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Wadi Shab

Jan 8, 2013 by     74 Comments    Posted under: Al Sharqiyah, Natural Attractions, Wadi

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Wadi Shab (وادي شاب) also spelled Wadi Shaab, is a very popular wadi located in the Al Sharqiyah Region in Oman. It is a very popular outdoor attraction for both locals and expats, and people come here for the nature, to swim in the fresh water pools or just to have a barbecue. The main attraction of the wadi is the water fall in the cave, which you can reach after a roughly 40 mins hike and swimming in 2-3 pools. I really love coming to this wadi as it is not very far from Muscat, is easily accessible even with a saloon car and because the pools are always full with clear blue water!

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Wadi Shab is located in the Al Sharqiyah region in Oman, it is less than 2 hours drive from Muscat and you can combine your trip here with a visit to Wadi Tiwi, Bimmah Sinkhole and/or the lovely beach of Tiwi. The wadi is definitely very popular and it gets very busy during public holidays with many families having a picnic at the entrance of the wadi, so best to avoid it during that time if you don’t like crowded wadis.

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Before you go:

You may just want to enjoy a leisurly walk at the entrance of the wadi and see some of the pools, or you are more adventurous and would like to dive in the pools from the mountain cliffs (after all, the 2012 Red Bull Cliff Diving final was held in Wadi Shab), you can do both in Wadi Shab.

So what to take is pretty standard stuff:

  • Sun-screen
  • Food, snacks and plenty of drinking water
  • Swimming clothes and towel
  • Slippers or a sturdy water-proof footwear
  • Camera and water proof bag (otherwise you won’t get to take any pictures inside the cave)

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Inside Wadi Shab:

Depending on the tide, you may have to get get a boat to take you across the other side from the car park to start the hike. There are villagers there always to take you, and it doesn’t cost more than 200  baiza (its regulated and there is a sign confirming the price so don’t get fooled and pay more). On another note, there is FINALLY a public toilet at the entrance.

Inside you will have to walk along palm groves, on rugged rocky cliffs and swim through some pools to get to the main attraction, which the submerged cave with waterfalls. It will take you about 30-45 minutes walk to get to the cave and to enter it you have to swim through a hole between the mountains. Sometimes the water level is too high that you have to dive under the water to pass through so be careful, especially if you’re visiting after it has been raining. There are ropes in the cave which you can use to climb up the waterfall and jump in the pool, and also go up where there is another small pool, but I haven’t explorer any further unfortunately.

Of course, if you are not comfortable swimming through a narrow slit to get to the cave there is still plenty to do. There are a couple of deep pools and water falls before that, and several spots you can jump from in the fresh waters. In addition, try to find the old semi-demolished houses (which I was told was used to keep cattle) at one of the cliffs.

I personally love going to Wadi Shab since it is so easy to get to and the pools are always amazing and clean. However, something that always bothers me is the large amount of rubbish I see thrown around there, which is unfortunately expected due to the high number of visitors it gets.

Have you visited Wadi Shab? Did you get to go further after the waterfall in the cave?

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How to get to Wadi Shab:

You don’t need a 4-wheel drive to get to the Wadi Shab as it just just off the Muscat-Sharqiyah highway and you get to it by passing through Tiwi village, you can just park your car and start your hike.

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74 Comments + Add Comment

  • […] your visit to this wadi with an overnight camp on the Sharqiyah beach and a visit to the popular Wadi Shab and the Sink Hole park, or you can go there for a day trip as the drive from Muscat is just over an […]

  • Be sure to go a little bit up and look for yourself water pockets where you can use as natural tub:D

  • […] to Al Sharqiyah governorate. We usually visit Bimmah Sinkhole on our way back from a trip to Wadi Shab or Wadi Al […]

  • I hope that I’ ll visit this place http://www.photo-travels.org/foto/251/1907/

  • […] Here is the link I found to be useful before going a trip to wadi shab and other Oman’s tourist spots. Written by 2 Omanis who I wish to get to know them personally and have a wild adventures together. http://www.omantripper.com/wadi-shab/ […]

  • I just was there, fantastic! But be sure to wear good shoes!

  • Bring a sealed bag for your camera once you will swim accross the pools to get to the cave.

