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Camping In Oman: Everything You Need To Know

Oman is a beautiful country in the Middle East that has yet to be discovered by tourists. I spent 2 weeks in Oman and can say from experience: Oman is absolutely stunning! 

While road-tripping around Oman, you will have most of the beautiful places in Oman for yourself! What's more, freedom camping in Oman is allowed, making it a perfect country for outdoor enthusiasts.

In this post, you can read all about finding camp spots in Oman, Oman camping tips, and where to buy camping gear in Oman.

Camping in Oman

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). We're very grateful when you use our links to make a purchase:-).

Misconceptions about Oman

I don't know why there are not more people visiting Oman, it's such a beautiful country! Perhaps because there are several misconceptions about the country.

Let's get these out of the way first before diving into the nitty-gritty details about the Oman campsites we visited.

Misconception #1: Oman is just one big desert

Sharqiya Sands Oman desert night camp sunset

WRONG! Oman has impressive mountains, beautiful beaches, secluded wadis, and a lot of cultural heritage. I spent 2 weeks exploring the country with a 4×4 Nissan Xterra from Mark Tours and every day I came across more amazing places and beautiful views.

Misconception #2: Oman is not safe

Ras al Jinz Oman coastal drive

WRONG! Oman is a very safe country and the Omani people are so helpful and nice.

We got offered a ride to our hotel twice, were invited for traditional Omani tea and dates, guided to a beautiful hidden pool by a local, and cheerfully greeted wherever we went.

The fisherman in the photo above insisted I took his picture and kept talking to us in Arabic. I wish I a spoke a few words, that would have been really nice!

Donkeys in Oman

Misconception #3: Oman is too expensive

What's also holding people back is that Oman is not a cheap country to travel to. However, a very easy way to cut costs is to go camping! You can read all about our Oman travel budget in this post.

Plan your trip to Oman like a pro with these tools:
✈️ Find the best flight deals on
? Get the best 4×4 rental deal for your road trip on
? Stay connected with an Oman SIM card.
? Plan your journey with the Oman Lonely Planet.
?️ Find your dream accommodation on or Agoda.
? Book the best tours via Get Your Guide or Viator.
?️ Travel safely and get reliable travel insurance from Safety Wing.

Wild camping in Oman

Wild camping is perfectly legal in Oman, you can basically pitch your tent anywhere. Almost anywhere, there are some exceptions.

Where not to camp in Oman

Camping in natural reserves is not allowed, for example, the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve is strictly off-limits.

Ras Al Jinz beach is famous for the sea turtles reserve, 4 types of marine turtles lay their eggs here (green turtles, Loggerhead turtles, Hawksbill turtles, and Olive Ridley turtles).

It's important these beautiful creatures aren't disturbed!

Furthermore, don't camp on private property, in or too close to a village, or in wadi beds because of the risk of flash floods. Other than that there are no restrictions to where you can camp in Oman!

We camped at the beach, in the mountains, and in the desert. More often than not, we were the only ones there.

Where to find campsites in Oman - wild camping guide

Responsible wild camping

Make sure to adhere to the Leave No Trace principles. That means taking proper care of (human) waste, leaving anything you find, minimizing campfire impacts, and respecting any wildlife you may encounter.

Lack of camping facilities in Oman

Free camping in Oman is great, however, there are no official camp sites with showers and toilet facilities. That's why we stayed at a hotel after two or three nights of camping, to clean ourselves up.

In total we spent 19 nights in Oman, we camped for 11 nights and stayed at hotels for 8 nights.

Dangerous animals in Oman

Snakes and scorpions

While we luckily didn’t see any scorpions or snakes during our Oman camping trip, that doesn’t mean they are not there.

Snakes and scorpions most certainly live in Oman, so keep this in mind when planning a camping trip to Oman.

We always checked our gear after a night of camping to make sure no creepy crawlers were hiding in our packs or clothes. This is especially important in the desert!

Also, be sure not to put your hand under your tent when packing up as scorpions like to hang here (because of the cooler sand below the tent). 

