and fascinating souks reveal hidden treasures from a bygone era. We now invite you to join us on this journey of discovery to Oman and Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
Our tour departs South Africa on 06 February 2016 and flies to Muscat via Dubai on Emirates Airlines. Often described as “Arabia’s jewel”, magical Muscat with its dramatic mountain backdrop, is an attractive blend of tradition and charm. Here, we’ll spend two days exploring the quaint city before heading off in 4×4’s to Oman’s Grand Canyon, Jabal Shams. The mountains of Oman cannot fail to impress. They form a wild, rocky landscape which draws and intriques. This is an untamed, rugged and still pristine countryside. Besides the breathtaking scenery, Jabal Shams is the home to weavers of heavy woollen rugs in distinctive red, black and brown geometric designs. Along the steep and winding road leading to the top of the mountain, we will discover Jabal Shams camouflaged in the mountain rocks. The view from the top over the canyon is absolutely breathtaking.
The itinerary continues on through the desert and wadis to the oasis town of Nizwa. Nizwa has much of historic interest as it was the capital of Oman in the 6th & 7th centuries. Today it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions with its historical buildings, fortress and bustling souq.
From Nizwa, we’ll travel to the Wahiba Sands desert. Here we will stay in the Desert Bedouin camp, 1001 Nights. The camp is the only one of its kind in the desert. The setting in the bare wilderness of the desert emphasizes the beauty of the virgin golden sand dunes stretching as far as the eye can see. We’ll spend two days experiencing traditional hospitality of the Bedouin people and enjoy the wadis of the desert.
Travelling to the turtle sanctuary Ras al Jinz, en route we’ll visit Sur where the traditional wooden Omani dhows are made. At Ras al Jinz we’ll spend some time at the Scientific Centre and have a guided tour to see the majestic creatures come ashore and lay their eggs at night; an experience that is guaranteed to stay in your memory for many years to come.
The following day we’ll drive back to Muscat for a night and catch the high speed ferry to Khasab on the Musandam Peninsula, the next day. Here the towering, red rock Hajjar Mountains plunge precipitously down to the sea, creating a labyrinthine system of steep-sided fjords, cliffs and islands, most of them inaccessible except by boat. They are hewn, carved and hacked from their ancient foundations of Earth. The scenery is dramatic and spectacular. Described as “The Norway of Arabia”, the mountains and fjords remain one of Oman’s great wilderness areas, with a largely untouched natural environment ranging from the pristine waters of the coast where you can see frolicking dolphins, basking sharks and the occasional whale, through to the wild uplands of the jebel, dotted with fossils and petroglyphs.
We’ll spend two nights in this beautiful region before continuing on to Dubai and Abu Dhabi via Sharjah for four days.
Liz Cotton will be accompanying the group from South Africa and professional local guides will be escorting the group from arrival in Muscat through Oman and the UAE. This will be a unique and unforgettable experience for every member of the group.
The Sultanate of Oman is regarded as Old Arabia and the place where the traditions of Arabia have survived in their purest forms. Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity to visit Oman before it succumbs to the same development and progress as it’s neighbours.