WADI DARBAT (وادي دربات)

It is a popular, crowded place during the khareef (monsoon season) and a great place to enjoy the jebel in any season. Wadi Darbat is a grassy plateau in the hills marked by Oman’s largest natural permanent lake. This is the source of the estuary that flows into Khor Rori, and during a good khareef, water cascades through a series of limestone pools before tumbling over the plateau’s edge in a long drop to the plain below.

In the dry months, October to May, the Jebbali tribespeople set up camps in this area. The surrounding caves were used by the sultan’s forces, together with the British SAS, to infiltrate areas of communist insurgency in the mid-1970s. Now, the most covert activity you will likely see is the scuttling away of a minor, fur-clad rock hyrax (an unlikely elephant relative) living among the rocks. Chameleons share the same territory and are equally clandestine, changing color when abashed.

Boat trips (🎟️5 OMR per person/hour) are available, but don’t be tempted to swim in any of the pools in Wadi Darbat – the snails bearing bilharzia occur here.

Parking location: 17.082603N 54.437117E