Beautiful view in Oman


There are wolves in Oman though we never came across one nor did we ever hear one howling. Wolves are naturally shy and tend to stay away from humans.

However, if against all odds you do find yourself face to face with a wolf in Oman this is what to do: maintain eye contact, make yourself look large, and make loud, intimidating noises.

Get to a safe place (for example in your car) as soon as you can. Read more about how to deal with a wolf encounter here.

Where to find camping gear in Oman

Camping in Oman

Lulu hypermarket in Muscat

As we were traveling for a year, we didn't bring any of our own camping gear from home (except for our awesome air mattresses).

After arriving in Oman, we bought the camping gear we needed at Lulu hypermarket. We purchased:

  • A budget tent for 12.9 OR (€30/$34)
  • 2 sleeping bags for 8.9OR each (€21/$23 per sleeping bag)
  • Hard plastic cups for 1 OR (€2,35/$2,60)
  • 2 spoons for 1OR (€2,35/$2,60)

The Sultan Cente in Oman

At The Sultan Center we bought:

  • A very compact portable camping stove for 10OR (€23,50/$26). You can buy this super small stove online as well, we use it all the time on camping trips!
  • Small gas bottle for 2OR (€4,70/$5,20)
  • Small pan for 2OR (€4,70/$5,20). We used this to boil hot water and make tea, coffee, porridge, and noodle soup. Very convenient when you are camping in the middle of nowhere and also another good way to cut costs!

How to find campsites in Oman

Campsites in Oman and where to find them

As I said, wild camping is legal in Oman and as long as you keep your distance from villages and other inhabited places you can stay anywhere.

Don't count on any facilities though, there are no official camping sites in Oman with showers, power, and the usual. It's just you, your tent, and the breathtaking views.

That being said, we never really had a problem finding a good place to spend the night.

A combination of, a really useful off-road guidebook with several good campsite suggestions, and keeping our eyes peeled for potential camp spots ensured we found a nice place to stay every day.

Oman camping spots: map

On the map you can find the location of the campsites we stayed at during our trip around Oman.

Again, I say campsites but more accurate is ‘places we pitched our tent' as there are no official camping spots with facilities in Oman.

Click here for the interactive map

Below you can also download a list of Oman campsites. I put them into 2 categories: reachable with a 2-wheel drive car and only reachable with a 4×4.

Campsites in Oman

11 free campsites in Oman

1. Campsite Wadi al Khawd

I wouldn't recommend staying here if you can avoid it, but because our camp gear shopping took a lot longer than expected it was already dark and we didn't have another option. Why not recommended?

  1. It’s close to a wadi (danger of flash floods).
  2. It’s next to a busy road with trucks.
  3. There were dogs barking the entire night.
  4. It’s very dusty.

The only plus is you can reach the spot with a regular car, so even if you don't have a 4×4 you can camp here.

2. Campsite Wadi Sahtan

Wadi Sahtan Oman beautiful road and campsite

This campsite was everything the previous one was not:

  1. We had an amazing view over the valley and of the Jebel Shams mountain range.
  2. The site was next to a small dirt road to a tiny village, 3 cars passed in total during our stay at this pretty camp spot in Oman.
  3. It was completely and utterly quiet at night.

The only downside was that it was raining slightly when we arrived here. So we decided not to pitch our tent but sleep in our car instead.

There is a small coffee shop in Amq, we got dinner and brushed our teeth there. This perfect spot can only be reached with a 4wd.

3. Campsite/Picnic area near Al Hoota Cave

campsite near Hoota Cave Oman suitable for saloon car 2wd

Next to a road but not a very busy one. It's also a picnic place and there is a small coffee shop, convenient for dinner, breakfast, or brushing your teeth.

It wasn't the most scenic campsite we stayed at but perfectly fine for the night. We parked a little uphill so we weren't too close to the wadi.

The campsite can easily be reached by regular car.

4. Campsite Wadi Damm

This was my favorite campsite in Oman because of the stunning natural environment of the camping site! Located at the end of the dirt track leading up to Wadi Damm we found a large flat camping area.

The sky was clear, the moon was full and we felt like we were on the edge of the earth.

