Oman Walks and Wadis

Discover Oman on this amazing walking holiday




From $2,020 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Hike Jebel Shams and the`must do` of Oman - The Balcony Walk
  • Trek to the aqua marine pools and palm trees of Wadi Shab
  • Experience a desert bivouac in the Wahiba Sand Dunes
  • Visit the anicent and modern captials of Nizwa and Muscat

Located on the edge of the Arabian Peninsula, the desert state of Oman is probably the Middle East's most under rated walking destination. With its striking scenery, friendly people and year-round sunshine, Oman delivers a real flavour of authentic Arabia. On our first day's tour of Muscat we see the impressive Grand Mosque and bustling Muttrah Souk and also take a short walk overlooking the city. We then head up into the Al Hajar, a rugged range whose deeply incised wadis hide beautiful villages such as Bilad Sait with their palm trees and fields of roses Camping out each night, we have four days to explore the highlights of the area, including the Jebel Shams ‘balcony walk' which follows a donkey path around the rim of Oman's Grand Canyon. Then, after a visit to the oasis town of Nizwa and its commanding fort, we head into dreamlike landscape of Wahiba Sands and overnight in the dunes as many explorers have done before us! The final 2-days of this fabulous holiday explore two spectacular wadis, where we seek out palm groves and pools hidden around each corner. With its combination of enjoyable walks, secret wadis and Omani hospitality, this holiday provides a brilliant introduction to Oman and a window into a seemingly bygone era.

Is this holiday for you?

We will be following mountain tracks across sand, scree and bare rock, with sections of stepped pathway leading to ancient and sometimes abandoned villages. Our routes will take us into deep wadis and across high plateaus. On 5 of the days the walks will be between 3 to 5 hours in duration, and on the final day, the exploration of Wadi Bani Khalid will be around 4 hours walking. We will usually be following routes that have been used for generations by the local people - villagers, hunters and shepherds. The maximum amount of ascent will be 250m at any time, although on the Wadi Bani Khalid exploration there are steep sections of rocky ascent and descent. The altitudes attained during this holiday are unlikely to cause problems in respect of acclimatisation. We are likely to find day-time temperatures of between 25°C and 32°C or even a little higher and sun protection and adequate hydration are important considerations. 4 wheel drive support vehicles carry all our equipment from camp to camp but, as we only have a small local crew, we will be expected to help put up and take down tents at campsites.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Muscat. A single transfer from Muscat Airport is provided.
  • Muscat city tour followed by afternoon walk along Muttrah trial. Transfer to wild camp.
  • Drive to village of Bilad Sait via Nakhal Fort. After a short gorge walk, transfer to Jebel Shams.
  • Walk Oman’s spectacular ‘Balcony Trail’ before driving onto camp at Jebel Akhdar (2000m).
  • Walk through the fruit groves of Wadi Bani Habib to Roses. Return to camp at Jebel Akhdar.
  • Walk ancient trail to a traditional village. Meet 4WD and transfer to hotel in Nizwa.
  • Morning exploration of Nizwa’s market day. After lunch drive to Wahiba Sands desert camp.
  • Walk the famous and challenging Wadi Bani Khalid before transferring to coastal camp.
  • Explore the pools of Wadi Shab. Use of hotel facilities, then transfer to Muscat Airport.
Sat 21 Nov - Sun 29 Nov Code OWW /07/15/ Adult$2,020 Status 1 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 19 Dec - Sun 27 Dec Code OWW /08/15/ Adult$2,020 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 16 Jan - Sun 24 Jan Code OWW /01/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
Sat 20 Feb - Sun 28 Feb Code OWW /02/16/ Adult$2,020 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 19 Mar - Sun 27 Mar Code OWW /03/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
Sat 23 Apr - Sun 01 May Code OWW /04/16/ Adult$2,020 Status Available Book now
Sat 22 Oct - Sun 30 Oct Code OWW /05/16/ Adult$2,180 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 19 Nov - Sun 27 Nov Code OWW /06/16/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
Thu 22 Dec - Fri 30 Dec Code OWW /07/16/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
Sat 14 Jan - Sun 22 Jan Code OWW /01/17/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
Sat 18 Feb - Sun 26 Feb Code OWW /02/17/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
Sat 18 Mar - Sun 26 Mar Code OWW /03/17/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
Sat 08 Apr - Sun 16 Apr Code OWW /04/17/ Adult$2,180 Status Available Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Muscat. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Muscat International Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • peaks
  • airport
  • trip direction
  • point
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Muscat. A single transfer from Muscat Airport is provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Muscat. KE Land Only package services begin with the group transfer to the hotel. This transfer is normally late in the evening and a representative of our local agent will accompany the group on the short journey to the hotel. If you are arriving into Muscat during this day or prior to day 1 of the land only itinerary, your group will meet at breakfast the following morning (8am), where you will also meet your leader(s).

