Wadi Bani Khalid: is it price visiting?

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In case you are on the lookout for a ravishing wadi in Oman the place you may discover and swim simply then Wadi Bani Khalid is the place to go.

It’s simply accessible, is heated by a sizzling spring and has customer services.

Nevertheless, as you would possibly count on, it’s no secret.

A view back towards the facilities of the wadi where its possible to see more people gathering at around lunchtime

Wadi Khalid is probably the most accessible but additionally probably the most industrial of the well-known wadis now we have visited since transferring to Oman. It was a little bit of a shock to our system after exploring a lot quieter locations however we nonetheless loved it. 

Right here’s our expertise so you may resolve for yourselves whether or not you wish to go to Wadi Bani Khalid or to hunt out journey at one of many different superb wadis in Oman.

*This publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks*

Why go to Wadi Bani Khalid?

Father and two daughters swim in the clear waters of Wadi Bani Khalid with the rocks walls of the valley rising up behind them

Wadi Bani Khalid doesn’t have the identical secluded allure of Wadi Damm that we camped at early in our seven day Oman street journey, nevertheless it was positively price a go to.

It has massive heat swimming pools for swimming lower than a ten minute, straightforward stroll from the automotive park.

For extra journey and to flee probably the most touristy areas, you may swim a for much longer part of the wadi. It’s also possible to stroll a rocky path alongside the aspect of the wadi and keep away from swimming altogether whereas nonetheless appreciating fantastic views of the clear water beneath.

Someplace that fewer folks discover is a cave which is 1km into Wadi Khalid. You may climb inside to find the new spring that feeds the wadi’s luxuriously heat waters.

The stroll into Wadi Bani Khalid

From the tip of the automotive park you’re taking a raised concrete path with date palms on both aspect.

Father and two daughters walk along a raised concrete path with path trees on either side

After 5 minutes this turns right into a slim stroll alongside aspect an irrigation channel. Simply observe the yellow, white and pink markers painted on the rocks.

Father and two daughters walk along the side of an irrigation system with palm trees down one side

And that’s as sophisticated because the stroll to the primary pool will get.

You’ll quickly spot a cover and bridge over a big pool of water and a restaurant on the left.

This can be a place to loosen up, have your toes nibbled by small fish within the water or go for a swim. It’s simply accessible with younger youngsters (though pushchairs wouldn’t make it) and those that don’t need a correct hike.

A view into the valley showing the first pool and the way towards the wadi walk. The family walks in the foreground on the right

If you happen to’re eager to discover additional keep on the appropriate aspect the place you’ll spot an indication saying ‘Muqal Cave 1km’.

A brown sign on poles with 'Muqal Cave 1km' written on it in Arabic and English

That is the much less trodden path at Wadi Bani Khalid, not as a result of it’s onerous, however as a result of most guests don’t come right here for very lengthy.

The trail above the wadi is properly marked however there are a number of uneven sections, slippy rocks and algae coated streams to cross.

However if you’re carrying sturdy footwear, not flip flops, it’s not too difficult. Stairs have been inbuilt locations to make the stroll simpler, however you continue to must thoughts your step.

Child walking down concrete steps that have been built into the side f the valley to make it easier to access
Father and daughter wave while treading water in a deep turquoise pool of water with the sand coloured valley walls rising up around them

The stroll above the wadi provides you fantastic views of the turquoise water beneath.

The trail is kind of huge however there’s no security rail between you and an extended drop into the wadi in some locations. Maintain the fingers of youthful youngsters so you understand the place they’re always.

After a 5 minute reasonable hike the trail comes down to satisfy the water.

A tall brown toilet tent with a printed sign on the front instructing people to use it to change

This second swimming spot has tents which you should use for becoming swimwear. There was an honesty field requesting 100 baisa (about 25p) once we visited.

The pool right here is shallow, heat and excellent for a fast dip. There have been a number of folks on this small space and a few of them needed to speak to our canine, so I didn’t get an image.

From right here you may proceed swimming up the wadi although deeper sections or stroll over some rocks and throughout a shallow part of working water in the direction of the doorway of Muqal Cave, often known as Makal Cave.

Muqal Cave at Wadi Bani Khalid

1km from the primary swimming pools and restaurant is the doorway to Muqal Cave. It’s price visiting as a result of it comprises a sizzling spring – the supply of Wadi Bani Khalid’s heat waters.