  • […] much that it took the number one spot for “Best Wadi To Visit” from Wadi Al Arbaeen (Wadi Shab is number three now!). This is mostly due to the unique rocks, crystal clear blue pools and […]

  • […] really find Wadi Al Abyad to be spectacular and what it offers pales in comparison to say Wadi Shab or Wadi Al Arbaeen, but the wadi s still worth a visit if you want to do something close to Muscat. […]

  • Any helpful transport facility to get there from Muscat ?
    There is no licence to drive here for me.. 🙁

    • Your best bet is to either hire a car for a day or get a taxi ride. Unless you try Couchsurfing to see if you can find someone to share a ride with 🙂

      • Hi
        Is it possible to get a minibus going to Sur and getting off at Wadi Shab? I also don’t have a car so I am relying on public transport to get me there.
        Any tips would be highly appreciated

        • Hi Alex, you are likely able to get a ride from Sur to Wadi Shab as it is not that far. However, I wouldn’t know if minibuses typically go there, your best bet would be to stop a taxi and negotiate price with him to get you there. Good luck!

          • I went through Tiwi duirng 1991-93 in my time working throughout Oman. Thanks for posting the photos of the new bridge. It brought back many happy memories of a great part of the country! In those days, the only link through was the unsealed road across the wadi. The new bridge and highway look excellent. Posted: David Thompson (New Zealand land surveyor, ex-Ministry of Water Resources, Topographic Survey Section, Oman)

  • […] min hike. After this I plan to swim in the crystal clear fresh blue water pools. On the Omantripper http://www.omantripper.com/wadi-shab/ website, I read that swim through some pools to get to the main attraction, which the submerged […]

  • any available public transportation going to wadi shab?

    • Not that I am aware of! Your best bet is to get a grab a taxi and get there. Remember to negotiate price before going 🙂

  • […] Snake Canyon may not have amazing waterfalls or places to jump in the pools (unlike Wadi Shab or the proper Snake Canyon) but it is a fun place to visit and because of the relatively short […]

  • […] outside of Muscat, for a swim in the clear blue waters and a hike through the stunning terrain of Wadi Shab, are definite […]

  • It’s no longer 200 Baisa per person with the boats, last time I went there it was 1 rial if I’m not mistaken.

  • Hi guys, I need to know if there is possibility to do camping there at wadi?

  • I mean does anyone do camp there or not? Thank you for your help

  • Good afternoon,

    We’re going to Muscat from 28th to 29th of this month. I would like to know if you have any tour, do you? If you has, how much is it?

    Thanks

    • Hi Yasmina,

      Our website is to help visitors find information, we don’t run any tours yet unfortunately. Hope you managed to visit Wadi Shab 🙂

      Cheers,
      Ali

  • Hi,
    We have 2 persons, we had a 10-day trip in Oman from beginning of April, 2015. We have been fascinated by the beauty of Wadi Shab, and now I found information about Wadi Al-Arbeieen. We would like to come back Oman again, maybe next year. Is it allowed to do camping overnight in Wadi Shab or Wadi Al-Arbeieen in Oman?
    Thanks,
    Phuong

    • Hi Phuong,

      Glad you enjoyed your visit to Wadi Shab. There is nothing disallowing people from camping in the wadis overnight. I have seen people camp at Wadi Al Arbaeen near the carpark. However, I’d say it will probably be tricky finding good camping spots and you also have to keep in mind possibility of flash-floods so check forecast beforehand!
      Ali

  • Hi there

    Looking at having a weekend away from the uae and scouting oman out for some wadi’s.
    Bimmah Sinkhole looks extremely appealing, is this an all year round spot to visit or does it dry up through the summer.
    Now seeing the comments and pictures on Wadi Shab am very keen to spend some time here aswell, same again is it worth going to in the month of May or will it be dried up.
    Is it far to Wadi Shab from Bimmah Sinkhole?
    Once in Wadi Shab are the signs directing you to the best areas?

    • Hi John,

      Visiting Omani wadis is always a great idea and I am sure you will have great time. Just be aware that it might be a bit challenging during the hot summer months, I remember the last time I went to Wadi Al Arbaeen the car temperature showed 44°C where we parked, but that was in July.

      Bimmah Sinkhole has water throughout the year, and so would Wadi Shab (it could be a bit drier than winter I suppose but the pools had always been full even when I visited in summer). The sinkhole is actually on your way to Wadi Shab (its about 30 kms from Wadi Shab) so you can definitely do both on the same visit.

      There are no signs in Wadi Shab but you just need to make your way inside the valley, and as it gets narrower you will encounter the water pools 🙂

      Happy travels!