    • Accommodation Hotel with swimming pool

  • Muscat city tour followed by afternoon walk along Muttrah trial. Transfer to wild camp.

    After breakfast we will take a tour of Muscat starting with the Grand Mosque, built by Sultan Qaboos in the early 1990s. We will then visit the fish market, where every morning there are an array of fresh fish for sale including tuna, shrimps, octopus and other species. Our next stop will be Muttrah Souk, a great place to buy traditional items. We will finish our exploration of the city with a 2 hour walk overlooking the port along a path that linked Muscat with Muttrah before the roads were constructed. The path is waymarked and winds its way between low mountains. Later in the afternoon we will head out of the city. The drive will take about an hour and we’ll set up camp at the edge of the mountains. Dinner will be taken at camp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 2 hrs walking

  • Drive to village of Bilad Sait via Nakhal Fort. After a short gorge walk, transfer to Jebel Shams.

    Setting off in our 4-wheel-drive vehicles we drive north towards Barka and Nakhal Fort. Built on a large rock to help defend the farms of the plain, the fort has been completely reconstructed and is well worth a short stop. We then continue to the Western Hajar Mountains and enter Wadi Bani Awf. Leaving the blacktop road we quickly engage 4-wheel-drive as we journey through this picturesque wadi, lined with date farms pools of water (the number of which depends on the volume of recent rain). This is a steep and fun offroading experience and after one hour we reach a narrow gorge that is the entrance to the pretty village of Bilad Sait. Here we will have lunch and then a short walk through the gorge and around the village where there will be plenty of opportunities for photos. We then continue our off road winding drive up towards Jebal Shams, the highest point in Oman at 2997 metres. We set up camp here at around 2000m.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 1 - 2 hrs walking

  • Walk Oman’s spectacular ‘Balcony Trail’ before driving onto camp at Jebel Akhdar (2000m).

    After breakfast and a short 5 minute drive we enjoy breathtaking views of Oman’s Grand Canyon and Nakhr Village which is more than a kilometer below us. We should be able to spot the route of today’s classic walk along the edge of the canyon. Setting off from Al Kateen Village, we follow the 'balcony trail' along the mountain's edge to an abandoned village, which clings to the rocks and is completely hidden from view, both from above and from below. Just beyond the village, we can see the traditional farm terracing where locals used to produce their food and a short walk further takes us to the small lake that feeds the terracing. We stop and enjoy a few snacks before the walk back along the balcony trail with more breathtaking views of the canyon. We then set off in our 4WD vehicles down the mountain to Wadi Ghul and Nakhr Village where we will take lunch. This allows us to view the canyon in reverse – from the bottom up, which is equally as dramatic and stunning, as this journey takes us through more than half a billion years of geological time. After lunch we will drive up onto the slopes of Jebel Akhdar, and set up camp at around 2000m.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 5 hrs walking

  • Walk through the fruit groves of Wadi Bani Habib to Roses. Return to camp at Jebel Akhdar.

    Combining two beautiful short walks we trek across Oman’s beautiful green mountain, Jebel Akhdar to reach a superb vantage point, as we look down on the abandoned village of Bani Habib, taking lunch under the shade of the walnut trees. This village was the first village the SAS arrived at when they went to assist the Sultan’s forces in the 1950s war between the Sultanate of Oman and Saudi infiltrators. The war was mainly about disputes over petroleum rights and tribal conflict, and the British Army, particularly the SAS, were asked to arbitrate and assist. The Saudis, represented by Talib bin Ali Al Hinai who was from Nizwa, hid away on Jebel Akhdar, taking advantage of the isolation of the mountain and the difficult terrain. Jebel Akhdar remained a stronghold for over 2 years until eventually in 1959 the SAS were deployed to surprise the rebels and they fled. After lunch we will walk for a further hour through terracing and farms before returning to our camp. Roses are grown for the production of rose water in this area.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 4 hrs walking

  • Walk ancient trail to a traditional village. Meet 4WD and transfer to hotel in Nizwa.