We were the only ones on the campsite, just like we had been at the previous sites. Not a single car passed during the time we were there.

The next morning, we hiked up a trail behind the campsite (in the direction of Misfah) and found a perfect little pool for a swim.

A wonderful place to camp, but only feasible with a 4×4.

Wadi Damm paradise on earth hidden waterfall and pool Oman

5. Jebel Akhdar camping

This was the first campsite where there were more people camping (1 other car!).

There are actually two campsites here, we drove to the second one because it's a little further from the main road (not that it's a busy road but if you've got the option…).

We found a nice spot, behind a small hill and next to a tree. Keep in mind that it is much colder at the Jebel Akhdar plateau!

The campsite is at 2300 meters and the next morning we woke up with ice on our sleeping bags! I’m not kidding you…

We were happy we packed our thermal underwear, just our sleeping bags wouldn't have been warm enough.

The camping is only reachable with a 4WD. In fact, in the entire Jebel Al Akhdar area, you have to pass a police checkpoint at the start of the road up to the plateau.

In the past there have been many accidents with failing brakes on 2wd cars, that's why they made the road only accessible for 4×4 cars.

Camping on the Jebel Akhdar plateau 4wd only

6. Sharqiya Desert Camp site (near Mintirib)

From the mountains, we went to the desert and pitched our tent in the sand (securing it with heavy rocks).

We camped close to the gravel road, but I think maybe five cars passed during the time we camped there, so not a big deal. I wouldn’t drive here without a 4×4 but I read online that some people did.

Free campsite in Sharqiya Sands reachable with 4wd 4x4 jeep - camping in the desert

7. Seaside campsite near Qalhat

It was already late when we started searching for a campsite and we were happy to find a small dirt road leading from the highway to the sea.

There was already a car parked with a small tent next to it and we drove a little further down the track and set up camp.

Waking up to the sunrise over the ocean was great, unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture. It can be done in a regular 2wd car if you drive slowly and carefully.

8. Campsite Wadi Tayin near Tool

Sunset free campsite Oman near village Tool

A nice place at the foot of the Eastern Hajar Mountains, near the village of Tool in Wadi Tayin. We parked on a hill overlooking the wadi and next to a small football field.

We had a great sunset view and it was far enough from the road to not hear the cars. The ground is solid rock so pegging the tent didn't work. We secured the tent with rocks instead.

This site is only possible with 4×4 (we had to cross a small stream to get there). One major downside: there were a lot of mosquitoes!

9. Campsite near Finns (Noora Camp Plateau)

Free campsite near Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab next to the ocean

Another excellent spot for beach camping, Oman has quite a few of these picturesque little beaches!

The campsite is close to the highway but not right next to it so we didn’t hear the cars, only the rushing ocean.

We drove to Tiwi the next morning where you can find several coffee shops (nice for breakfast and coffee).

At the start of Wadi Shab and Wadi Tiwi, there are public toilets. Reachable with a 2wd if you drive carefully.

10. Campsite near Bimmah sinkhole

Seaside campsite next to the coast road to Bimmah Sinkhole (also called Dabab sinkhole), a good spot for the night.

A big plus is its proximity to the Sinkhole park which has a public toilet. Also, it can be reached in a regular car.

11. As Sifah Beach camping

Campsite in As Sifah East Coast Oman close Muscat

Our last campsite and a great spot. From our tent we were looking over the ocean on one side and at rugged mountains on the other.

The added bonus was the sensational sunset (sorry, forgot to take a picture). The dirt road to the beach is quite bumpy so I don't recommend going here without a 4WD.

5 excellent hotels in Oman

As mentioned above, there are no official campsites with camping facilities in Oman. So after two or three days without a shower, we usually headed to a hotel, to clean ourselves up.

In the table below you can find all the Oman hotels we stayed at during our trip.

