Wadi Bani Hini to Wadi Hawqayn
The route is tried and tested by one of our experts. All the details given are verified and can be trusted.
|Author:||Marina Bruce AKA The Desert Diva|
|Average time to complete:||3-4 hours (with stops)|
|Suitable for families or kids:||yes|
|4x4 required||4x4 with good clearance essential|
This wadi route snakes its way round the mountains for around 28kms and unless you visit immediately after rain, it is unlikely there will be big rocks in the way. Most probably, there will be one or two well beaten tracks which you should follow. We took around 3.5 hours to complete the route, including stops.
The start would make a great hike too – walk up the wadi early in the morning until you reach the beige bridge at 7kms, returning to your car in the shade of the palm trees as the day grows hotter.
Firstly, however, check the weather forecast before the trip – if rain is likely in the area, give the wadi trip a miss. A flash flood can occur whenever rain falls “upriver” and it will be almost impossible to exit in places if faced with a rapidly advancing wall of water.
For every plantation, there seems to be an inhabited village and if you feel the need to get out of your car and stretch your legs for a bit, they are well worth a look. Do park in the wadi and walk in, as most of the streets were not designed for 4x4 vehicles making it a tight squeeze in a few places if you do try! You will see far more if you walk; ancient falaj systems delivering water to a variety of produce such as dates, corn and bananas; old houses with intricately decorated doors; workers tending or harvesting the crops; some villages even have tiny coffee shops!
Returning to your car, continue following the wadi for another 22kms or so; if you need an early get-out then you can exit at waypoint WHQ06. The scenery is stunning with red and brown mountains stretching skywards from the wadi floor, an old abandoned village and many water pools, some with little black fish in them!
Once you reach the settlement of Al Hawqayn, follow the route to the left of the wadi which is signposted Howqayn and which will eventually see you at the back of the old ruined fort. Continue onwards and downwards until you reach a track crossing of the wadi. Here you have the choice of continuing up the hill, turning right at the top if you wish to go to the Hawqayn Waterfalls. Incidentally the best view of the old fort is from this road. Alternatively, turn right in the wadi bed and offroad until you reach the pools, somewhat away from the crowds, at least on a Saturday in August!