Every month a new trip will be uploaded to this blog: enjoy!
The summer heat may be in full swing, but an off-road destination with fresh running water pools and lovely cool shade is beckoning in Wadi Jazira.
For several years I’ve saved this trip for when the heat becomes intense, because that is the time you really appreciate the deep gorges and waterfalls. Plus, in winter, the water is so cold I can’t bring myself to dive in! With an air-conditioned vehicle, Wadi Jazira is a cinch to visit – and since I’m at the wheel of a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, with tinted windows and a powerful a/c system, I took a small detour to Fossil Valley on the way, not worrying about the heat.
Wadi Jazira is one of the wadis that seems to have water running all year round, and it is just outside Buraimi, in Oman. To enter from the Al Ain Hili border post a visa is not required [as of Apr 2012] – all you do is present your passport with valid GCC visa.
Toyota Prado poses in Wadi Jazira, upstream of the man-made dam and natural tight canyon. It is better to park downstream of the gorges and then walk up through the waist-high flowing water, scrambling up gentle waterfall ledges.
Download the KML file for your GPS by clicking here.
Once downloaded, you can import the file into your GPS device and take it on the road, or double-click that file and it will open automatically in Google Earth if you have that installed (all adventurers should! Google Earth).
And here is an interactive map of the route.
View Jazira June 2010 in a larger map
Water flows gently over a ledge forming a small waterfall - there are plenty of these in the section that runs between the dam and where the article indicates you should park your car. I would advise wearing shoes to avoid stepping on critters, and remaining fully-clothed out of respect for local traditions.
Workers shore up the dam at Wadi Jazira - following a flash flood, the dam was washed away. The photo shows the new dam almost finished; soon a large pool of water will form in the catchment area, which goes to irrigate nearby oases. Please make sure that if there is any sign of rain you do not enter the canyon: seriously.
Nestled between sharp rocky mountains, the green oasis of Wadi Jazira indicates the presence of a constant water source. You may want to include a respectful stroll through the cultivations as part of your trip; I have never been refused access by the hospitable farmers.
Intrepid explorer Jakobus Britz prepares to descend a waterfall drop with a rope in Wadi Jazira. The water stream runs perhaps half a kilometer through very tight and deep gorge, the result of millions of years of water erosion.
Colorful mineral deposits decorate the walls of the gorges in Wadi Jazira.
A Water Scorpion (harmless, and not related to the scorpion) lurks in the still waters of Wadi Jazira - it is good practice to keep shoes on when wading through the water.
Where there is water, there is life: a large spider, possibly a Wolf Spider, poses for the camera at Wadi Jazira.
A Toyota Prado negotiates the steep but well-maintained track on the way to Wadi Jazira.
A flying insect balances on a flowering plant in Wadi Jazira.
On the way to Wadi Jazira, the central lowland at Fossil Valley drains water from the surrounding mountains and is a popular pasture area for both goats and camels.
At the far end of Fossil Valley, where the escarpment has collapsed in places, there were numerous fossils to be found; nowadays a good find is quite rare in this popular location, although traces of fossilized shells are still abundant.
A camel munches on flowering plants before the heat of summer parches the ground.
Please read the original article: Wadi Jazira in Oman, near Bureimi – fresh waterfalls in a deep mountain gorge. Published by The National, Jun 19, 2010.
Or view the pdf file of the original article here, as published in The National.
Please make sure you read the Disclaimer and plan your trips with due care.