Wild camping in Oman is one of the best ways to enjoy nature.
The isolation, the silence... you can connect with your surroundings.
In Oman, wild camping is allowed almost everywhere which can give you memorable nights on the beach, in the mountains or even in the desert!
Here are some tips to help you decide wether to camp or not during your road trip in Oman.
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TIPS - Wild camping in Oman
- First of all, Oman is a very safe place in general so there are no problems with wild camping. Locals might come to chat but most of the time you will be alone.
- Animals are not really a problem. You would be very very lucky to see an Arabian leopard!!! The only annoying animals are the goats which are curious.
Where to camp in Oman? - Camping spots
- There are no official campsites in Oman with what you are used to (showers, electricity etc). However some hotels have a few camping spots on their land and allow you to use the facilities (In Jebel Shams for example).
- It is allowed to camp almost everywhere as long as it is not private property or cultivated land and not too close to inhabited buildings.
- The only place (that I know of) that forbids camping are the turtle reserves around Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, which is normal to leave the animal in peace - Note that there are few public beaches around the turtle area but those beaches are not very clean and in any case, starting a fire would frighten the turtles for years to come
- So you can camp on the beach, near a oasis, in the mountains or in the desert
- However DO NOT CAMP IN THE WADIS because water level can climb fast in case of rain. I know it is tempting but safety first
- Avoid staying too close to habitations
- In Wahiba Sands Oman, behind the Desert Night Camp (luxury camping) there are dunes smaller than the rest which makes it easier to reach an isolated spot, but you still need to be able to drive on sand dunes (very technical) and make sure you are insured for that
Camping equipment tips
- I did not have to buy any equipment (it was organized by my guide) but everyone seems to agree that the Carrefour supermarket in Muscat sells appropriate and affordable camping gear. Otherwise you can find equipment at Lulu hypermarket and The Sultan Center.
- You can generally find small wood everywhere. For bigger firewood, drive slowly in the villages and you might see some small shops selling many things including packs of wood
- Gas is recommended because alcohol based fuel is harder to find
- For the mountains, be aware that the ground is rocky and hard, a mattress is recommended. Plus it can get really cold so bring layers, hat and gloves.
Please respect the environment and take any rubbish away with you.
Need to rent a car in Oman?
Other things to know about wild camping in Oman
- As always when wild camping - use a trowel, do your business away from campsites and water source and bag your toilet paper
- Be careful when building a campfire - dig a pit or keep it contained with rocks. Use only dead wood lying on the ground or buy at supermarkets
- Always take all your rubbish with you
- Oman does not have much drinking water so plan accordingly
Road Trip itinerary
Considering you can camp quite freely, this let you free to set up your itinerary the way you want.
- You can check out my article about planning an Oman road trip itinerary
- and check out my eBook designed to facilitate the planning of a road trip - However note that it is focusing on places to see and does not list specific camping spots.
Be overwhelmed by the beauty, not the planning!
Camping on a beach in Oman
My first night of wild camping in Oman, the plan was to stay on the Salmah plateau (4WD access only). However when we arrived to set up camp, it was in the clouds. So we decided to drive back down and find a nice beach to stay. And I am so glad we did!
We found this little bay. There were some locals but they soon left.
In the comments, Cris recommends the beach of As Sifa.
The cooking started...
And sunset started displaying amazing colors!
The rest of the evening was spent around the fire. The noise of the burning wood mixing with the noise from the waves crashing on the beach: what a peaceful moment!
One of my favorite thing with wild camping is that you can easily wake up early and admire an enchanting sunrise in nature. Look at that one!
I was ready from my Hiking and Swimming adventure in Wadi Shab Oman!
Camping in the Wahiba Sands desert
The second night was as amazing. I was in the sand dunes of Wahiba sands. I am so glad we camped. I saw 2 of the established camps and they were in the wadi between very high sand dunes so I would not have been able to go wander on my own to take pictures.
But with our tents set up between small dunes isolated, I was able to wonder at sunset as well as sunrise and be alone with my thoughts, the silence and the sand. I am looking forward to sharing more photos from the desert in a dedicated post!
We first drove along the wadi:
And we passed the established camps:
Driving in sand dunes is a very technical endeavour. You should only go if you are trained for it. However note than most car rental companies' insurance do not cover off road driving even with 4WD vehicles.
Then we went on a bumpy ride through the smaller sand dunes. This is the beginning that looks simple but it gets harder right after. NO pictures I was holding on to the car...
We picked a spot more or less protected:
And I started walking away! Do you see the car?
Set up of the camp with the fire:
Camping at Jebel Shams
Jebel shams is the impressive Grand canyon of Oman. Learn more on my article
You can camp on the plateau not far from the ridge.
But note that you are in altitude. It can get quite windy and cold during the night.
So if you want a little bit of protection and access to facilities, the Jebel Shams Resort has a little space for camping tents.
Camping in Muscat
I have not seen any information about a campsite in Muscat.
Want to see more of Oman?
- Best Things to do in Oman - read article
- Best of photos from Oman - Landscapes - read article
- Where to stay in Oman - read article
- Planning a road trip in Oman - read article
- Renting a car and Driving in Oman - read article
- Best Things to do in Muscat - read article
- The impressive Wadi Shab - read article
- The Bimmah Sinkhole - read article
- The desert of Wahiba Sands - read article
- The Ras Al Jinz turtle reserves - read article
Planning a trip to Oman?
Check out my travel guide to help you plan:
Be overwhelmed by the beauty, not the planning!
And keep track of your own trip!
Want to see more of Oman's beauty?
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