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Dhow Cruise In The Fjords Of Musandam

The Peninsula of Musandam, Oman’s most northern enclave, is sitting right on the Strait of Hormuz, facing Iran and one of the most important sea trade-route in the world. For those with a more untamed mind, the rigged coastline resembles giant crippled fingers reaching out into the ocean. Steep slopes of bare rocks, completely void of vegetation, line these long inlets. The longest of these fjords, Khor al Sham, is 17 kilometers deep and a popular place to visit by Dhow.

The main (and frankly only reason) to visit Musandam is a Dhow Cruise through Khor al Sham. This was definitely one of the highlights during both trips to Oman. Resting on carpets and pillows gazing at the dramatic mountain scenery can easily fill a day.

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But even more spectacular is the unique opportunity to see Dolphins, better than anywhere else I had experienced so far. If the first trip back in 2013 was impressive, the encounter with those majestic animals in February 2022 was simply spectacular and will account to one of my top wildlife watching experiences, as impressive and remarkable as Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Uganda & Rwanda, Whale Watching in Peninsula Waldes or observing elephants in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

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The new experience in February 2022 was the possibility to stay overnight on a Dhow and hence spend a full 24h sailing the Fjords of Musandam. This requires that you privatize a Dhow, which is a costly undertaking (170 OMR for 2 people full board), but offers such a unique experience of this magnificent landscape! Other activities in Musandam are not that special and can honestly be skipped. We actually regretted not spending longer on the Dhow (like 36 hours). The only other visit worth considering in the Fort of Khasab (plan 1 hour).

Now to the itinerary… I would insistently argue that Musandam is one of the highlights of a trip to Oman, now it requires to fly the round trip from Muscat to Khasab and back to Muscat. This is expensive and time consuming. The better alternative, one that we had actually already identified back in 2013, is to fly to Dubai, then take a bus (or ask the agency organizing the Dhow Cruise to organize the transfer) for approx. 3 hours to Musandam, then take the Dhow Cruise for 24 hours (starting at 09:00 am or 04:00 pm), then fly to Muscat where you can take a “classic trip” through Oman, then fly out of Muscat back to Europe (or anywhere else).

 

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