Expedition with Mzungu to Wadi Dawan, Desert's Manhattan Shibam and Bedouin shepherds of Rub' al Khali desert


Tour to January 7 – 15, 2024
To Yemen, Oman

tour to yemen expedition to Yemen

To touch the history of Oman and immerse into authenticity and real life of mainland Yemen with its amazing architecture and one-of-a-kind nature of Wadi Dawan, superb and empty beaches of sea cost, as well as sandy desert of Empty Quarter and deep traditions of madhalla shepherds.

We head to the historic Land of Frankincense, explore iconic "Desert's Manhattan Shibam", get into acquaintance with unique Hadhramaut settlements and constructions, stroll across the sand dunes of Rub' al Khali and share a cup of tea with the nomading Bedouins.

Dates: January 7 – 15, 2024

Duration: 9 days / 8 nights

Number of participants: 8 – 12

Cost of participation per person:
– 3 190 USD subject to 10 – 12 participants,
– 3 550 USD subject to 8 – 9 participants.

10% early booking discount (in case you book before September 8, 2023)

Everything is included (also visa of Yemen and full board meals), except for:
– international flight to Salalah (Oman) roundtrip or return flight from Seyun (Yemen),
– international medical insurance.
– Oman visa (not required for Russian citizen for up to 14 days)

Estimated cost of flight Moscow – Salalah – Moscow: USD 800 – 1200 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).
Estimated cost of flight Seyun – Cairo one way: USD 500 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).
Estimated cost of flight Cairo – Moscow one way: USD 200 – 350 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).
Estimated cost of flight Al Mukalla – Socotra one way: USD 270 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).

Single supplement: 560 USD (single accommodation is provided for all nights).

TRAVEL PROGRAM: tour to Yemen

Day 1. January 7, 2024 (Sunday). Salalah (Oman) – Taqah Mughsail beach – Salalah (160 km, 3 hours driving)

Arrival in Salalah (Oman) airport early morning with international flight.
Transfer to the Intercity hotel, where we all meet at breakfast. Quick check-in at the hotel (early check-in provided). And at 8 am, we start our program in Oman.
We drive 35 km to coastal town of Taqah, to visit nice Taqah Castle. We can also stop by Wadi Darbat famous for its low lying waterfall. However, it is in full force during the rainy season from July to September, and in winter it is normally dry.
Drive back to Salalah, to visit Sultan Qaboos Mosque and the Museum of the Land of Frankincense is famous museum based on frankincense, in association with the Al-Baleed Archaeological Park, was acknowledged as a World Heritage Site in 2000. This place, the Land of Frankincense, has always been on the Incense trade route. The site includes frankincense trees, Khor Rori and the remains of a caravan oasis, which were crucial to the medieval incense trade.
Drive 45 km eastward to Mughsail beach to have fun in the sea.
Back to the hotel in the evening. Dinner and overnight in Intercity Hotel in Salalah.

Accommodation included: Intercity Hotel in Salalah
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Recommended flights:

– Qatar Airways via Doha (transfer 2 hours 50 min) departure from Moscow at 16:55 on January 6, arrival in Salala at 04:10 am on January 7
– Oman Air via Muscat (transfer 2 hours 25 minutes), departure from Moscow at 23:10 on January 5, arrival in Salala at 10:30 am on January 6 (additional night at the hotel in Salalah is required),
– any other flight, arriving in Salalah (Oman) no later than at 6:00 am on January 7.

Day 2. January 8, 2024 (Monday). Salalah – Al Ghaydah (Yemen) (280 km, 5 – 6 hours driving)

Our guide will pick us up from our accommodation in Salalah at 7:30 in the morning and drive us 3 hours to the Yemeni border. Proceed through Omani and Yemeni immigration, collecting our Yemeni visa on arrival.
Then we change the cars for Yemeni ones and meet out Yemeni guide. Then after border formalities, we drive along the spectacular Mehri coast, stopping along the way for photos and lunch in Hawf. Proceed to the border town of Al Ghaydah, where we will check in at our accommodation in the evening. After dinner, we can wander the Al Ghaydah night market.