Nevertheless, as with all pure points of interest in Oman, your well being and security is your personal accountability. An identical web site within the UK would both be closed to guests or solely be open for guided excursions with onerous hats and different security gear.

We determined to duck inside based mostly on the truth that different folks have been popping out wanting fairly glad.

Beneath is what we skilled at Muqal Cave that will help you resolve whether or not it’s one thing you’d wish to see.

Girl wearing a buoyancy aid and swimwear walks up a concrete ramp built into the side of the valley wall

The doorway to the cave is up a slim concrete ramp. After we obtained to the highest we weren’t too certain what we have been taking a look at or what we’d discover inside. Except for a little bit of graffiti across the slim opening, there’s no indicators telling you concerning the cave.

We hadn’t even introduced a torch, so switched on the lights on our telephones as with slithered inside.

Family slithering into the low mouth of Cave Muqal at Wadi Bani Khalid
The doorway to Muqal Cave is extraordinarily slim. Are you able to see our canine main the best way?

The cave is dry however you’ll come out dripping with sweat as a result of the ambiance is so humid.

It wasn’t potential for us to face up straight for fairly a number of meters and once we did it was in small bubble-like chambers with bats roosting above us. As we bowed our heads and continued additional in we have been met with partitions of sizzling air and the sound of speeding water within the cave beneath.

It was at this level that we realised concerning the sizzling spring. We moved deeper and located a bigger chamber with extra honeycomb rocks however didn’t discover the water. There are completely different paths main off the cave, so we should have missed the one which led to the spring.

After 10 minutes my eldest was feeling a bit claustrophobic so we rotated and returned to the doorway.

If you happen to fancy visiting Muqal Cave put on examine footwear and garments you don’t thoughts getting soiled. Additionally carry a torch and take it slowly. We bumped our heads in a number of locations.

You’ll additionally want a drink of water and one other swim whenever you emerge – it’s like a sauna.

Ideas for swimming in Wadi Bani Khalid

In addition to the primary set of swimming pools Mr Tin Field and our ladies swam up and down the size of the wadi whereas I walked alongside with our canine.

I’d already counted myself out of a refreshing dip after leaving half my swimming wear at our camp in Wahiba Sands!

Mr Tin Box and daughter about to enter the waters of wadi Bani Khalid just beyond the first pool and restaurant area
This can be a good place to enter the wadi should you intend to swim past the primary pool

The rock slopes down into the water making it straightforward to get in. Simply be cautious of slippery algae beneath the waterline.

The wadi has some very deep sections and locations the place it’s essential scramble over rocks or small waterfalls to progress. This will also be slippy work. See the part beneath on what to put on for our recommendations on footwear.

Father and daughter walk carefully along a sloped surface of the wadi to get between pools of water

What to put on at Wadi Bani Khalid

If you happen to didn’t already know this was a well-liked vacationer vacation spot, the indicators within the automotive park and once more whenever you attain the primary swimming pools are a useless giveaway.

They inform you what you’re anticipated to put on and about acceptable behaviour at Wadi Bani Khalid so that you respect native customs.

Two brown signs with guidance about what men and women should wear to visit and swim in Wadi Bani Khalid

Conservative out of doors clothes

Oman is a Muslim nation the place dressing conservatively is a authorized requirement. Normally it is best to put on garments that cowl higher arms and knees.

A brief sleeve t-shirt and cropped exercise leggings for girls and a t-shirt and lengthy shorts for males is completely acceptable when visiting Wadi Bani Khalid.

In the case of the swimming we’d advocate rash vests with quick sleeves* and swim shorts*. These may be worn beneath different clothes and in addition assist to guard in opposition to the solar.

Sturdy footwear 

We at all times put on strolling sandals that we are able to use in water once we go to wadis. This protects carrying further water footwear which might be important for stoney and slippery sections.

The ladies and I all have KEEN footwear, which have grippy soles for strolling and have been out and in of the water extra instances than I can depend.

The youngsters presently have KEEN Unisex Child’s Verano Open Toe Sandals* and I’ve had a pair of KEEN path footwear for about 4 years now. They’ve been discontinued however are nonetheless going sturdy.

Right here’s one other KEEN out of doors sandal* that I do know would work properly as the women have had smaller variations previously. The youngsters at all times develop out of KEEN footwear earlier than they put on them out, so we frequently move them on.

