Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe?
Yes, very much so. The Sultanate is considered the Switzerland of the Middle East, avoiding conflict with neighbours and instead being the mediator in disputes – more here . There is a high Police and Army presence and this contributes greatly to security within the country. Our trips are also very safe too, although we are in remote areas we never take unnecessary risks and you will be in the hands of two very experienced guides.
How easy is it to get a tourist visa for Oman?
It is incredibly easy to enter Oman if you are lucky enough to be a national of one of 103 countries (list here) – you just turn up at the immigration desk with a passport and a smile and you are granted a 13 night/14 day stay in the Sultanate for free. (note DO NOT apply online for this!)
Evisas are available for some other nationalities, plus for the 103 countries who wish to stay longer.
Will I need to take a lot of spending money?
Most of our guests spend very little on our Adventures. You will need to pay for your own alcohol, shisha (hubby bubbly pipe) and souvenirs but apart from that, pretty much everything is covered. Although our trips are in remote areas, we normally access ATMs in the medium/large towns we pass through – Oman is very much a cash society.
Will I need inspect repellant?
Unfortunately there are mosquitoes in Oman, mainly near the coast, so taking a quality insect repellent is a good idea (we favour ones with Deet). Hopefully you will not need it but it’s best to be prepared for the little blighters! Please note that you should buy this in advance as it is unlikely we will be able to purchase once we are on tour. Omanis burn frankincense to reduce flies and bugs and we will have some with us.
What if we get stranded in the desert?
Have no fear, this has never happened to us. If we did require external assistance we can call for it using our satphone. Many years ago Marina had to use the satphone for an emergency, not a serious one and with just her hubby and her driving our cars, but it is possibly her best campfire story so you will hear all about it when you join a trip!
Is Oman dry? Can we buy alcohol there?
Oman is not a dry country and it is possible for tourists to buy alcohol on arrival at the Airport Duty Free and also at the many hotels which have alcohol licences. The current duty free allowances is 4 bottles, up to 4 litres total, of wine or spirits per non-muslim adult over 21 years old. You can purchase beer at Muscat Airport Duty free and 12 tins equal 1 bottle of wine/spirits.
Do I need any special vaccinations for Oman?
The UK National Health Service only specifies that the normal vaccinations we have in the UK are up to date with boosters. There are a few other they suggest and you can read about them here.
How many people do you take on your trips?
On our week long trips we take up to 6 guest cars, which at most have 4 persons in each so we could have 14 (6 x 2 plus 2 guides) to 26 on our trips. Most of our guests opt for 2 in a car so it is more likely that the party will be around 14-16. If you have a group of friends or colleagues who wish to have a trip all to themselves please contact us to talk about our private trips.
How hot is it at night?
Temperatures depend very much on the month and the area, but you can expect temps of between 7C and 23C overnight. This feels much cooler than it does in the UK though, anything under 18C will probably have you reaching for a fleece!
What times are sunrise and sunset in Oman?
These vary depending on the location and the time of year. Sunrise and sunset are mainly influenced by the lattitude as well as the distance along the time zone. For instance, Madinat Zayed in the UAE and Muscat in Oman have similar lattitudes but the former is 250kms west of the latter. Sunrise/sunset typically happens around 20 minutes later in Madinat Zayed.
On our tours in November-April you can expect sunrise to be from 0600hrs-0700hrs and sunset from 1730hrs-1830hrs.
How far will be we from a doctor/hospital?
Mostly, we will be within 2 hours of a local clinic – there are many dotted around the country. However there are times we will be 6-10 hours distance, when we visit Al Huqf (on our Rocks, Sea and Sand) and the Rub Al Khali (Omani Heartland and Oman Explorer). Marina has a first aid certificate and we carry a comprehensive first aid kit with us.
Is there an upper age limit for guests?
We have no upper age limit. Seniors who are in good health and have moderate fitness levels will love our adventures!
Car and Driving Questions
Can I bring my own vehicle?
Yes you certainly can – our package options B and C have been created for owner-drivers. Your car must be a 4×4, have recovery points front and rear and adequare clearance for the terrain we will cross, but no special modifications are necessary. Offroad insurance is also required. Find out more here
Do I have to buy recovery equipment?
Do I have to buy recovery equipment?
No need, we have everything we need to pull you out of a stuck. If you want to take your own rated recovery gear then that is fine too. You can read more about our recovery equipment here.
Can I take my own rooftent or trailer?
You are welcome to take your own rooftent but sorry, we do not accept trailers on our trips.
Do I drive the car or does the guide?
