Across the Selma Pateau (E35)

  • High plateau, upper tributary to Wadi tiwi - © William Mackesy
  • Wadi Tiwi - © William Mackesy
  • Goatherdess - © William Mackesy
  • Bathing pool, Wadi Tiwi - © William Mackesy
  • Campsite, high plateau, leaving - © William Mackesy
  • Campsite, high plateau - © William Mackesy
  • Campsite, high plateau, leaving - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Biblical scene - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Er... that is aimed at me. Cultural sensitivity! - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Traversing - © William Mackesy
  • long traverse beyond pass - © William Mackesy
  • Top of Wadi Tiwi - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Wadi Tiwi - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Wadi Tiwi - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Sooee, falaj - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy

Key information: Across the Selma Pateau (E35)

  • Probably the Eastern Hajar’s finest walk, a demanding 2 day trek across the stark, grand Selma Plateau.
  • Start and finish in deep, verdant-bottomed canyons.
  • Hugely and stunningly varied landscape.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating91
  • Beauty32
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest10
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating91

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 28km/ 14hrs, 2 days
  • Maximum Altitude: 2,150m
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
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Wadi Tiwi - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

This fine but demanding trek along ancient donkey trails crosses the rough Selma Plateau in the Eastern Hajar, from Wadi Bani Khalid to Wadi Tiwi on the coast (or vice versa).

At 28km long, and involving more than 1,800m of altitude difference bottom to top, this is a long and tiring route. While it can be done in 14hours with a day pack, most people will camp up on the plateau and make 2 days of it. There is a high dirt track, and at least one good flat campsite nearby, so you can meet support vehicles if you want, and have camping kit brought in, or make a one-day walk if time or desire is limited.

Starting at beautiful, dramatic Wadi Bani Khalid deep in the southern slopes of the Hajar, the trail climbs from Miqil (at 600m) above the canyon, looking down on some lovely pools, then ascends pretty quickly to around 2,150m, a demanding, even relentless slog.

Thereafter, it winds its way across the grand, harsh, high Selma Plateau, dropping to the dirt track on the coastal side where people tend to camp on a nearly gravel flat. Walkopedia started its time by camping here and loved it. A fine if harsh spot.

Day 2 is a walking joy, a yomp of two halves. The first is an enjoyable wind across the gradually descending upper slopes, traversing hillsides, then making short, sharp descents. Around you are rocky flats and the broken heads of what became deep canyons. In the distance is the blue, blue sea. It is thrilling walking.

You may well see wild donkeys, and Walkopedia met a huge herd of goats driven by a tough-looking man and woman.

Shallow(ish) wadis turn into canyons, then you are in the upper reaches, then on the lip, of the tremendous Tiwi canyon, getting on for 1,000m above its floor. A careful zig-zag down a near-sheer notch gets you down onto the steep mid-canyon sides, from which you can see that you have taken the only way through the huge upper cliffs. Then it is a long, hot, tiring descent to the villages of Sooee and Al Aqur and their palms and groves in the canyon bottom. There is a delightful swimming pool just above Sooee.

You can organise donkey transport if you wish, which could add an enjoyable freedom to the expedition.

The trail is hard to find in some places, so keep an eye open for the markings.

You can make shorter walks at either end – or indeed, for the track on the high-ground.

Oman Trekking (Explorer) and Adventure Trekking in Oman (Anne Dale and Gerry Hadwin) have worthwhile sections on some of this walk. Recommended. Find relevant books on Amazon.

Please help us by making suggestions and sending photos! Thank you!

For more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Eastern Hajar Mountains walk page.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

Bathing pool, Wadi Tiwi - © William Mackesy

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Campsite, high plateau, leaving - © William Mackesy...
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