Buoyancy aids

Mr Tin Box and daughters standing knee deep in the clear waters of Wadi Bani Khalid with large boulders towering above them

Your well being and security is your personal accountability whichever wadi you go to. Because of this we began bringing alongside buoyancy aids to each wadi the place we intend to swim.

Accidents can occur shortly, notably slip ups. So should you fall over in water it’s a lot better that you simply float.

We introduced one of many youngsters’ buoyancy aids with us from the UK and acquired one other at Decathlon within the Mall of Oman in Muscat the place in addition they promote grownup buoyancy aids.

Different issues to take to Wadi Bani Khalid

After visiting a number of wadis in Oman we’ve put collectively an inventory of prompt issues to take alongside.

We’ve kicked ourselves a number of instances for forgetting apparent issues and gadgets that make the expertise a lot simpler. However I feel we’ve now obtained the definitive checklist.

If you happen to don’t have already got a few of these important gadgets we’ve discovered the next outlets good for out of doors gear:

  • The Sultan Centre, varied places in Muscat
  • Decathlon within the Mall of Oman in Muscat
  • Solar and Sand Sport in Avenues Mall, the Mall of Oman and Metropolis Centre Mall in Muscat. There’s additionally an outlet store in Markaz Al Bahja.

I’ve additionally included hyperlinks beneath the place you may order these items on-line should you’re capable of plan far sufficient forward.

Listed below are some wadi staples to carry with you:

Dry bag

Mr Tin Box wades into the first turquoise pool in Wadi Shab.
Image of our bag in use at Wadi Shab for illustrative functions

We’ve got a rucksack that’s additionally a dry bag. We picked this up at a Sultan Centre store in Muscat and we take it with us in all places now.

It’s straightforward to hold and sufficiently big for a lightweight towel, some snacks and water, goggles for the children, and a primary support package. It additionally doubles as a helpful flotation machine.

You may purchase it on-line*.


Deliver a microfibre towel*. It’s a good suggestion to dry off a bit whenever you depart the swimming pools so you’re much less more likely to slip on the best way again to the wadi entrance.

You want one thing small that received’t retain a number of water and turn into heavy.

Solar glasses

There’s a number of shade to be discovered within the wadi however not on a regular basis so shield your eyes with good sun shades.

Solar cream

For precisely the identical causes as you want sun shades, put on issue 50 solar cream in your face and physique. Even within the shade you’ll be selecting up rays.


I’m not a fan of placing my face within the water deliberately however my youngsters adore it. Goggles enable them a distinct perspective on wadis so we at all times carry theirs.

Change of garments

In case you get your garments moist or soiled depart a spare set in your car.

Snacks and water

The place would us dad and mom be with out snacks for the children?! Our go to snacks for mountain climbing journeys are apples and small packets of biscuits, which we are able to simply slip into our rucksack.

We regularly pack a picnic too because it means we are able to get meals into the children quick once we get again to the automotive. A cool field and ice blocks are useful for maintaining meals recent in a sizzling car.


You’re going to want quite a lot of water, however received’t essentially wish to carry all of it with you.

Make sure that everybody has a small bottle of water for the hike and depart some chilling in your car.


I don’t go anyplace in Oman with out a packet tissues. You by no means know if public bathrooms could have any, particularly in additional rural areas the place squat bathrooms and bum weapons (hoses by the toilet) are the norm.

First support package

One thing else we not often journey with out is our small first support package. This has plasters, together with Compeeds, bug chew cream and Panadol (paracetamol). That is what we supply with us.

We’ve got one other first support package* together with bandages in our automotive.

Greatest time to go to Wadi Bani Khalid

We visited on a Wednesday in February. It was our youngsters’s February half time period vacation and peak vacation season right here, however a lot of the different guests have been grownup vacationers.

We’ve been instructed that on a weekend the wadi is a well-liked place for locals to go to and picnic too. So the optimum days to go are from Sunday to Thursday when there can be fewer locals and expats.

We arrived at 9.40am and there have been just some automobiles within the automotive park. However by noon once we left the restaurant and automotive park have been full. A whole lot of organised excursions arrive from 10am.

Photo taken through the front windscreen of our car as we drive thought the parking area at Wadi Bani Khalid. Bot sides of the car park are lined with vehicles
Vehicles that arrived after us.

