I love so much about the Middle Eastern countries, especially the climate that is so different to the western countries. It also so happens that I’m absolutely mad about camels. Therefore, a tour to the Wahiba Sands with a desert safari was on top of my list during our Oman trip. Wahiba Sands is about 2,5 hour drive south of Muscat. Most hotels can arrange a private day-tour (worth the money) that will take you out in a 4×4 car with private guide and air-conditioning.
Well out in the warm sand dunes, your driver will “surf” the peaks and pits that is created by the temporary sandstorms. There are no free camels roaming around (unless they have escaped its Bedouin masters), they all belong to a family. There are very few real Bedouin families left, as most of them have moved into proper housing and left the nomadic tent life in the desert behind. With the extreme enthusiasm of a child, I pretty much bullied our tour guide into getting me a camel ride in the desert. It worked out well for all parties involved. The Bedouin family earned some extra cash, the tour guide got to stretch his legs from the drive and I spent 20 extremely happy minutes balancing high above the ground. The only one who weren’t very happy was the camel which he let us know by refusing to sit down so I could get off. By the time he did give in, he bent down with such force I flew off and ripped my denim shirt in the fall.
On the drive back we got to experience some of the real Omani landscape including coloured mountains and local architecture. Every house looks like a mini castle to me and a lot of Oman actually reminds me of scenes out of Disney’s Aladdin.
Make sure you get out of the typical tourist traps and don’t just hang about at your hotel. Oman is a very safe country and there really is so much to see and explore. On the way back we stopped at a date farmers shop, a local take away coffee drive-through and also ended up getting stuck in a sandstorm. Adventure outside of infinity pools and museums are always more fun!