  • Do you need to arrange by a local guide to get here? If so and if you know where and how to find them? For non-swimmers but would like to cliff dive, do they provide safety gears like life-jacket?

    Thanks heaps!

    • Hey!
      I wouldn’t know of any local guides that could take you there unfortunately. Your best bet is probably to check with the Wadi Shab resort just opposite, they should have either organised tours or contacts with locals who can help you. Besides that maybe try Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre (who also provide personal flotation devices) but they usually guide advanced places so I’d be surprised if they would do Wadi Shab.

      But to be honest you can explore the place without a local guide. The trek is not very demanding and it is difficult to get lost 🙂 And if you’re not a swimmer just buy a life jacket or take a tube with you 🙂

      Hope you manage to visit this beautiful wadi!
      Ali

      • Thank you Ali for responding. Might be there coming September 🙂

        • You’re welcome, I am sure you’ll have a great time 🙂

  • Wow that was strange. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

  • Is Aug a good time to go? Will there be water in the pools?

  • Is August a good time to go? Will there still be water in the pools?

    • Hi there,

      August is probably not the best time to visit, with the scorching heat it will be very tiring to walk through the wadi. However, as far as I am aware the pools should still have water year-round (but probably at lower levels). I visited in June/July a couple of years back and there was plenty of water.

      So if you can wait until the weather gets better, then it will probably be a more pleasant trip 🙂 But if you have to go in August, just take necessary precautions (sunscreen, keep hydrated, etc..).

      Hope that helps 🙂

  • Approximately how much is the price for a taxi from muscat to wadi?

    • I’m not really sure I’m afraid. If you were to do it I’d suggest you could perhaps negotiate with a taxi driver to be your “driver” for the whole trip, i.e. to stop on other attractions on the way etc.. Again I can’t really think how much it would cost but maybe 40-50 rials? Let me know if you find out 🙂

  • Can children get in the water ?? Are there shallow , but clean and fresh water?
    can children about 13 years get in the water? do the water cover their chest atleast(but not head to avoid drowning of those who dont know to swim). Pls reply oman tripperr!!
    I am ggoingn there

    • Hi Abhijith,
      The water pools are rather deep especially, and children who can’t swim must be supervised as they’re likely to only be able to play around at the beginning shallow points. Just make sure you keep them off the deep areas, and watch over them the whole time.
      Ali

  • […] Next was our highlight destination… The famous Wadi Shab. It has a set of amazing natural pools & waterfalls in the midst of the desert, and all of that with a crazy turquoise water color. We parked and caught a boat ride across the river to the trail head. We walked along the riverside and up the cliff side in the blistering heat for about an hour. A big thanks to two previous bloggers who helped us have the confidence that we could do this by ourselves. Check out their posts for more info on how and where to go for this awesome adventure: Fleeting Footprint & Oman Tripper […]

  • How cold is the water in March?
    Any problem to go in March from Muscat port to Wadi Shab by taxi?

    • Hi Monica,
      Weather should be fine in March, might be a bit too hot if you’re not used to it but stay hydrated and it should be fine. There shouldn’t be any problem going from Muscat port by Taxi, but it might cost you quite a bit (still not sure how much, I’m guessing more than 30 rials?).
      Let me know how your trip goes 🙂
      Ali

  • I love the pictures of Wadi Shab and the sink hole on the website. My friends and I (from Dubai) are planning to visit Wadi Shab & Sink hole.

    A question
    Is camping allowed by the wadi area?
    Is it a good time to travel by of November….

    • Hi,

      Thanks, I am glad you like them. I hope you have a good time there, November should be a good time to visit just keep in mind the wadi might be a bit busy on weekends as the good weather brings lots of people there 🙂 You can camp close to the wadi in the nearby beaches, it is hard to find a good spot but but it does the job. The best location for me was a couple of kms before you reach the wadi if you’re driving from Muscat, but not sure if there is access any more after they built Wadi Shab hotel.

      Hope that helps, and hope you enjoy the trip 🙂
      Ali

  • I am interested in knowing the price for a taxi too.
    Thank you

    • Hi Monica,
      Unfortunately, I don’t know that yet. I really need to find out as I keep getting lots of questions about that 🙂
      Ali

  • Ok.Than you.
    We are a family from Spain.We spend one day in Muscat next March.
    Do you know any person interested in be our driver for knowing sinkhole, fins and Wadi Shad?