Mutrah Hotel☆☆7.9US$40Click hereClick here
Bahla Hotel Apartments☆☆☆7.7US$45Click hereClick here
Al Ayjah Plaza Hotel☆☆7.3US$51Click hereClick here
Desert Nights Camp☆☆☆☆☆8.8US$171Click hereClick here
Radisson Blu Sohar☆☆☆☆☆7.9US$143Click hereClick here

Note: in Oman, hotel rates vary considerably throughout the year. During peak season, (November until the end of March), hotel prices are much higher than during the low (because scorching hot) season, which runs from April until October.

Therefore, the prices mentioned above are a rough indication of the price per night to help you compare the different options. Use ‘click here' to see the latest prices on Agoda and Booking and book ahead to get the best deal.

Muscat, Mutrah Hotel – 2 nights

Mutrah hotel Muscat Oman

Mutrah Hotel is a nice budget hotel in Muscat. Our room was very big, the bathroom was clean, and had a good shower.

The room had to air-condition, a luxury after a month in Sri Lanka where we had mostly rooms with a fan. The staff was very nice and helped us get to activate our SIM card.

Breakfast was not included, but there was a very nice place across the street called Golden City Light where they served delicious dosas, curries, and fresh fruit juice.

We walked from Ruwi bus station to the hotel in 30 minutes. It takes approximately 20-25 minutes to walk from the Mutrah hotel to the Mutrah Souk.

This hotel offers good value for money, we only paid €51 per night.

Click here to book via Agoda | Click here to book via Booking

Bahla, Bahla Hotel Apartments – 1 night

Bahla hotel apartments in Bahla Oman

Bahla Hotel Apartments was a pleasant surprise, the staff gave us a warm welcome and we got a nice room with a small balcony.

There was a clean and warm shower, it felt so good to be clean again after a couple of dusty and sweaty nights in our tent.

Don't get me wrong, I love camping, but I also like to clean up every couple of days;-).

Breakfast was included and I particularly liked the vegetable omelet and the (very fat but very yummy) labneh. Wi-Fi didn’t work in our room but it worked okayish in the reception area and the restaurant.

On the corner next to the hotel is a small laundry shop, our laundry took 1 day and we paid 200 baisa per item. Altogether the hotel provides excellent value for money, we paid €45 for a night.

Click here to book via Agoda | Click here to book via Booking

Sur, Al Ayjah Plaza Hotel – 1 night

Having spent a couple of days camping in the mountains and the sandy desert it was time for another shower.

At Al Ayjah Plaza hotel we were warmly received by the receptionist and given a large room with a soft and comfortable bed.

Our room had a balcony and a great view over the bay. The bathroom was very large too!  Coffee, tea, water, and toiletries were provided. 

There were several WiFi networks throughout the hotel, I could always find one that worked.

Behind the hotel is a small hill with an old watchtower on top. We climbed this just before sunset and had a beautiful view over Al Ayjah and Sur.

Click here to book via Agoda | Click here to book via Booking

Sur and Al Ayjeh coastal village Oman Middle East lighthouse

Sharqiya Sands, the Desert Night Camp – 1 night

This is the most luxurious desert camping Oman has to offer and the fanciest tent I've stayed at in my life!

After driving 10 kilometers through the desert over a sandy road, we arrived at the beautiful Desert Night Camp surrounded by tall sand dunes.

Upon arrival, we received a cold refreshment towel and a traditional Omani Karak with dates. We were then shown to our stylish and spacious tent (with air conditioning).

The Desert Night Camp in Sharqiya Sands Oman - luxurious camping glamping in the desert

The bed was super soft, the bathroom very classy and I loved our porch with comfy green beanbags and a beautiful door!

There was coffee, tea, and water in the room, and plenty of toiletries in the bathroom.

In the evening we were driven up the steep sand dunes next to the camp and watched the sunset, a magical experience…

The Desert Night Camp in Sharqiya Sands Oman - luxurious camping glamping in the desert

After the beautiful sunset, it was time for the dinner buffet. I tried a little of everything (well, almost everything, there was so much to choose from!), and if I have to pick one favorite dish it was the Umm Ali, Omani-style bread pudding, very yummy.

The breakfast buffet was extensive too and I particularly liked the creamy hummus (I could eat buckets of hummus, so good!).

A night at the Desert Night Camp isn't cheap, but it's worth the money as it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience (breakfast and dinner is included).