    This morning we set off from the camp and walk to the edge of the mountain enjoying stunning views down to an abandoned village. Walking through a cleft in the mountain, the trail then joins a village path where ancient steps lead to another village where we take lunch. After ascending again, we meet our 4x4 vehicles for the 1 – 2 hour drive to Nizwa, Oman's former capital noted for its 17th century fort and atmospheric souqs full of silversmiths. We’ll enjoy dinner in a local Arab restaurant and spend the night in a hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

    • Time 5 hrs walking

  • Morning exploration of Nizwa’s market day. After lunch drive to Wahiba Sands desert camp.

    In the morning we’ll explore the historical city of Nizwa, including a visit to it's commanding fort fort from where there are great views. After lunch we will drive out to the dramatic dunes of the Wahiba Sands for our overnight wild camp where we arrive in good time to take a sunset walk and watch the majesty of an Omani desert sunset. Returning to our camp there is the option to sleep out under the desert skies for a spot of star gazing.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bd

  • Walk the famous and challenging Wadi Bani Khalid before transferring to coastal camp.

    Waking to appreciate the ever changing colours of the desert, we break camp and take a short vehicle transfer to the start of todays walk. Heading into the rocky landscape of Wadi Bani Khlaid we embark on a 3-4 hour walk, as we weave our way through this most famous of wadi’s in the Sharqiyah region. Although the walk today is challenging, with steep ascents and descents, our guide sets a steady pace with ample breaks to enjoy the palms and pools hidden around each corner of the wadi. Upon reaching one of the many vantage points we have glorious views back across the wadi before reconvening with our jeeps and transferring to our coastal camp for a beach barbeque.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs walking

  • Explore the pools of Wadi Shab. Use of hotel facilities, then transfer to Muscat Airport.

    Taking a seaview breakfast we return inland and finish our Oman experience with what is said to be one of the most gorgeous destinations in Oman, Wadi Shab. We walk up via the `Explorers Entrance` and follow a rocky path to reach marine-green pools, waterfalls and if we are lucky, we can see Kingfisher flying about their daily business. With time to rest and enjoy our surrounds, we take a two transfer back to Muscat where we will have the use of hotel facilities to freshen up before our last Omani dinner in a local restaurant. KE land only package services end with a single-timed transfer to the airport.
    Please note, all swimming activities are done so at own risk.

    • Meals bl

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English speaking local guide
  • Single timed Muscat Airport transfers
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • 4-wheel-drive vehicle support throughout the trip
  • When camping a full service including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)

  • Travel insurance
  • Oman Visa fee
  • Muscat Airport transfers (other than those described)
  • Some meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

During this holiday the group will spend 1 night in Muscat at a comfortable 3 star hotel with swimming pool and all facilities. We will also have a night in similar standard of hotel in Nizwa. Whilst on trek there are 6 nights wild camping. The camping is participatory, so you will be expected to help put up your tent and help out with camp chores. A mess tent is used during cold and inclement weather but not during warm clear days. Mattresses are provided to sit on during meal times in a Bedouin style.

All accommodation is allocated on a twin sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Single supplements are available for an additional cost, please refer to the dates and prices page. Additional pre&post trip hotel nights are also available on request.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners are included in the price of the trip.

Breakfasts on trek typically consist of bread, cheese, honey, jams, yoghurt, eggs, fruit, tea and coffee. For lunch there will be a variety of salads, spicy humus, breads and other dishes from which we can select. Dinner will usually be barbeque or pan-fried meat and vegetables with plenty of bread, yoghurt, and humus followed by fresh fruit and tea or coffee. Mineral water and soft drinks are provided. Vegetarians can be catered for. Alcohol is not usually available at the hotels in Muscat and in Nizwa on this tour, although upon arrival at Muscat there is a Duty Free shop and you are allowed to take 2-litres of alcohol into the country

A single group transfer will be arranged from Muscat Airport to the hotel in the city. This transfer will meet the arrival of the flight from the UK and will be late in the evening, before the start of day 1 of the Land Only itinerary. At the end of the trip there will be a single group transfer from the group hotel in Muscat to Muscat Airport timed to meet the check in for the flight back to the UK in the early evening. A representative of our local agent will assist with the transfers. Clients should let us know if transfers are not required. Independent Airport transfers can be arranged to meet clients arriving prior to Day 1 at an additional cost. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

An experienced, professional, English-speaking local guide will lead the trip. There will be also be one or more 4-wheel-drive support vehicles and drivers throughout the trip.

