Before we went to Oman, we never thought that Oman would be the perfect country for a camping adventure. Since we’re back from our trip, we recommend everyone to consider camping when traveling in Oman. With its warm temperatures, its friendly people, its stunning nature spots and its sparsely populated regions, camping in Oman is one of the best ways to discover the country. In this post, we’ll give you all the information you need about camping in Oman: regulations, things to keep in mind, where to camp, what to take with you and so on. That way, you’ll be completely prepared to discover Oman, one of the most beautiful countries we’ve ever visited!
Read more; The best travel ititinerary for Oman here
Table of Contents
Regulations about wild camping in Oman
Wild camping in Oman is completely legal. So whenever you spot a nice place, you are allowed to pitch your tent or park your car there. In fact, camping is also done by many Omani, so chances are high you have Omani neighbors during the weekends (for your info, in Oman the weekend days are Friday and Saturday).
There are of course a couple of places where camping is strictly forbidden. Whenever the land is privately owned or at delicate nature spots like the Ras al Jinz beach camping is forbidden. This nature reserve is known to be a home for turtles that come ashore to lay their eggs. Most of the time signs clearly indicate that camping is prohibited.
Nature in Oman is stunning and it is important to protect it. We always repeat the Leave No Trace principle in our blogs about camping and emphasize it is important to leave the campsite as good (or even better) than how you found it. Sadly, we saw that many tourists and local people leave trash behind. There are plenty of bins everywhere, so why not use them. When we notice trash left by others, we put it in our rubbish bag and take it along with us. Also, keep in mind you are a guest in someone else’s country, so be considerate of local customs and wear decent clothing.
How safe is camping in Oman?
Oman is one of the safest countries in the world and the crime rate is very low. This makes traveling and camping in Oman super safe. Omanis are the friendliest and warmest people we have ever met. They are open to tourists and welcome you with open arms in their country. We received so many gifts during our time in Oman, like fresh eggs we ate as breakfast or qahwa (coffee with cardamon and other spices) and Omani sweets. Every interaction with the local people always made us feel so welcome.
Agreed, scorpions and snakes in Oman can be a turn-off for campers. To be honest, it seems they are rather sparse and more afraid of us then we are of them. During our two weeks in Oman, we never saw a scorpion or snake. However, it can be a good habit to check your shoes and clothes in the morning for creepy visitors.
Camping next to a river or the sea
Always be careful when you decide to camp in a dry river bed, better known as a “Wadi” in Oman or next to the sea. Be aware that a dry wadi is prone to flash floods and can change quickly in a mud stream when it starts raining. So always keep an eye on the forecast. Whenever you are in doubt or whenever it starts raining, don’t hesitate and camp outside the wadi! We camped near Wadi Damm and all of the sudden it started raining. Within half an hour, our camping spot transformed in a river. We managed to get out safely without any damage but we’ve read online tragic stories about severe car damage or even worse.
What do you need for camping in Oman?
A rental car
To discover the most beautiful spots in Oman, we recommend to rent a car. Whether you choose a 2WD or 4WD is up to you. We spend two weeks in Oman and had plenty of things to do that were easy accessible with a 2WD. We only had a transfer with a 4WD in the Wahiba Sands. And although we had to pay for this transfer, it was still more economical than renting a 4WD for the entire two weeks.
We recommend to rent a car in Oman through Discovercars.com with free cancellation and insurance included. Discovercars.com is a world leader in comparing prices and offering great deals. Note that 4WD cars with a rooftop tent are also a popular way to travel in Oman.
Check availability and book a 2WD or 4WD rental car HERE
Unless you’re renting a 4WD car with a rooftop tent, the first thing you’ll need for camping is a tent. We also recommend to have decent sleeping mats, as the surface you’ll put your tent on is often rocky and hard. We are advocates of Therm-a-rest sleeping mats. These are thin and lightweight but very comfortable to sleep on. Temperatures in Oman during the night are pleasant, but we suggest taking a decent sleeping bag with you when camping at Jebel Shams (the mountains). As it gets dark early in Oman, a camping light is an essential. A camp fire is always nice, so bring the things you need to get your campfire started.
Camping in Oman is popular. This means that big hypermarkets (LuLu and Carrefour) have camping gear in their daily offer. Whether you decide to bring you camping gear of buy camping gear in Oman is up to you. We brought the essentials with us from home (tent, pots and plates, a burner, sleeping mats and sleeping bags). We bought additional camping gear (chairs, small table, icebox, gas) upon arrival in Oman.
Frequently asked questions about camping in Oman
Are there campsites in Oman?
At the moment we wrote this blogpost, there were no campsites in Oman yet. Of course, this might change in the future. This means that there will be no shower or toilet facilities where you camp. Luckily, Oman has a lot of wadis that serve as natural bath tubs. Public toilets can be found near mosques, at supermarkets, at gas stations, at certain touristic attractions, … We do recommend to stay at a hotel once in a time to clean yourself up.