Accommodation included: Golf Tourist hotel
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3. January 9, 2024 (Tuesday). Al Ghaydah Khiseet – Shihan (250 km, 4 hours driving)

After breakfast, we will go out on a fisherman's boat to snorkel and swim in the sea caves around the rocky coastline. In the afternoon we can relax on the spectacular beaches around Khiseet, as well as go for a swim in the warm, crystal clear waters of the Arabian Sea. Around sunset, drive to Shahan, check-in at the hotel. Shower and a nice dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at a hotel in Shihan.

Accommodation included: best available hotel/guest house in Shihan
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4. January 10, 2024 (Wednesday). Shihan – Empty Quarter Desert (around 300 km, some 5 hours driving)

After breakfast, we'll depart from Al Ghaydah and head north, along the Yemen-Oman border into the scrubby Empty Quarter Desert. Here, Mehri Bedouin families graze their camels on scrub bushes along the edge of the desert. We'll spend the night camping around the campfire with a family of camel-breeding Bedouins.

Accommodation included: tents in desert
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5. January 11, 2024 (Thursday). Empty Quarter Desert – Tarim (around 350 km, some 6 hours driving)

Wake up under the stars of the desert. We'll drive out to a patch of sand dunes to feel the vastness of this inhospitable desert before continuing by road to the town of Tarim. It's a long drive past the desert outposts of Rumah and Thamud. Once in Tarim, time allowing, we can walk around the old town, visiting beautiful Minaret Al-Mihdhar and souq as the sun sets.
Overnight at a hotel in Tarim.

Accommodation included: Tarim Tourist hotel
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6. January 12, 2024 (Friday). Tarim Aynat Qabr Ahmad al Habashi Shibam Seiyun (115 km, 3 hours driving)

After breakfast, we will drive to the nearby town of Aynat to visit the tombs and shrines of the region's great Sufi saints. Tarim is famed throughout the region as a Sufi Islamic center of education. We can then walk around Tarim's relatively well-preserved old town and souq before driving to Seiyun city.
We'll arrive in the center of Seiyun city to visit the Al Kathiri palace, once the home of the sultan and currently a museum, which documents the Hadhramaut region's history from antiquity until the first film cameras were around.
From the palace, continue to Seiyun's honey bazaar and farmers' market to wander. Drive another thirty minutes to our hotel for the night – one of the best in Yemen.

Accommodation included: Al Houta Palace Hotel
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7. January 13, 2024 (Saturday). Seiyun Shibam – Al Hajarayn – Sif – Buqshan Hadhrami mansion Wadi Do'an Haid Al Jazil (145 km, 4 hours driving)

After breakfast, we'll check out from the Al Houta Palace Hotel and head out by road for the fabled Wadi Do'an (otherwise known as the Do'an or Dawan Valley). This historic region is the cultural center of the Hadhrami people. Steep canyon walls give way to a narrow, branching semi-fertile valley called Do'an. A deeply conservative yet culturally distinct civilization formed within this valley and continues with its traditions today. Mud brick towns cling to where the canyon walls meet the ground, while the center is reserved for farm and grazing land. Almost no structures exist on the top of the canyon — nearly all life, save for a few Bedouins, live at the bottom, some 300 meters below the natural canyon walls.
We will first stop in Hajhrain town, where you can meet beekeepers and learn about cedar honey, one of the most expensive high-grade honey in the world.
As we continue to wind our way down Do'an, the valley becomes increasingly narrow. We will then visit the village of Sif to tour the "white palace" over the village, before making our way down to the village of Buqshan, where we can walk around the inside of a colorful Hadhrami mansion.
We'll spend the evening at the Haid Al Jazil Resort, perched up on the top of the canyon walls with an incredible view of dramatic canyon landscapes, diminutive mud-brick villages, and farmland down below.

Accommodation included: Haid Al Jazil Resort
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8. January 14, 2024 (Sunday). Wadi Do'an Shibam Seiyun (145 km, 4 hours driving)

After breakfast at Haid Al Jazil Resort, we will again explore iconic town of Shibam and other unique places of the Hadhramaut Valley recognized by UNESCO.
Drive back to Seyun for our lovely hotel – one of the best in Yemen.
Dinner and overnight in Seyun.

