Wadi Shab

Wadi in Arabic term traditionally refers to a valley. In some instances, it refers to a dry riverbed that contains water only during times of heavy rain.

Along the Muscat – Sur highway in the Sharqiah region of Oman lies the popular and the dramatic  Wadi Shab sandwiched between spectacularly narrow mountain ravine, edged in by dizzying sandstone walls with a verdant ribbon of date plantations and banana palms edged through the base of the cliffs. There’s no road into the wadi which is a significant part of its charm – even if the entrance has now been disfigured by the concrete flyover carrying the coastal highway.

Although advisable to go in a SUV, sedans too can negotiate the initial bit, but after this progress is on foot only. Depending on the tide, you may have to get a boat to take you across the other side from the car park to start the hike. The villagers are always there to take you across from 8 am till sundown, and it doesn’t cost more than a Rial max per person for a round trip.

Mind you, the parking is the last concrete spot for the natures call so get your jobs done before you head in. Am sure you don’t want to go bush hunting on a wadi trail…

Wadi Shab 1

People come here for the best Oman is known for “the nature”. Swim here in the fresh water pools or just have a relaxed time with friends and family barbecuing. The foremost lure of the wadi is the water fall at the cave, which you can reach after roughly an hours hike and swimming in 4-5 pools depending on the season. We really prefer coming to this wadi as it is closer to Muscat and because the pools are always full with clear blue waters!

Post the Red Bull Cliff diving world finals that were held at the Wadi Shab it has become even more popular amongst the cliff diving enthusiasts locally and internationally while trekking still remains the desired buzz.

On the journey inside you will find date and banana plantations on rugged rocky cliffs. Depending on the route you enjoy, you will be able to swim through some pools to get to the main attraction, which are submerged below the cave with waterfalls or you may trek all the way through. Sometimes when the water level is too high you may have to dive under the water to pass through, especially if you’re visiting after it has rained.

If you are not comfortable swimming through a narrow slit to get to the cave, there is still plenty to do. There are a couple of deep pools and water falls before that, and several spots you can jump from in the fresh waters. Also along the way lies the old picturesque ruins by the cliffs.

Wadi Shab 3

Although you may be an adenine junkie, it is always advisable to carry the following and make sure to travel light if you plan to trek, since it is a long way in and out.

First and foremost a Flotation device (You never know where it may come handy)

First Aid kit

Waterproof footwear

Waterproof backpack



Sufficient drinking water

Protein high diet to keep you energized. (We prefer date and nut bars or even granola bars helps)


Getting there

Wadi Shab is about 160 kms from Muscat. Drive east on the new Sur road passing through Al Amerat and Quriyat. The drive should take about a hour and half from Muscat. Its tarmac all the way to the entrance of the wadi. 4×4 is not necessary and can be accessed by a sedan. Have a safe journey and do share your experiences.

Rihlat Amina…


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