Wadi Beni Khalid is one of the most beautiful places in Oman. If you are looking for a relaxing swim in a natural mountainous setting, then definitely go for a day trip to Wadi Beni Khalid from Muscat. It’s not a challenging hike and swim – less of a challenge than Wadi Shab.
Visiting the Wadis is a popular weekend pass time for locals and foreigners in Oman. It’s a relaxing day out in nature. However, be aware that Wadi Beni Khalid is fast becoming a tourist hot spot and so it may not be as serene in the years to come.
Getting to Wadi Beni Khalid
You need to hire a guide to drive you to Wadi Beni Khalid as it takes around two and a half hours outside of Muscat. Although hiring a car and driving yourself is possible, I would recommend a guide and a driver as you don’t want to get lost in a country where you don’t know the roads and temperatures can soar.
You can book a Wadi Beni Khalid tour through Viator or Trip Advisor and they partner with local guides. I booked my local guide Ismail via one of the Air BnB experiences.
Wadi Beni Khalid
When you get to the Wadi, there are officials near the entrance who are just there to keep an eye on how many tourists come in and whether everything is ok there.
You don’t currently have to pay to visit Wadi Beni Khalid (2020), but it seems that they have started to develop the area with a potential hotel and charging to visit the Wadi could be something that comes into play in the future.
Swimming and Relaxing at the Wadi
The Wadi is really beautiful and a lovely place to relax and swim. However, there are a few things to do with the environment that you need to be aware of. If you do swim in the wadi then you may feel small fish swimming around your feet – the are harmless, but if you keep moving they will swim away from you.
It is important to respect the environment and wildlife so avoid dropping rubbish in or near the Wadi – take all litter away with you.
If you do want to swim your swimsuit needs to be full with swimming shorts and swimming T-shirt. Avoid bikinis and if you only have a swimming costume on you need to wear a T-shirt on top of it, otherwise it could be offensive to the local Omani’s that live near the Wadi. Avoid swearing and screaming when you are at wadi Beni Khalid as it is offensive to locals.
What to take with you to Wadi Beni Khalid
You should take a towel and change of clothes in case you want to go swimming. I also recommend a waterproof phone case if you would like to protect your phone whilst paddling. Aqua shoes can be a good idea especially if you plan on going up to some of the higher pools.
Health and Safety
As this is a natural wadi, avoid swimming alone or trekking up to the higher pools without anyone else with you. The best option is to take a local guide.
There are ‘nibbling fish’ in the water at Wadi Beni Kahlid. They will nibble at your feet in the water but they don’t bite aggressively and they are nothing to worry about!