The area around Tiwi is so spectacular and varied in the attractions it offers that this is the first part of a 3-part series: 1) the beach and village 2) wadi hike and waterfall cave, and 3) the wadi drive and waterfall.
This article is about the beach where you can set up camp, and the nearby village of Tiwi.
Now my favorite brand for long-distance camping drives, Audi is a machine that devours kilometers effortlessly. Don’t believe me, try one.
The Q5 we drove down to Tiwi, pictured above, is the middle-sized Audi SUV, but we fit all our gear for 4 nights of beach camping with no problem!
Fast and very stable, the Q5 got us to destination smoothly and safely – the drive could not have been better. And I have found this the same also with the Q5’s little brother, the Q3, and the big boy Q7.
In fact, when I think long-distance drive, I think Audi.
Our destination is a secluded beach, just north of the Wadi Shab Hotel – it gives privacy, as the cove’s cliffs prevent the local lads from driving up and down the beach all night; it is a wonderful natural setting in itself, somewhat akin to a pirate’s cove; but best of all, it has overhangs that deliver constant shade all day!
There are plenty of other camping spots along open stretches of beach further south, although they do not offer shade and privacy, and camping on the gravel does make it a little strange.
And just as a warning, do not drive below the tide line. The gravel is treacherous, and water seeps in underneath it. We had to recover an unfortunate vehicle during our visit (with no issues – we just connected three tow ropes and pulled it out), but permanently on display at the end of the main beach there is a stark reminder of what can happen!
The secluded beach is easily accessible by car, on hard tracks, and the gravel quickly gives way to sand.
Tiwi town is a few minutes drive away. At first glance, it is evident that the village has seen better days.
And the fishermen remarked that “fishing is not like before” as the meager catch is quickly sold out from the back of a pick-up truck at dawn.
There is no more a local fish market, nor an ice-maker, and neither a petrol station – all of which are available in the town of Sur, further south along the coast.
But there is still a charm to this fishing village!
In fact, we found it just perfect, and a very pleasant change from the bustle and anonymity of a larger city.
And this traditional charm connects with the generosity and hospitality that the Omani people are famous for, especially during the celebrations of Eid, when we were fortunate to visit. Invitations to join in the festivities were irresistible, but to tell the truth, I didn’t require much convincing!
The men gather at an open prayer area, and then in a display of tribal unity and strength in numbers, they converge to their local Sheikh to offer their greetings and receive his blessings.
Along the way they sing in unison – chants as old as the village, and perhaps even older – accompanied by drums, and brandishing all sorts of rifles, swords, and sticks.
Eid is a wonderful day in Tiwi, and I felt honored to have the chance to experience a traditional Eid, Omani-style.
The villagers made me welcome, and I admired the importance of continuing with traditions of this kind, so that the younger generation can learn and maintain their identity. Modernity and globalization do not necessarily require ignorance and lack of respect for one’s roots.
I wonder if I had the right hat and robe, whether they would let me line up…
Everyone was dressed up for the occasion, and the aromas of waiting feasts permeated the village streets.
A blessed Eid to all the lovely people in Tiwi, and best wishes for many more!
As for us, we’ll be back on Tiwi beach with family and friends next Eid, perhaps.
My disclaimer is here.