Click here to book via Agoda | Click here to book via Booking

Sohar, Radisson Blu – 3 nights

Radisson Blu Sohar Oman swimming pool

An amazing hotel, we had the best time! I am not even ashamed to say we didn't leave the Radisson Blu hotel during the 3 days we were there.

I spent my days relaxing by the pool, chatting on FaceTime with my family and trying to catch up with the blog.

Oh and eating… we ate a lot!

The breakfast buffet excellent: from French pastries to Indian curries and from prepared-to-order-eggs to my favorite station: CHEESE!

Big blocks of soft brie, chunks of silky soft goats cheese, grilled halloumi, feta, and several other kinds of cheese…

I had to seriously restrain myself from not eating only cheese. But that would have been a shame because I also wanted to try to the Oreo milkshake, the muesli, and the banana bread. And that was only breakfast…

For lunch, we had Italian, gnocchi with cheese sauce (I know, addicted much) and lasagna. And as if that wasn't enough we had Thai for dinner at the beautiful Amaranthai restaurant.

All the Thai dishes were delicious, if I had to pick a favorite it would be the chicken satay and creamy Tom Kha Kai soup. Okay, enough about food.

What made our stay even better was the friendly staff, we felt really welcome and had a great time chatting with several members of the very international staff (Morocco, India, Nepal, Bangladesh and more).

Radisson Blu Sohar Oman beautiful rooms excellent hotel

Our room was great, we had a nice view over the sea, and the bed was absolutely divine, it was like sleeping on clouds. Camping is great, but nothing beats a comfy bed!

The rain shower and bathtub washed away the last camping dust and after 3 relaxing days, we were as good as new and ready for our next adventure: hiking to the Everest Base Camp in Nepal!

Click here to book via Agoda | Click here to book via Booking

Oman camping: in conclusion

That's it, my guide to camping Oman! I found camping and staying at hotels the perfect combination, the freedom of camping in the middle of nowhere and the comfort of a soft bed and a shower in the hotels.

Enjoy your trip to Oman and let me know if you have any questions!

Read how to travel from Dubai to Muscat via the Hatta border by bus in this post.

This post was updated in August 2022.

Disclaimer: I was a guest of Mark Tours Oman, Al Ayjeh Plaza Hotel, Desert Night Camp and Radisson Blu Sohar. Nevertheless, all pictures and opinions are my own.


Monday 12th of June 2023

Dear Lotte,

Hope you are doing well.

I'm planning for the road trip to Salalah and camping on the way. is it legal and safe? are washrooms available? How is the mobile network connectivity on this route?

Can I use UAE Dirhams or do I need to get OMR?


Tuesday 20th of June 2023

Dear Nikhil,

Thank you for your message, I'm doing well:-) How about you? Wow, that sounds like a wonderful road trip! Unfortunately, I cannot give you any advice for the Salalah road trip, as we only traveled around the Northern part of Oman during our trip. I'd love to go back to explore the South, but haven't had the chance yet.

That being said, you will need OMR, I've never tried to pay with UAE Dirhams but I imagine that especially in small towns, they won't accept foreign currency, even if it's from a neighboring country.