If you wish to expertise Wadi Bani Khalid at its quietest arrive on the very starting or finish of the day. However don’t try the stroll or swim at nighttime.

How lengthy do you want?

We spent two hours at Wadi Bani Khalid and this was loads of time to swim the size of the wadi and discover the cave.

Permit longer if you wish to do the identical after which eat on the restaurant.

Consuming at Wadi Bani Khalid

A view of the restaurant at Wadi Bani Khalid over the waters of the first pool.
The restaurant at Wadi Bani Khalid.

After we arrived again on the most important services issues have been getting busy so we determined to seize lunch some place else.

The Assayil Mazeera restaurant again down within the city served a wide range of cuisines and was nice worth.

Different colleges at this wadi

There’s porta-loos within the automotive park – these price 400 baisa once we visited. There was additionally a cellular cafe within the automotive park promoting snacks and drinks.

The right way to get to Wadi Bani Khalid

This can be a very well sign-posted vacationer attraction which you can simply discover utilizing Google Maps or the Waze navigation app. Seek for ‘Wadi Bani Khalid parking space’ on both.

In case you are travelling from Muscat it’s going to take three hours to succeed in the wadi utilizing Freeway 15 and the Freeway 23.

You may additionally go to right here as a observe on from Wahiba Sands, Sur or the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve.

I’ve seen it prompt which you can go to Wadi Bani Khalid in the identical day as Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi. This could be potential should you have been staying in Sur however it will be very rushed. You’d definitely not be capable of hike and swim at all of them, which is how you actually expertise these lovely locations.

And if you’re based mostly in Muscat, bagging these three well-known Oman wadis in someday would contain not less than eight hours of driving with out stepping exterior your car. So I’d not advocate it.

Discovering the Wadi Bani Khalid parking space

In case you are following your nav app you’ll be directed by way of the city beneath the wadi and alongside a cement street that climbs up in the direction of the automotive park.

A photo taken out of the front windscreen of our car as we drive up a concrete mountain road towards Wadi Bani Khalid
The street to the wadi parking space is accessible with two wheel drive automobiles.

Right here’s the place to seek out the Wadi Bani Khalid parking space:

Parking is free. The lengthy automotive park has on and off street parking.

How a lot is Wadi Bani Khalid?

It’s free to go to Wadi Bani Khalid.

The bathrooms in automotive park price 400 baisa and the altering tents within the wadi price 100 baisa once we visited. Each are payable in money.

The place to remain close to Wadi Bani Khalid

We visited Wadi Bani Khalid from a desert camp in Wahiba Sands about an hour west.

The place to remain in Wahiba Sands

We booked Desert Retreat Camp* as we had our canine with us and it was the furthest dog-friendly camp into Wahiba Sands. We needed starry skies and large dunes, and it delivered on each.

Oval of traditional bedouin black and white striped tents in the Wahiba Sands desert, Oman. Picture is taken from above on a dune at sunset
This camp backs on to a big dune, which we climbed each evenings.

Desert Retreat Camp is likely one of the bigger camps with an oval of 14 conventional goat hair tents, every with a non-public open roof rest room.

Traditional bedouin black and white striped tent in the orange sands of Wahiba Sands desert

Dinner and breakfast is included in your keep. It’s also possible to e-book actions like dune bashing and camel driving with the proprietor for an additional price.

You may learn extra about this and different locations now we have stayed in my publish about our Oman street journey.

Extra locations to remain

There are after all a number of different Wahiba Sands desert camps and lodging* starting from lodges to fashionable glamping resorts. It received’t be onerous to seek out one which works for you.

You possibly can additionally e-book a non-public family-friendly villa* with swimming pool and splash park in Jadīd. That is an hour and 10 minutes south of the wadi and simply off Freeway 23 to Sur.

And the historic maritime city of Sur* additionally has loads of locations to remain. This might be an excellent place to remain in a single day should you have been on a street journey from Muscat and needed to see Wadi Shab and/or Wadi Tiwi earlier than Wadi Bani Khalid.

Extra studying about Oman

We moved to Oman in 2022 and are loving attending to know our new, house.

Right here’s some extra posts I’ve written about Oman and expat life:

Try the #TinBoxOman hashtag on Instagram to see extra of our adventures.

Disclosure: this publish comprises affiliate hyperlinks marked with *. If you happen to click on on one in all these and make a purchase order I could earn some fee. This doesn’t have an effect on the worth you pay.

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