Approximately £150 to £200 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses and non-included meals, including reasonable tips of around £35-£45 for local staff. Money is easily changed at the airport and there are ATM machines in Muscat and Nizwa. The unit of currency is the Oman Rial (OMR). Note that the visa fee of 10 OMR is payable on arrival at Muscat Airport. This can be paid in US dollars, British pounds or Omani Rials. Credit cards can be used virtually everywhere.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and porters. They do not form part of their wages. KE always pays local crews the best rates of pay, no matter what country they are in and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your trek crews we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of £35 / £45 for tipping your crew.

During the trip your baggage will be carried by bus and by 4WD vehicles. The only baggage limit is that which is imposed by the airline. However, Oman is a hot country and you will not require any heavy clothing, nor are you required to bring a camping mattress. We recommend that the weight of your packed trek bag does not exceed 15 kgs / 33 lbs as this will make transiting airports a much more pleasant experience for you.

Our holidays are normally designed with minimal 'down time' at the start of the trip, but having a day or two at the beginning will have the additional benefit of allowing you time to get over the stress of travelling across time zones, leaving you refreshed and ready for your holiday. We can easily arrange for you to have additional nights and airport transfers.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude.  During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at high altitude.  You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Approach shoes or lightweight hiking boots
  • Trainers / sneakers for sightseeing and camp use
  • Socks
  • Technical walking socks (2 or 3 pairs)
  • Spare laces
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • At least 1 long sleeve shirt with collar (for sun protection)
  • Casual shirts and/or T-shirts
  • *Warm jacket (eg.. Fleece)
  • Lightweight windproof / waterproof jacket
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat (for chilly evenings in the desert)
  • Eyewear – Sunglasses
  • Daypack of approx. 30 litres / 1800 cubic inches capacity
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare batteries
  • Water bottles 1 litre / 1 quart (x3)
  • Or, 3 litre / quart Camelbak hydration system
  • *3 season sleeping bag(Camping mattresses are provided)
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including A broad spectrum antibiotic, antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles
  • Travel clothes
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Wet-wipes (Note: water for washing can be scarce)
  • Small towel
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Insect repellant – (DEET)
  • Camera, memory cards, batteries
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Small padlock (too lock your KE trek bag)


  • *For the December and January trips when night-time temperatures can fall below freezing, we recommend a 4 season sleeping bag and a warmer jacket such as a down-filled jacket
  • As Oman is an Islamic country, modest dress is preferable in the towns and cities. Shoulders should be kept covered, and full-length trousers/skirts are recommended.
  • The camping on this trip is mostly wild camping with few facilities. Water for bathing will not always be available and we suggest you bring a supply of wet-wipes.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Oman

UK and USA passport holders do require a visa. The visa fee is OMR 20 for 30 days or OMR 5 for 10 days and is obtainable on arrival. Payment must be in cash and can be in GBP or USD.

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Oman is the Oman Rial.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a walking holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this trip you need to be aerobically fit and also capable for walking up to 5 hours most days and 7-8 hours for one of the days. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Running, cycling and swimming are good for developing better stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

The best period to visit Oman is in the winter season from October through to mid April. Outside of this period it can be very hot, with temperatures rising to well above 40 degrees centigrade! At the time of any of our departures, the maximum daytime temperature is likely to be around 30°C falling as low as 5°C at night at our highest camps. At Christmas, the weather is usually settled, clear and sunny, although the days are shorter and the nights can be particularly cool, possibly as low as 0°C. Visit the World Meteorological Organisation’s website at to see climate statistics for Oman.

  • Adventure Trekking in Oman - Dale and Hadwin.
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  • Arabian Sands - Wilfred Thesiger

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