Beach Oman Sights

Bantawt, Khaluf Beach

April 1, 2016

I recently re-visited Khaluf Beach, and I have to say Khaluf Beach is one of the nicest beaches in Oman, and a place that will excite and calm you.

Khaluf is a 50km stretch of sea front located about 450km south of Muscat and consist of calm protected water, white sugar dunes, rocky outcroppings, and sleepy fishing villages. Khaluf BeachWhat we refer to as Khaluf is actually three different places, maybe more. Al Khaluf is the name of the fishing village at the north end of the stretch, and the place your will stop or start your off-road adventure. Just south of the village is Khaluf Beach, where at low tide it becomes your highway carrying you south, ending at some rocky outcroppings. Further south is Hadow, and it’s powder white sand dunes that will swallow can truck alive. Finally Bantawt comes, featuring flat plains that seem to dissolve into the sea.

What makes this area special is its isolation.  Since it is so far from Muscat, the area doesn’t get many visitors. However, a over a holiday weekend you might find half of Petroleum Development Oman’s expat employees camped out here. Contributing to the isolation is the lack of paved roads through this area. The result is a nice quiet place with a fun off-road track.

My first visit to Khaluf Beach was in 2011 during my epic coastal road trip to Salalah.  I searched and read everything I could find about this place, and the more I read the more I became excited and nervous.

Because Khaluf  Beach is so isolated I was worried about getting stuck and not being able to recover myself since I was a novice off-road driver at the time. I remember doing a lot of foot recon of sections on the route because the track had blown over, it wasn’t clear where the track continued, and I didn’t have any GPS track to guide me. I remember thinking, “Wow, it has been days since anybody has used this track.” Fast-forward to me being woken up from a nap at my camp by the sound of the local water delivery truck wading through the sea to shortcut the longer, dryer route around the rocks.  Now I know why local trucks are so rusty and the overland route gets blown-over from lack of use. (During extreme low tide periods the locals just stick to the beach sand for their track, and wade through the surf to pass the rocky sections when they have to, crazy!).

Khaluf Beach SunriseFor my most recent trip to Khaluf Beach I came from the south, floating across the soft sand track from Bantawt to access the beach. Under the relentless sun, I’m blinded by the bleached-white sand. It’s as if the sand is emitting its own light, warning me to stay away. But I press on toward the sea looming ahead. As the sand track transitions into smooth flat plain I punch the accelerator, enjoying the relatively gentle yet short lived break from the jarring washboard track, letting the suspension do the work as I glide faster.  Ahead of me the azure sea peaks out from behind the short beach dunes. To my left is a mountain of snow-white sand. To the right, the fertile waters of al Khaluf and the Indian Ocean. Between the two, just enough space to isolate the towering snow-like dune from melting into the tepid sea. Just like the sun is fixing to do.

As the sun melts away I fight my body to stay awake, but it’s futile. Khaluf has taken me for a ride.

Tips for Visiting Khaluf Beach

  • Check the tide table, and plan your beach driving (entry and exit) at low tide.
  • Top up fuel in Mahoot or Duqm to avoid the rusty al Khaluf petrol station.
  • Drive through the Bantawt shrimp farm to have a look.
  • Lower your tire pressure if you are struggling to find traction (15 psi).
  • Entertain yourself on the long drive from Muscat by downloading the latest episode of the Sultanate podcast.
  • Download the GPS files below and load them into your favorite GPS unit.
  • View the images in the gallery slideshow at the top of the page.

What place calms you? Leave me a comment below:


 

Download the GPX/KML files


How to Use GPX / KML FilesDisclaimer: While every effort is made to provide accurate information, this information is made available with the understanding that data is provided with no warranties, expressed or implied, concerning data accuracy, completeness, reliability, or suitability. This site and its contributors shall not be liable regardless of the cause or duration, for any errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or other defects in, or untimeliness or inauthenticity of, the information, or for any delay or interruption in the transmission thereof to the user, or for any claims or losses arising therefrom or occasioned thereby. The end user assumes the entire risk as to the quality of the data.

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27 Comments

  • Reply Jens Rodiek November 22, 2016 at 0201

    Hi Michael, what’s so special with the gas station in Al Khaluf?

