Dhofar region

We had already explored a little the west and north of Dhofar, now we were on the way up the coast, checking out all the springs along the mountains and an ancient town at the coast.

We visited Ayn Razat, Ayn Tabraq and the waterfall at Ayn Athum. Even during the dry season, there is water coming down the mountains, but all this springs and rivers must be very impressive during khareef season, when the landscape is very green and lush and water is flowing everywhere.

Ayn Razat
Park @ Ayn Razat
Ayn Tabraq
Ayn Tabraq
Dry Athum waterfall

At the fishing town of Taqah, the old fortress was restored and we could explore how the Wali (governor) and his family lived 300 years ago. The rooms of the family are furnished and decorated, which makes it easy to imagine a family and daily life.

Taqah Castle
Wadi’s bedroom

Next to Taqah, at the Khor Rori estuary, lies the ancient fortified port city of Sumhuram, which was founded in the 3rd century BC as an outpost for the Kingdom of Ḥaḍramawt. Sumhuram was the frankincense exporting port, mentioned as Moscha Limen in the first century AD merchants guide, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. It was finally abandoned in the 5th century, most likely due to the formation of the sandbar blocking the estuary.


The ancient city is located on a hill above the former harbour and was double-walled. Inside were various temples, workshops, warehouses, and residential buildings. Outside the city walls, another temple, agricultural buildings and a burial ground were found.

Sea gate leading to the harbour
Inscriptions in ancient South Arabic musnad script inside the main gate

The lagoon gets flooded during high tide and many birds are finding food there. We spent a night at the shore of the lagoon and could watch many different species.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Glossy Ibis
Wadi Darbat

The next day, we followed the river from Khor Rori into the Wadi Darbat. A mighty waterfall must be a special sight during the wet season, even dry it looked very impressive. Inside the wadi, there is a permanent lake, green vegetation and some little waterfalls, which were a pleasant sight. The valley was full of camels and few tourists. A 1000 year old tamarind tree stood impressive between younger trees.

Wadi Darbat
Hugging a 1000 years old Tamarind tree
Nice spot for the night
Sunset near Khor Rori

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