Look for availability and prices of hotels in Oman HERE
What about drinking water?
There is still a lot of debate whether the tap water in Oman is drinkable. We always bought big bottles of water (6 liters). This was our drinking water. Whenever we saw the opportunity to fill up on tap water, we filled up a dedicated bottle for cleaning ourselves and for dishes.
What about food?
Food is easy accessible and affordable in Oman. You can find large supermarkets in the major cities. We especially liked LuLu as they have an enormous range of freshly prepared food that made cooking very easy. In smaller towns you can find grocery stores with the essentials like bread and fruit.
How to find the best camping spots in Oman?
Whenever we go wild camping, we look for camping spots on different apps like iOverlander or Google Maps. The major advantage of these apps is that every camping spot gets reviews so it’s clear what to expect. At the end of this post, we’ll give you an overview of our favorite camping spots in Oman.
What to do with waste?
All around Oman you can find public waste bins, so getting rid of your waste is very easy. So there are no excuses for not living up to the ‘leave no traces principles’!
Our favorite camping spots in Oman
During our two weeks in Oman, we stayed at various camping spots, and sometimes we returned to a camping spot because we loved it so much. Below you can find our favorite spots for camping in Oman.
Bandar Al Khairan viewpoint
The Bandar Al Khairan viewpoint is the best camping spot when you visit Muscat. This viewpoint, that is about a 1 hour drive from Muscat offers stunning views over the ocean and some islands and will be without question your camping spot in Oman with the best views. It can get rather busy in the evening, but gets quiet at night. If you have a 2WD camping at the top of the viewpoint is your best option. If you have a 4WD you can drive to the beach and set up camp there.
Coordinates on Google maps: 23.513779, 58.743167
Another camping spot with a great view is at the Jebel Shams ridge. What do you think about pitching your sent next to the Arabian Grand Canyon and watch the sun rising from behind the mountains, topped with some friendly goats as a neighbor? During the evening, a campfire (it does get cold in the mountains) makes the setting complete. This place is a must-go when camping in Oman.
Coordinates on Google maps: 23.204356, 57.201752
Beach near Sur
This camping spot is an excellent place to spend the night before or after your visit to the fishing town of Sur. This camping spot is on the east side of Sur next to the beach. One of the best things about this camping spot is the stunning sunrise in the morning.
Coordinates on Google maps: 22.564754, 59.581179
This camping spot is located next to one of the most beautiful wadis of Oman, Wadi Damm. Perfect if you fancy a morning swim or afternoon dip. This camping spot is located in the dry riverbed of the wadi. If you want to drive up further into the wadi, a 4WD is necessary. But at the beginning of the wadi, that is doable with a 2WD there are some nice spots as well.
Coordinates on Google maps: 23.229561, 57.068118
If you are camping here, please make sure to check the weather forecast. As mentioned above, we had to run because it started raining and the dry riverbed quickly changed into a flush flood and mud stream. We experienced a lot during our world trip, but we can say that we were scared. Don’t forget to check out the petroglyphs in the wadi, another great thing about camping here.
Pebble Beach near Wadi Shab
At this camping spot, we witnessed one of our best sunrises. This camping spot is excellent when returning from Wadi Shab or if you want to arrive at Wadi Shab early in the morning. We had some cute donkeys visiting us in the evening. If you pitch your tent near the parking lot, a 2WD is sufficient. If you want to drive on the beach, you’ll need a 4WD.
Coordinates on Google maps: 22.850122, 59.238359
Camping at the Daymaniyat Islands
If you are looking for a unique experience, we do recommend you to camping at the Daymaniyat Islands near Muscat. This place, surrounded by emerald green waters filled with colorful fishes and sea turtles is heaven on earth for campers. After snorkeling, you’ll witness a stunning sunset and stargazing during the night. Keep in mind that you can only set foot on the islands from November to April.
Need some more luxury? Why not glamping in Oman?
If the idea of camping in Oman seduces you but you’re not willing to give in on luxury, why not consider a glamping adventure instead? Oman has a lot of glamorous-camping options available for you. Below, you’ll find an overview of the best glamping options:
When traveling to the Wahiba Sands in Oman, the dome-shaped tents of the Starry Domes Desert Camp is the best way to try out glamping. This beautiful camp has several domes with a patio that overlook the endless sand dunes and the sunset and sunrise is simply stunning
Teepee is a very cool glamping concept in Oman as they don’t have a fixed location to set up their tent. This pop-up glamping service in Oman changes its location based on the season. You can find them at Jabal Akhdar, Jabal Sharqi, or even a wadi. You can find more information HERE.
Are you ready for your camping adventure in Oman? Any other camping spots you enjoyed? Let us know by dropping us a message!
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