    • Hi Monica,

      I am in the process of offering guided tours, but haven’t posted any details yet. If you let me know what day you are looking to go to the Wadi specifically (as I can only do weekends), I can drive you there and be your guide for a fee. You can contact me on ali@omantripper.com

      Cheers,
      Ali

  • Dear Ali, we are going to cruise in the UAE & Oman during christmas. On 23 th december I have booked a rental car so we are free to drive around. Do you know a wadi which is closer by Muscat? I have seen Wadi Shab and it is really beautifull, But maybe you know another wadi a little bit closer by the city?

    Thank you for your reply!
    Best regards,
    Monique

    • Hi Monique,

      I realize this is not useful for you anymore, I didn’t see your comment until today due to issues with getting notifications. I hope you managed to visit another wadi during your road trip? I would have recommended Wadi Al Arbaeen myself 🙂

      Best,
      Ali

  • Hey! Just visited Wadi Shab yesterday….what an AWESOME place! Ali, thanks so much for taking the time to write and answer questions, and i too may be able to help.

    as far as a Jan 2016 update on some things and to also answer a few questions posed in earlier comments:
    the boat ride is now 1 rial per person round trip. You pay up front with the idea that once across the river, you have paid and they will come get you. The guys did not want a tip from us, etc. Was very easy and pleasant.
    cab rides: it is an hour and a half drive from Muscat…even more so from the airport…a taxi would honestly be VERY expensive.
    The hike there is nice…and just a few spots where little ones may have a bit of a rough time. To get all the way to the cave, you need to know how to swim or at least bring a flotation device.
    as far as actual GUIDES….i did see a few…but the do little more than show you the path…but…as Ali pointed out on Jul 25th :But to be honest you can explore the place without a local guide. The trek is not very demanding and it is difficult to get lost 🙂 And if you’re not a swimmer just buy a life jacket or take a tube with you 🙂
    (although Ali…a bus or even just some sort of transportation offered by you guys might get quite the business)
    if there is anything i forgot to mention or address from a recent standpoint, lemme know and i can help. As it stands, i am living here for the next 3 years, so I will be going out there again soon!

    Again: Ali…thank you so much for this website and your fast responses to people!

    • Hi Dave,

      Thanks for writing the update, its great to know you had a good experience there.
      I have stopped receiving email notifications about comments on the blog for some reason, which along with my very busy schedule (I recently returned to Oman and got a new job) resulted in missing loads of comments.. and unfortunately not being as fast to respond to people!

      Cheers,
      Ali

  • Thank you Dave for writing your experience.
    Then ….is it easier to get the cave?
    1 rial for go and back?

  • Thanks for sharing this.

    We went today and this guide helped.

    The only thing is that the location shown above is wrong.

    • Opps you are right, I just noticed it and fixed it. Thanks for the heads up 🙂

      Best,
      Ali

  • @Monica: the 1 rial is just for the boat ride from the parking lot across the little pond to the start of the hike. you still have to hike/swim the rest of the way to the cave.
    and yes… 1 rial total to go across and come back. (as long as you make it back before 1730…they leave after that and you would have to swim. (in reality it is only about 100 meters)

  • Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article. I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

  • Dear Ali and the team of Omantripper,
    I am a French citizen going to Oman on my own for one week vacation.
    I very much like your website, nice photos and plenty of useful information for my upcomiong trip to Oman.
    I am looking for the way to go from Wadi Tiwi to Wadi Shab passing thru the small village of Al Ghomb. I heard there is a trail which goes up at the end of Wadi Tiwi, then cross the plateau and down to Wadi Shab.
    Do you have information about it?
    Thanks
    Christophe

    • Dear Christophe,
      Glad to hear you find the information here useful for your upcoming trip.
      I am not aware of any path that goes from Wadi Tiwi to Wadi Shab; however, there could very well be a path there its just that it doesn’t have any information available online. When are you planning to go on that trip? I will try to get contact information of someone who might know that and email it to you.
      Cheers,
      Ali

  • Thank you
    The next we I’m visiting Wadi Shab

  • We visited Oman last week and we really had a great time, I like wadi Shab the most.
    Still i didnt visit Wadi bani Khalid n Wadi Arbaeen, next time insha Allah.
    Thanks for sharing good places to visit in this web, its really helpfull.