    • Reply D. Michael November 26, 2016 at 1913

      Hi Jens, the gas station is located just above the high tide line, and because of its close proximity shows it. I feel that it shouldn’t be operating because it is so rough, yet it still pumps fuel. Enjoy your visit. When are you planning to come?

  • Reply POLONA December 1, 2016 at 1224

    Dear Michael, I really loved what you wrote .I am coming to Oman on December 6 th and I Will be driving normal car to Salalah where I am meeting my friend.I would love to visit the village that you described on my way .
    do you think that these is posible as i Will have a #normal#car ???

    • Reply D. Michael December 3, 2016 at 2329

      Palona, You can visit the village of Khaluf, no problem, with a normal car. Please don’t attempt to drive on the beach. I was just in Khaluf today, in fact, and I had a wonderful time photographing the fisherman and the old rusted trucks the haul the boats around the beach. Enjoy your trip!

  • Reply Nat December 22, 2016 at 2349

    Hi, I heard that it was possible to overnight at Mahut at the Al Jazerra Guest House. Is this correct ? Is there any fishermans in Khaluf ? We plan to to there in April 2017. Any tips would be welcome.

    • Reply D. Michael December 23, 2016 at 0058

      Yes, there is a guest house in Mahut (Mahoot), but these roadside guesthouses are known to be a bit rundown and dirty, and I have heard reports of bedbugs. It depends on what you are willing to overlook. My friend stays at one in Sinaw sometimes, but takes her own sheets because they are always dirty. Just be aware. I still recommend to camp. It’s cleaner, cheaper, a known quantity, and puts you in the places you want to be.

      Khaluf is a fishing village, so yes, there are fishermen in Khaluf. Lots of them.

      April is great time to visit Oman. It is getting warm, but it isn’t nuclear hot like May. Would love to meet up when you are in Muscat. Be sure to contact be before you come.

    • Reply dhruwa August 13, 2018 at 1320

      Hello Michael. We are planning a trip to Yemen border and plan to camp along the way till there. I was contemplating Khaluf. The route you have shared, does it have driveable tracks or its loose sand. I am not an expert offroad driver.

      • Reply D. Michael August 27, 2018 at 1120

        Hi Dhruwa. Sounds like a cool trip. The route provided has some loose sand to drive on. At low tide I think most people will be fine. However, if you are still worried, access this area from the Bantawt side, NOT Khaluf. From this side it’s all graded, and now even graded onto the beach and past. Now you can bring a sedan here, which is kind of sad to me. :( Enjoy.

  • Reply Sid December 26, 2017 at 1836

    Hi Michael, I am planning to visit Sugar Dunes during one day, going from Mahoot and coming back in the same day. No experience in driving in the sand, is it easy with a 4wd?

  • Reply Rita January 7, 2018 at 2137

    Hi D. Michael,
    This is great information you have here. Do you know of any guides or tour operators out of Muscat who take visitors to the Sugar Dunes? We will only have one 4×4, and do not want to make the trip alone. I prefer to be driven after reading the parts about the soft sand. Also, are there any accommodations at all nearby Al Khaluf? Even if basic? Thank you! – Rita

    • Reply D. Michael January 7, 2018 at 2220

      Hi Rita,
      There are no accommodations near Khaluf, camping only. However Duqm is probably an hour+ away… not close, but not too far. Regarding tour operators, I don’t know any specific groups as I focus on independent travel on this website… You can do it yourself! Read my sand driving tips.

  • Reply Pierre February 11, 2018 at 1501

    Hi D. Michael,

    Thank you so much for your useful information. Do you have any tips to get a nice campsite spot around Al Khaluf to spend the night ? Like, we don’t want to bother fishermen.
    Is it a easy drive to get there from Ras al Jinz ?

    Thank you !
    pierre

    • Reply D. Michael February 11, 2018 at 2319

      Hi Pierre, Thanks for the message. You can see in the map above the places I suggest to camp. At those sites you will not bother the fishermen because they do not come to these places. If you want to camp near the village of Khaluf because you don’t want/ can’t go off road towards Bantawt, then maybe near the waypoint titled “Khaluf Beach Access Point” is fine. Khaluf is a good distance from Ras al Jinz. Enjoy the trip and let me know how it goes!

  • Reply Imran August 29, 2018 at 1202

    Hi D. Michael,

    I am planning a trip to Masirah Island in mid October with my family. On my way back I wish to see the white sand before I drive back to Muscat. I HAVE A SALOON CAR.

