Private Mobile Family Safari
21.15pm Oman Air non stop service to Muscat from Heathrow.
08.30am Arrival Muscat.
VIP visa assistance. Private transfer to the Al Bustan Palace Hotel, interconnecting deluxe garden view rooms.
Al Bustan Palace Hotel, spent at leisure.
07.30am. Early morning Dolphin Watching from Bandar Khiran Marina (group tour).
Leaving Muscat after breakfast, we head south in Toyota Land cruisers along the coast before heading inland through Wadi Al Amerat and across the Eastern Hajar Mountains on gravel tracks into Wadi Tayeen. A beautiful route which runs along the wadi bed, through traditional villages, old forts, watchtowers and date plantations. There is plenty of time and opportunity to stop en route, take pictures and have a cup of coffee. Lunch is a delicious and freshly prepared picnic served beside a crystal clear pool, ideal for a refreshing dip. We arrive in plenty of time for a walk along the village ‘falaj’ system [ancient irrigation channels] and into the old village and date plantation. By mid afternoon we leave the mountains behind us and head for the Wahiba Sands desert. Passing the 18th century fort at Mudayrib and with the sun beginning to drop, we enter the desert and drive the final stretch on sandy tracks through the russet red dunes before reaching our camp, set amongst the dunes, in time for sundowners. A delicious supper is served beside a crackling log fire.
The morning starts with coffee or tea either in camp or on top of a dune for the more energetic! A relaxed breakfast is then served in the majlis and following this there’s an opportunity to visit a local Bedouin family for traditional Omani khawa [coffee] and dates before we head to Nizwa via the town of Ibra, where it is well worth a quick visit to some well preserved old merchant’s houses on the outskirts. The drive to Nizwa is then about 2 hours and is broken by a lunch stop, perhaps in the restored fort close to the old village of Manah.
Nizwa is Oman’s former capital and home to an important and impressive fort, vibrant souk and numerous date plantations. Our camp is within 20 minutes drive of the town, allowing us plenty of time to explore and visit the souk before heading back for sundowners. The camp, this time, is set against a rugged and spectacular mountain backdrop, quite different from the night before but equally impressive. Before supper, there is a chance for us to sit down in the majlis with a map and make a plan for the following day. The camp is perfectly placed for a wide range of activities and there is plenty to choose from, whether visits to old forts and castles or walks or delicious picnics high in the mountains.
After breakfast we can head into the mountains for a hike among rugged peaks and sheer sided cliffs with villages perched improbably above tiered and irrigated plantations.
We will then head back to Muscat, a journey through some very dramatic terrain over the Hajar Mountains and down along the exposed and impressive Wadi Bani Auf. This is one of the great drives of Oman and passes through some very rugged and impressive mountain scenery, through small jebel villages and often through plenty of water on the track. We usually stop at the high and tremendously beautiful, mountain village of Balad Sayt for lunch and a walk and if there is time, take in a quick swim in some refreshing mountain pools en route. Invigorated, we arrive back in Muscat in the afternoon.
Check in to the Chedi Hotel.
Overnight at the Chedi Hotel in adjoining serai superior rooms.
13.40pm Oman Air to Heathrow.
17.55pm Arrival Heathrow.