    • Hi Afif,

      I’m glad you liked Wadi Shab, and hope you get to visit the other wadis in your next trip 🙂

      Best,
      Ali

  • […] your visit to this wadi with an overnight camp on the Sharqiyah beach and a visit to the popular Wadi Shab, Fins Beach and Bimmah Sink Hole, or you can go there for a day trip as the drive from Muscat is […]

  • […] may also be willing to take you on whole day trips outside the capital to destinations such as Wadi Shab, Nizwa or Rustaq. This might be cheaper than going with a formal tour operator, but you will have […]

  • Hi,
    I recently visited wadi shaab, I was mesmerised by the beauty of the wadi and its surrounding nature!
    Few points I would like to share.
    It’s about hour and a half’s drive from muscat to Tiwi. Though it is not that far, make sure tank is filled, as the nearest filling station is 35 kilos away. Once you reach near to Tiwi you will get to see the beautiful blue beach and wadi shaab resort.You can get freshened up in the resort or else you can use the public toilet at the entrance of Wadi shaab.
    Crossing the small pond : The boat ride costs 1 rial for round trip, but it if you are planning to have a swim in the wadis water, it’s wise to change into ur swimming suit and cross the pond, as it is not deep at all.
    Then you will have to walk for around 10-12 minutes to reach the cliff but be aware of the snakes (Arabian vipers), if you have experience you will be able to here the sound of those snakes tails reverbing on the mountains. From the cliff u can dive into the blue water of wadi. Don’t jump if u have height fobia!

    The main attraction point is actually 30 minutes walking distance from here , if you really want to go there make sure u are wearing tracking shoes and have a stick in hand as the area In Front is also filled with snakes !
    It’s better if you start early at 5:00am from Muscat so that you reach Tiwi early and start your journey.

    Thank you all !

  • Hi – Just a quick question we are looking at going to Wadi Shab late October / November. We will be driving over from Abu Dhabi for the weekend – can you camp near by? If not what are some good reasonably priced accommodation to stay at close by?

    • Hi Jess,

      You can camp at the beaches on the Sharqiyah region, it might be tricky finding a spot if you reach at night so make sure you have plenty of day-light hours to have a look around. Alternatively, there is a “Wadi Shab Resort” right next to the Wadi entrance; I have never stayed there, so not sure how it is but that could be an option.

      Best,
      Ali

  • Hello,
    Can some one suggest if visiting Wadi Shab with a 2.5 year old is ok? or do we need to be careful of something.

    • Hi Rajesh,

      A good part of the wadi is just walking on gravel and easy path, few few spots you need to either carry them or help them through; however, there are some spots later on that I would be extremely anxious of taking a 2.5 year old, as the rocks get slipper etc.. I personally would wait until they are a bit older if I was in your place, but you can still take them and spend time at the start of the wadi with the pools. Hope that helps.

      Best,
      Ali

  • HI, Really enjoy this blog and it has been very helpful in planning our upcoming trip to Oman! This may be a crazy question, but are people hiking in swim wear or changing over or just wearing something they can hike and swim in? And is there a safe place to leave your “stuff” while swimming through to the waterfall? It is likely we will carry water and snacks for our kids …. maybe a towel?….any tips?? Thanks!

    • Hi Krista,

      Glad you find the information helpful. In Wadi Shab, generally people hike with their normal clothes and change it just before the pools. It is entirely up to you, but the ‘trek’ takes a bit of time (40mins-1hr depends on your speed), and there is a good chance you get sunburned in your swimwear, so just keep that in mind. There are a few crevices and tiny ‘cavelets’ to the left of the first pool where you need to start swimming and I generally leave most of my stuff there. I have never personally had anything taken when I leave them there , and never heard of anyone having something taken from them, but I would be sure to tuck all valuable away and put them in bags. Take plenty of water, snacks, some sunscreen and hats. A towel will come handy too 🙂

      Hope that answers all your questions, if you’re unsure about anything do let me know. Have a lovely time in Oman.

      Best,
      Ali

  • Topic: car sharing
    Hey guys,
    We are an easy going couple travelling in oman but unfortunately without drivers license. If you have a car and plan on going to wadi shab from mascat, we would be happy to join you and share the cost. And be good company, of course 😉
    If you don’t have a car, we could organise a driver and share the cost.
    We would be available to go to the wadi roughly between 5-11. November 2016.
    Thanks & regards!

  • […] people, park your car and hike through the narrow valley for about 45 min until you reach the Wadi Shab with its waterfalls and caves. You should calculate about half a day for exploring the Wadi if you […]

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