Birding Arabia’s Hidden Emerald

7 Day Private Birding tour with expert birding guide. Enjoy peace of mind that your tour is being handled by Oman experts. Enjoy quick & thorough communication: avoid surprises in Oman.

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For those looking to discover the birds of the Arab Peninsula

Day 1: Arrive into Salalah

After you arrive into Salalah, you’ll transfer in comfort to your beach-side hotel. Depending on time of your arrival, and which hotel you’ll be staying at, you can start recording local species right outside the front door. Among the many species of Gull (Sooty, Caspian and Siberian to name a few) along the shores, it’s not uncommon to spot Ring-necked Parakeets, African Rock Martins, even the occasional Pheasant-tailed Jacana nearby along the Beach and it’s adjacent marshland areas.

Day 2: East Khor, Sahalnoot Farm, Ayn Hamran, Khor Soly, Khor Taqah, Khor Rory.

Get an early breakfast, and early start. This morning you will be heading to the Khor’s (lagoon’s), Ayn’s (springs), and farms of Salalah and her eastern coast. After skipping from the plantations of Sahalnoot, to the myriad inlets along the coast, you’ll end your first full day at Khor Rory, where you’ll finish off your day’s sightings along a truly magical beach couched between a lagoon and the sea, and guarded by watchtower cliffs.

Today we’ll add a lot of species to our lists, likely seeing Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater, Ruppel’s weaver, multiple species of marsh Heron, Greater Flamingo, Cotton Teal, Ferruginous Duck, White-winged Black Tern, European Roller, Citrine Wagtail, African Silverbill, and perhaps a local specialty, the “Dhofar” swift.

Day 3: Khor Mughsail, Marneef Caves, Raysut Harbor, Jarziz farm, Wadi Ashawq

Today you head to the wild mountains and hidden valleys of Salalah’s western coast. Prepare to have your breath taken away as the peaks housing Marneef cave greet your arrival to Mughsail beach. The scenery itself is the birthplace of legends, and you just may find the birding to prove equal to the landscape. End the day with a nocturnal adventure up a dry river bed for some night-time sightings.

Looking today for: Little Bittern, Striated Heron, Intermediate Egret, Glossy Ibis, Baillon’s Crake, Masked and Brown Booby, plus White-cheeked Tern, some Greater Spotted Eagle, and, if were lucky, Desert Tawny (Hume’s) and Strirated Scops Owl.

Day 4: Wadi Baqlat, Ras Janjari, Tawi Atayr, Wadi Dharbat

Return to the East today, this time heading far along the coast to the ancient port of Mirbat. This sleepy modern day fishing village was once famed in history as the capitol of worldwide Frankincense trade. Past the village you’ll take in the local avifauna from the craggy beaches of Ras Janjari, then taking a return route through the mountains encircling Salalah where you’ll visit Tawi Atayr. Known locally as the “Well of the Birds,” this geological phenomenon is one of the largest, and deepest (over 200 meters) sinkholes in the world. Within and around the area you’ll enjoy the echoing calls of local residents that gave rise to the site’s name.

Through the dramatic changes in landscape, keep an eye out for: Red-necked Phalarope, Persian Shearwater, Avocet, White-tailed Plover, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, multiple Eagle species (Steppe, Bonelli’s, Short-toed), and the possibility for very localized Yemen Serin.

Day 5: Mantasar Oasis, Qatbit Rest House and Oasis

Prepare yourself for an early start, and a true taste of Arabia today. You’ll head North over Salalah’s guardian mountain range, and into the edge of the largest contiguous sand-dune desert on earth – aptly named the “Empty Quarter.” You’ll stop along the way to add to your growing list, and arrive in the early afternoon at Qatbit Rest House and Oasis. Though the clean, albeit very simple, accommodations at Qatbit are the best in the area, it’s the surrounding gardens that will really catch your interest. The local greenery, and water draws in migratory species seeking rest from the long desert flight, and almost always holds a few surprises.

Look out for: Greater White-fronted Goose, Pipit, (Water and Red-throated, )Asian Desert Warbler, Spotted Sandgrouse, Pied Wheatear, Siberian Stonechat, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Song Thrush,Southern Grey Shrike, Brown-necked Raven, and a species that brings many to Qatbit in the first place, Grey Hypocolius.

Day 6: Qatbit Rest House and Oasis, Al Beed Farm, Khor Al Baleed, Dolphin Cruise

Your last full day in Dhofar will take you from the desert back to the coast. There will be a few stops along the way, with the option to take in extra sites (time-allowing), finally capping off your stay in Dhofar with a sunset cruise. Stay on the lookout for feeding dolphins, who usually bring along quite a few winged friends for the feast.

On your journey back, stay sharp for: Red-wattled Lapwing, Wood Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Black-headed Wagtail, Isabelline Wheatear, Bluethroat, and sometimes Golden Eagle! Hoopoe Lark can also be seen, and the lucky few will spot Dunn’s Lark.

Day 7: Depart Salalah

Like many who make the trip to Dhofar, you may feel that there’s still much more to see! If you’ve got a later flight, feel free to explore for another few species on your list at the hotel’s beach and surrounding area before heading to the airport. Though it’s time to say good-bye (for now) to Oman’s Dhofar region, we wish you a pleasant flight and hope to see you again.

Birding Tour Prices – Private Tour

Because we believe each Oman Tour is a trip of a lifetime, we create custom packages & pricing for each of our valued clients.

Tour Level 2-3 Persons 4-7 Persons Single Room Sup.
Economic – 3 star US$2,509 pp US$1,919 pp Get a quote
Classic / Midrange – 4 star US$2,729 pp US$2,149 pp Get a quote
Affordable Luxury – 5 star US$3,049 pp US$2,459 pp Get a quote
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