Desert Camping

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During our trip to Oman we had one night for desert camping, just enough to whet the appetite or enough to satisfy the itch forever.  Due to our last minute booking our choices were limited to the super upscale desert camping or the super simple with no bells and whistles. We chose the simple route and had a really nice time!

As the camp is a few kms out into the desert and we were driving a standard vehicle, we arranged beforehand to meet the owner in town where he would transfer us to the camp. It was very easy, we parked our car at the designated gas station, took our luggage and away we went. For a small fee we were swiftly transferred to the camp and for a little more fee he took the long way  so we could enjoy the sun set over the dunes in seemingly the middle of nowhere! I have to say, this made the experience. The orange dunes are so perfectly formed and roll on and on and on! I think of brave men who have roamed these hot expanses of sand and sun for thousands of years and marvel that they didn't get lost.

 Let me pause here to say word about driving in Oman.  We kept reading that you needed a 4 wheel drive vehicle if you wanted to go to the wadis and that is simply untrue! The only  time we would have benefited from a 4x4 was driving out to our desert camp and that was so simply arranged with a bouncy dune ride to boot, that it was not worth the extra cost of rental.  Oman has perfectly sound roads (its drivers are another thing)  if you keep to the main tourist stops like Wadi Shad, Wadi Bani Khalid and the Sink Hole.

Back to our desert excursion. As I mentioned it was pretty basic--private tents for sleeping with real beds inside, a shared bathroom (although we had it to ourselves)  and a communal gathering place for dinner. Set up in a traditional Bedouin style with low tables and cushions on the ground, we lingered in the warm desert breeze snacking on our massive fruit platter while we awaited dinner.  Dinner was what you'd call a mixed meat platter with rice, pita and hummus.  It was good--expected, but good. Then we just hung out some more, laying under the stars chatting it up with the other guests and then it was time for bed.

The tents were impermeable to the wind and dust that constantly blew, but that also meant they were a bit hot.  Had we been smart, we would have left our tent door open because the night time temperature of the desert was divine!

The next morning we got up to simple breakfast of hard boiled eggs, more fruit and pita. We didn't waste much time getting back to our car as we wanted to spend the day in Wadi Bani Khalid, but on our way back to the car our driver took us over some fun sand dunes, stopped so I could photograph wild camels and thrilled Bob with attempts at climbing vertical dunes.

This first experience of desert camping was really enjoyable--We would do it again!

The Details
Desert Wonders Camp
Address: Wahiba Sands, 421 Hawiyah, Oman
Cell  Phone: +96895544749
Tip:  We booked online with and left a message in the "message" box regarding our need for transfer to camp and then crossed our fingers that the message would get to the right hands. There isn't a functioning website so it's important to call his cell phone for more peace of mind.