    Will I be able to see white sand at Al Khaluf village/ on the way to Khaluf village? Or will you suggest some other place which is reachable by a saloon car?

    Will wait for your reply. Thanks!!

    • Reply D. Michael October 8, 2018 at 1234

      Hi Imran thanks the message. If recently graded you can access from the Bantawt side. See the map. Good luck.

  • Reply Janez December 10, 2018 at 1145

    Hi, Michael,
    we are coming to Oman later this month. Of course we would like to go to Sugar dunes. We will have a 4WD SUV, but only one car. And I am not an experienced offroad driver. If I understand your comments right, it is easier to access the Sugar dunes from the south? Did I understand you right, the road from the south is graded now? Thanks for your answer!

    • Reply D. Michael January 3, 2019 at 0913

      Hi Janez. The road from the south is now graded most of the way, making this the easier access. Enjoy!

  • Reply Luca Maestripieri December 31, 2018 at 0407

    Good evening Michael,
    Thank you for your super interesting blog.
    My girlfriend and I will visit Oman on February ans we would like to visit Al Khaluf and go off road towards Bantawt and than have a stop in mahout for the night. We found an hotel http://mahouthotels.com/en/index.php?msg=Booking%20Submited%20Successfully!%20We%20will%20contact%20you%20soon,%20Total%20Amound:%20OMR%2010 do you know it? I sow many comments above about the absense of hotels there.
    Can we eventually sleep in our car on the beach?
    We came from wahiba sands desert, is it easy reach Al Khaluf from there? Have we to take highway 32? We rented a 4×4 car.
    Thank you for your reply.
    Best regards
    Luca Maestripieri

    • Reply D. Michael January 3, 2019 at 0923

      Hi Luca. You will have a great trip. I don’t know the hotel personally, but I’ve seen it there before. There are a few in Mahut. I almost never stay in hotels, so I can’t really comment. I can say that City Hotel Duqm, just down the road, is good, and budget friendly. You can sleep in your car on the beach. This is what I do. You can also reach from Wahiba via 32, but with a 4×4 you can reach from any place ;) Enjoy!!

      • Reply Luca Maestripieri January 24, 2019 at 1040

        Thank you Michael!
        Where can I find the tide table? Just at the beach enter or can I plan the entrance before?

        • Reply D. Michael February 5, 2019 at 2154

          Luca, I check online for Muscat or Duqm before hand. It’s not exact but gives you an idea and how much it’s moving. Enjoy the beach!

  • Reply Rutger January 22, 2019 at 1237

    I’m planning 1 or 2 nights on Masirah island next month for their remote beaches, wildlife and feeling to be on the moon. But reading this article I’m wondering if I should make all the trouble (with the ferry etc) if I might get the same experience on the mainland.
    Has anyone any suggestions?

    • Reply D. Michael February 5, 2019 at 2142

      Hi Rutger, unless you are planning to kitesurf, I think Masirah is a low priority for most itineraries. The mainland can satisfy your appetite. Enjoy your trip.

  • Reply Sonia March 7, 2019 at 0209

    Hi Michael, thanks for the blog and knowledgeble answers. Would you know whether it is possible to cross the Sharqiyya from rout 32 towards Al Wasil with a 4X4 with just a tiny bit of experience?

    • Reply D. Michael March 11, 2019 at 1026

      Hi Sonia. While it is possible, I cannot recommend it. It will require good navigation skills and strong sand driving skill if there is a sand drift or patch of soft sand along your route. There is no clearly marked route. The straight “track” you see on maps is a pipeline, not a navigable “track” in my opinion. However, I’ve done a route similar to what you describe, and can say it is NOT very exciting. Taking 32 to Sinaw and Mudaybi where you can cut to Highway 23 is much faster and you can visit one of my favorite cities… Sinaw! Be sure to visit the Souq there. Let me know how it goes.

  • Reply Sonia March 15, 2019 at 1902

    Thanks for the recommendation. You are right, it might be exciting the first hour or so and then it will become just an endless drive. We went along the Snake Gorge route last year and after two hours the excitement was gone and it left us more then drained :-) We were happy to get out on a normal road again and dip in the Ain a’Thawwarah hot springs in Nakhal. Thanks again for your time.

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