It was after quite an extensive online search that we decided on Desert Nights Camp, Al Wasil, as the desert camp we would use during our Oman road-trip. This camp is touted as one of the best desert resorts in the World. I am not sure about that, but I can attest that it is very good.
- Convenient pick-up and drop from a nearby Petrol Station at Al Wasil (One does not need a 4×4 vehicle due to this)
- Excellent cabins (We used “Family Deluxe Tented Suite” and it was something)
- Very helpful staff
- Quite good breakfast and dinner buffet
- Lot of (paid-for) options for activities in the desert
- Very nice desert views
- Recreation room, in case you want to read some book about Oman or want to play pool or board games
- Excellent WiFi in the rooms
We stayed 2 nights in the camp, mainly to get one full day of just lazing around (the 2nd day) 🙂 If you just want to get an experience of the desert, one night would suffice. In our case, it worked out well as one of our kids was slightly sick when we landed up at the camp. The full day of rest rejuvenated him and we were back on track 🙂
We had collected the contact information for Desert Nights Camp before we landed in Oman. As soon as we reached the Al Maha Gas Station at Al Wasil, we called up the camp and they sent a 4×4 SUV in around 20 minutes. We left our rental car at the pump.
Family Deluxe Tented Suite has:
- Sitting area, with a lot of colorful pillows
- 1st bedroom, with a queen bed
- 2nd bedroom, with 2 twin beds
- Bathroom with shower
- Excellent WiFi, actually the fastest we experienced in Oman 🙂
- Fridge and basic utensils
- Patio, sitting area (Which may not be easy to use due to the sandy winds)
- Lots of plug-points
- AC in all rooms
I really cannot think of what more I would need in a desert resort …
Because of the material used for the tent and the bright sunlight, there is a red hue inside the tent.
Breakfast buffet consisted of various breads, condiments, sausages, processed meats (I loved the Beef Bacon), fruits, egg station Etc.
Dinner buffet consisted of various kinds of grilled meats and fish and various types of rice (there was one with real dried lemons in it, which I loved), various types of breads, a spread of desserts Etc.
At around 17:45, we got the complimentary ride to the top of the nearby sand dune, to watch the sunset. The views were amazing. And the winds? Well, I had never experienced anything like it before. Occasionally, despite wearing wrap-around sunglasses, I had to fully shut my eye! No wonder there were such beautiful patterns made on the sands by the wind. Because there are a few other camps nearby and there were other folks from Desert Nights Camp itself, there were a handful of folks around. I had plonked my tripod in an area slightly farther out.
The 2nd day evening, at around 16:30, I left for a solo walk in the desert. I had read about desert snakes (Vipers!) and was careful where I stepped. I went in the direction of the sand dune on the opposite side of the sand dune we had visited for the sunset. Desert Nights Camp is in the valley in between two huge sand dunes.
The check-out and the ride back to the Al Maha Gas Station was just as smooth as the check-in and ride in.
Some tips based on our experience:
Walk through the Desert: I would highly recommend a walk through the desert. It is surreal! Just make sure you do it either before 9AM or after 4PM. Also, it is best to do it when there is sunlight. I would also suggest to carry some water. The sand dunes are so beautiful and it is a relaxing workout as well. Of course, do not wander off deep into the desert without a compass or a sense of direction 🙂
Sunrise and/or Sunset: Sunrise/Sunset is beautiful in the desert. The orange hues, the waves of sand-dunes Etc. is just spectacular.
Cover your eyes (sunglasses or spectacles): If one wears spectacles, it should be fine. But otherwise, it is best one wears sunglasses to avoid the sand getting into the eyes, when you go to watch sunrise/sunset.
Recreation Room: Even if you are not in the mood for indoor games (which kids might enjoy), the small collection of books about Oman, Islam Etc. is a nice read and a relaxing way to spend a few hours.