Accommodation included: Al Houta Palace Hotel
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9. January 15, 2024 (Monday). Seiyun – Shihan – Salalah (Oman) (890 km, 12 hours driving) or direct flight to Cairo or drive to Al Mukalla for direct flight to Socotra

After early breakfast at Al Houta Palace Hotel, we drive 600 km to Shihan, where we cross the border to Oman. Lunch en route.
Change cars and drive further 270 km to Salalah (Oman), directly to the airport to catch the international flight back home.
We arrive in the airport of Salalah late evening, before 22:00.
Also available direct flight from Seyun airport to Cairo at 7:00 am on Monday, arrival in Cairo at 9:30 am.
Those who prefer to fly via Cairo, will be transferred early morning (at 5 am) to the airport of Seyun and take flight to Cairo (and further international flight back home from Cairo).

FOR THOSE WHO PLAN TO CONTINUE TO SOCOTRA ISLAND (individual tour possible), can be separately transferred (AT EXTRA COST) to Al Mukalla by night car transfer (280 km, 5-6 hours drive), in order to catch the flight at 7:00 am on January 15 (Monday) to Socotra.

Accommodation included: no
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Recommended return flights via Salalah:
– with Qatar Airways via Doha (transfer 2 hours 30 minutes), departure from Salalah (Oman) at 5:15 am on January 16, arrival in Moscow at 14:40 am on January 16,
– with Oman Air via Muscat (9 hour 10 minutes), departure from Salalah (Oman) at 4:45 am on January 16, arrival in Moscow at 20:50 am on January 16,
– any other flight, departing from Salalaha (Oman) no earlier than at 2:00 am on January 16.

Recommended return flights via Cairo:

– with Yemenia Airlines direct flight from Seyun (Yemen) to Cairo, departure from Seyun at 7:00 am on January 15, arrival in Cairo at 9:30 am on January 15,
– with Aeroflot direct flight from Cairo to Moscow, departure from Cairo at 15:15 on January 15, arrival in Moscow at 22:25 on January 15,
– with Egypt Air direct flight from Cairo to Moscow, departure from Cairo at 18:50 on January 15, arrival in Moscow at 1:45 am on January 16,
– any other flight, departing from Cairo to any city no earlier than at 15:00 on January 15.

Recommended flights to Socotra:
– FOR THOSE WHO PLAN TO CONTINUE TO SOCOTRA (individual tour possible): with Yemenia Airlines, departure from Al Mukalla at 7:00 am on January 15, arrival in Hadibu (Socotra) at 8:00 am on January 15
Cost includes:

• Visa of Yemen at the border
• Accommodation in hotels as per the program in TWIN / DBL rooms
• Accommodation in tents based on SINGLE
• Camping equipment: tents, sleeping mats
• Full board meals throughout the whole trip: breakfasts, lunches and dinners
• Drinking water throughout the whole trip
• Pick up transfer from inside the airport and returning to airport,
• All transportation according to the itinerary by 4WD cars (Land Cruiser or similar), with working air conditioner and experienced drivers
• All sightseeing as outlined in itinerary, entry fees
• All permits,
• English speaking local guide throughout all trip
• Russian- and English-speaking team leader Mzungu throughout all itinerary.

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid):

• International roundtrip flight to Salalah (Oman) or one way flight to Salalah and return flight from Seyun (Yemen)
• Oman visa (not required for Russian citizen for up to 14 days)
• international medical insurance
• Tips for local team
• Personal expenses
• Single supplement

To take with:

• long sleeve wear set, wear set for hot weather
• very light jacket for cool nights
• comfortable trekking or running footwear, light footwear (sneakers or slippers)
• swimwear
• raincoat
• cap/hat
• forehead torch
• scarf for women for visiting Mosques and Shrines
• big backpack/bag for luggage (some 80 liters capacity), or travel bag, or suitcase is also suitable
• small backpack for radial walks for personal stuff and photo-, video cameras (20-25 l)
• sleeping bag for +12/+15 degrees weather
• anti mosquito repellents
• sunblock cream
• sunglasses
• personal hygiene items
• personal medical kit (analgesics, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydration, court plaster, your personal medications)
• no special COVID requirement exist (requirement may be changed)
• photo and video camera,
• tripod and flash light
• batteries and power bank
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