I wish you a wonderful trip! Lotte


Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Good overview. I lived in Oman from 2003 to 2016 so I became virtually a local, and camping in Oman in my view of travelling the world extensively should be found on a anyone's bucket list. Although camping in my home country Canada is perhaps the greatest wild, and not wild camping you'll ever do because of magnificent forests, lakes, mountains, waterfalls, glaciers, animals, low population density and friendly people, in Oman you can camp almost anywhere with the few exceptions the author points out, and it's a completely different experience. There are so many incredible camping locations in Oman it would fill a book, but the author found some of the best. Jebel Shams, the Salma Plateau and Wadi bani Auf are also not to be missed. They are three of my favorites for different reasons. Jebel Shams is the highest point in Oman at 3000 meters and can be climbed in a day from your camp spot at 2000 meters, albeit it's a good 7-11 hours return depending on fitness, not for the faint hearted. Ten minutes down the road you can stand on the precipice of the Grand Canyon of Oman. Jaw dropping. And there so much more to do just in this one area. The Salma Plateau is reached by four main roads; two on the east, one on the south and one on the west. Camping at Fins beach just off the main highway to Sur can be the starting point for the road up the eastern side to the 2000 meter level. This road is not for 4X4 beginners, and actually the others aren't either due to changeable weather, steep windy roads and lack of services if you get in a bind. But again, jaw dropping as you peer down into the deep wadis, some with water depending on the time of year and recent rainfalls. The 'headwaters' of Wadi Shab and Tiwi start up here. Yes, you can travel down them with an experienced guide if you're in very good shape, if you have a full day, some cash, and take an abseiling course (in Oman if you want). This is ground zero for caving in northern Oman with the 7th hole and Kaftari being the underground gems of the country, but only for fit and trained participants as you drop deep into the bowels of the earth, walk and swim kilometers to reach the exit 11 hours later and then walk hours back to the car. An underground triathlon without bikes. Then, there's a lot of interest in the UNESCO world heritage site of bee hive tombs or ancient ceremonial graves perched at the highest point. These 5000 year old rock silos, relics of a bygone age, still stand sentry over the plateau with views in all directions. I've camped here many times with family and friends but it can get cold and windy. The best camping is just before you head back down to the Ocean with a million dollar view over the plunging road below and the Indian Ocean. But Wadi bani Auf is my favorite just because it has so much day and week long hiking to offer, the Al Hoota hotel (as a place to clean up) located on the Saiq plateau side (paved), majestic views of the massif that looms over the village of Balad Seet (front of the guidebook for years), it's proximity to Wadi Sahtan and Rustaq with its hot springs. Wadi bani Auf is also the location of the Snake Canyon where adventurous sorts with little experience can try abseiling, jumping, swimming and hiking through Snake canyon. Oman is geographically, economically, and culturally quite different than the UAE and is a place anyone who wants to experience Arab hospitality and the old way of life must visit while it still remains a gem in the region (Yemen, too, but not now), not to mention an adventurers paradise. And do I mention safe? As the author mentions as safe as they come. Frankly? You are much safer here than almost anywhere else. Creepy crawlers are rarely, and I mean rarely encountered. I have covered thousands of kilometers on foot all over Oman and have never been bitten... saw one small snake and one scorpion at a distance in all that time.


Tuesday 13th of December 2022

Hey Andy, thanks so much for your amazing and extensive comment! You've included some great additions and I'm happy to hear that, as a former local of Oman, you like the post and agree on the places we've visited and recommend in the Oman road trip itinerary and this Oman camping post:-) All the best and thanks again! Lotte


Saturday 18th of December 2021

Hi, it looks like you went across the road past the Graves of Kubaikib, how was this road? Did you ever need to use 4x4 tracks to get you out of sand/gravel? Thanks.


Monday 20th of December 2021

Hi Kim,

Yes we drove this road and for a gravel road it was in pretty good condition. We never got stuck, however, I strongly advice to only try this road if you have a 4x4 for safety reasons. Have a great Oman road trip!


Patrick Cumby

Thursday 2nd of January 2020

My wife and I just arrived in Muscat and are spending a month in Oman (January 2020). We were a bit nervous about camping until we read your account of your adventures. A quick question: were you completely satisfied with Mark Tours? we're looking at several 4x4/camping gear rental providers including Nomads. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for blogging and keeping your fellow nomads informed! You guys are an inspiration.


Friday 3rd of January 2020

Hi Patrick,

Wow, a month in Oman, that's so cool! I was very happy with Mark Tours, they were very professional and the car was really nice (new, no damages, well-serviced, etc). They did not, however, provide any camping gear so we had to buy that ourselves. I'd just compare prices and see which provider is best for you. In my experience, the level of service in Oman is very high so I'm fairly sure there are several good providers.

Enjoy your trip around Oman! Lotte

Kathryn Schulz

Friday 19th of July 2019

Best blog I've read on Oman...and I've read a lot!


Saturday 20th of July 2019

Thank you so much Kathryn!