You the guest drive the car for all of the trip. Don’t worry if you haven’t done any offroading before as we will teach you everything you need to know for the terrains we cross. To get the most out of this trip you must like driving!
How many people will share my car?
Your booking is for one car and the number of people in your party, so you will not be sharing a car with strangers.
Can we drive on our own country's licence?
In most cases yes, although if you have a licence not printed in english or arabic, you should get an International Driving Permit from your home country.
if I use one of our rental cars, can everyone in my party drive?
Yes all licence holders can drive but please note this option should be booked in advance and there is a supplement of 21 OMR per extra driver.
Are the hired cars insured for offroad?
Yes they are – well the type of offroading we do! We always steer an easy, smooth path, never take chances with the tides and always take the best care of our guests and their vehicles. If you are looking for a high adrenaline drive then our tours are not for you.
What if we run out of fuel?
You will not run out of fuel if you take one of our rental cars as they have 140 litre tanks, and we carry spare petrol too. If you take your own vehicle, we will discuss, before the trip, the amount of fuel you are likely to use (expect lots of questions about car, fuel tank size, tyres etc) and advise you how much extra you should carry. There is only one itinerary when we will be even close to emptying our tanks and that is the desert section of the Omani Heartland Adventure but we always carry extra extra petrol there.
What if my car breaks down in the desert?
Firstly, this is extremely unlikely to happen. Our hire car partners know what we do with their cars and where we take them and will always ensure that the vehicles they rent to us are in good mechanical order.
If one of the rental cars should break down, and we cannot get it going, we would take the driver, passengers and their luggage in our guide car and arrange for a fresh rental car to be delivered to the next hotel we visit.
If it is the client’s own car, we can carry them out of the desert in our guide’s car, and give advice regarding recovery/repair if needed.
Do I have to take my own camping equipment?
Guests choosing package A have hire of quality camping equipment included – for more details please click here/
Camping equipment hire is an option for guests choosing packages B and C where offered.
What does "wild" camping mean?
It means camping with zero facilities. We do not stop at pre-assembled camps, rather we make camp an hour or so before sunset wherever that happens to be, normally somewhere quiet and remote, where at night we will see an inky black sky dotted with stars.
How about toilets and showers?
When we are wild camping there are no toilets apart from the privacy of a bush or a dune! We carry a portable shower with us should you want to have a quick wash at the end of our camping days; we have organised our intineraries so that every second night is spent in a hotel (except for the Omani Heartland Adventure when we have two consecutive nights camping in the Empty Quarter).
Will we get enough to eat?
We always buy lots of extra food- we would rather have it with us in the desert and give it away to construction labourers at the end if not needed.
Do you cater for special diets?
We cater for carnivores, vegetarians and gluten free. If you are vegan we may also be able to cater for you but would like some input before you book as vegan options in the most rural part of Oman are extremely limited.
How do you keep food cool?
We have a large compressor fridge as well as a couple of supersized ice boxes so we can keep plenty of food and water cool for everyone. Our hire cars have a mini fridge in between the seats which can cool up to 4 x 500ml bottles of water.
If I take my own coolbox will there be somewhere to replenish ice?
Our tours pass through some small towns with supermarkets and we will stop at least one a day which will give you a chance to stock up on ice or anything else you need, subject to stock availability. In coastal areas where there are fish factories there are normally ice factories where we can replenish our ice.
Do you take children on your trips?
Yes we do. Some of our itineraries are during term-time which are ideal for guests who would prefer not to have children in the group. However we welcome young children on our special school holiday itineraries since we make lots of extra stops to let them stretch their legs and explore. Curious kids will love the Rocks, Sea and Sand itinerary! Be aware however, that all our itineraries have a good bit of car-time so we suggest you have some in-car entertainment for your kids.
Do children get a discount?
Yes they do providing there are two full paying adults in the car. The child price depends very much on the hotel sleeping arrangements – please send us an email
How long will we be driving at a time?
We always stop at least once every two hours on all our itineraries.
Omani Heartland – school holiday editions – approximate driving times).
- Day 1: 3 hours onroad (for package A and B).
- Day 2: 2 hours onroad (with a break after 1 hour), 4 hours offroad with LOTS of breaks.
- Day 3: approx 4 hours offroad with LOTS of breaks plus 0.5 hours onroad.
- Day 4: approx 2.5 hours mix on and offroad
- Day 5: approx 1.5 hours onroad
- Day 6: 1 hours onroad and 3 hours offroad.
- Day 7: 3 hours offroad (plus 2.5 hours onroad if you are taking package A and B)