Wadi Shab is probably one of the most beautiful canions in Oman. It offers lots of attractions including trekking along the canyon, swimming in crystal green water and even cliff jumping. There is also one thing that makes this place different to other canions in Oman – its hidden treasure – the secret cave and the waterfall. It is not that straight forward to get to Wadi Shab as I heard but it’s easily accessible by car if you have one. From the parking place you need to take a boat to get to the canion, so it is not possible to get there only by your own transportation.
Renting a car in Oman might be expensive but there are other ways of traveling. Local transport is accesible but not very popular. You can also take a trip from your hotel or any travel agency, which is convenient and hussle free but quite expensive. Well, maybe because nothing is cheap in Oman and freestyle traveling was a bit of tiring but highly adventurous. 😉
How to get to Wadi Shab?
It is definitely closer to get to Wadi Shab from Sur than from Muscat. The easiest way is to buy a tour but it is possible to do it alone without a tour guide.
These are alternative transportation options in Oman /other than a car/:
- Hitchhiking in Oman is possible!! Just like in any other country you can hitchike, although this is not too popular way of traveling in Oman and you might find it difficult.
- If nobody stops you can always take a shared taxi – it’s a normal taxi but usually taking maximum number of passengers allowed in the car. Don’t be surprised if during the trip some passengers will be getting out and others getting in. This is actually exciting to observe local people having them so close.. and it’s a great way of traveling! There’s one rule – agree the price before you get in. I usually spent around 3 Rial for 100-150 km. But for any Wadi it can be a little more expensive as the driver might need 4×4 car and it’s not an easy drive.
- Private tours from Sur to Wadi Shab or Wadi Tiwi cost 45-50 Rial (for a car). So if you find other passengers you can share and it’s quite cheap per person. A guide is extra paid.
To see amazing Wadi Tiwi visit: https://freestyletraveling.com/hiking-trail-to-unspoiled-wadi-tiwi/
How to get to the secret cave in Wadi Shab?
Hidden treasure in Wadi Shab is the famous cave located at the very end on the canion. You don’t need to hire a guide to get there but you need to know it may be challenging getting to the cave and secret waterfall. You need to trek and swim the whole canion to reach the cave at the end of it. It is possible to reach it on your won but be aware you would need to swim on a deep water and sometimes there won’t be a place to stop. At the end you need to swim through a very narrow passage between the rocks to get inside the cave. But once you get there it seems like the most magic place on earth! This is one of the places you should try to reach if traveling in Oman. Sometimes the tide is so high that it’s impossible to get inside the cave. During summer time water tide is very low, so probably better timing for this adventure. I was there in winter time and swimming through the narrow section was a bit scary and I have to say I was concerned if it’s the right decision but eventually tried and got inside the cave. There were few other people swimming around but I was alone inside the cave with is probably unusual.
What to take when hiking Wadi Shab:
- I would recommend swimming shoes for one simple reason – be aware that underwater rocks are very slippy and I don’t know how I would do it without swimming shoes.
- Go pro – you won’t be able to take your phone to the secret cave as you need to swim in particular sections /or sometimes even dive depending on water level/ – unless you take a waterproof bag.
- drinking WATER! During hot months the temperature in the canion easily reaches 40 degrees.
Secre cave and the waterfall!
Inside the cave there’s an incredible waterfall and you can even climb up the ropes to have a bit of a fun jumping down the cave. I’m sure it’s a great experience but I was there alone and without a companion it seemed a little dangerous. Remember there was no place to stop and rest inside the cave as the tide was too high. I couldn’t take my phone as had to swim all the time but had my go pro 😉 The cave is truely fascinating place!