Hiking to the Hidden Cave of Wadi Shab


Wadi Shab in Oman is a marvelous place. It is not the largest Wadi in the country, but it is the most exciting one. Make sure to bring your hiking shoes as well as a bathing suit, as you will be hiking through the river. The 40-minute hike will lead you through a beautiful canyon, along an emerald-colored river and finishes with an exciting hidden cave with a waterfall.

Wadi Shab is located in the Al Sharqiyah region in Oman, a less than 2 hours drive from Muscat. The hike starts with a short boat trip to cross the river. The first part of the hike is pretty easy-going. The canyon is wide and the riverside is beautifully covered with pebbles and palm trees.

Along the way are plenty of natural swimming pools where you can take a refreshing swim. The water is clear and a nice temperature. Make sure to bring your bathing suit.

The road continues and gets rockier and you will find yourself climbing more often than walking.

After about 1.5 hours the road will end and you will have to swim the last part to the grotto. You can drop your clothes on the rocks (at own risk!) and continue in your swimwear. Now the fun really starts! After a while of swimming and walking, you reach the narrow entrance of the cave. Once inside the cave, there are ropes to climb up the waterfall. Here is another small natural pool, or you can make the 5-meter high jump into waters of the cave again. This is what makes Wadi Shab so unique!

Unfortunately, I did not have a waterproof camera inside the cave. But Google Wadi Shab for beautiful pictures of the last part of the hike.


Distanceapprox. 3,5 km to the cave (one way)
Elevation change: More or less flat, but you will have to climb over boulders.
DifficultyBecause of climbing and swimming you will have to be in good shape to do this hike. But because you can return at any point you like it is suitable for everyone.
Weather: As with all wadis in Oman, flash flooding can make Wadi Shab impassable after rainfall. Check the weather forecast, or check with recommended tour companies for information on accessibility.
Fun fact: The 2012 Red Bull Cliff Diving final was held in Wadi Shab


  • Bring plenty of water, especially in the summer it can get very hot. Also, don’t forget the sun-screen.
  • Wear sturdy shoes with thick soles, the rocks can be very sharp
  • Don’t forget to bring swimming clothes and a towel
  • Don’t bring valuable items, if you plan on swimming to the cave. You will have to leave your clothes and backpacks behind, at your own risk. Or, of course, bring a waterproof bag.

Is this adventure also on your bucket list? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Looking for more Oman inspiration? Click here to read Great Things to do in Oman

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