All our itineraries include some offroad driving, but if you have never taken a 4×4 offroad before, don’t worry – we are highly experienced at coaching rookies through various terrain.
We are not aiming for a high adrenaline drive, rather we travel in convoy at a slow/moderate pace, following rough tracks wherever possible to limit damage to the environment. We make regular stops for photos – all our trips involve visits to photogenic places which will have photographers, whether professional or amateur, snapping away!
At the start of every trip we deliver a comprehensive safety briefing which includes lots of tips to help you pilot your car off the blacktop. This information is topped up during the drive by coaching before tackling tricky terrain.
Before we start to drive in the desert we prepare; tyres deflated to 15psi, all loose things in the car tied down, and an all-important safety briefing. We start off on super easy tracks and build up gently to softer sandy terrain.
Desert driving is an art; too much power and you may get stuck; too little power and you might also get stuck! Not that being stuck is a problem as our trip leaders carry full recovery kit to extract cars out of the most complex of situations.
We drive over deserts in our Rock, Sea and Sand and Oman Coast and the Rub Al Khali Adventures and also in our new itinerary for 2020, the Rub Al Khali and Dhofar Adventure.
Wadi and Plain Driving
A wadi is a dried up riverbed and there are literally hundreds in Oman. The wadi can be narrow, such as Wadi Banni Hinni in our Mountain, Rocks, and Sea itinerary, or very wide, such as the ones we will encounter on our Rocks, Sea and Sand itinerary.
Where the wadi bed is a mixture of sand and stones we normally deflate our tyres to 26psi; any higher and we would get stuck in the sandy bits and any lower and our tyres could get damaged by rocks.
The driving is generally easy and the scenery spectacular with mountains or escarpments rising upwards from the river bed. We may or may not have to drive through water – only Mother Nature can influence this!
It should be noted that when government wadi/weather warnings are in place driving in a wadi is prohibited and we will adjust our itinerary accordingly, normally by heading for higher ground.
Whenever we have the chance we love to drive along one of Oman’s deserted beaches – but this activity is subject to tidal conditions!
When the sea is well out and the sand is wet/hard then it’s often possible to drive along fully inflated, however there are times when it is safer and easier to deflate.
Our favourite beach for this is Khaluf, near the sugar dunes and we hope you will follow us along there one day!
Empty Quarter Enterprises Ltd T/A Xpedition Arabia, 39/8 Hyvot View, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH17 8PQ
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