Tahery Cave at Salma Plateau

Information and photo gallery of Tahery Cave at Salma Plateau, in Al Sharqiyah region of Oman

Tahery Cave (كهف الطاهري) is a cave tucked within the Eastern Hajar Mountains off Fins in Al Sharqiyah Region of Oman. Tahery Cave is quite a massive cave, and is probably the only entrance to the cave network in Salma Plateau that is accessible by foot, a network also includes 7th Hole Cave.

Tahery Cave (كهف الطاهري) is a great place to visit if you want to experience what it is like to walk into a cave chamber – and get a small glimpse of what a ‘Caving Adventure’ may entail as you traverse deeper into the cave. The entrance to the cave is at least 20m high and equally as wide, an eerie feature that was likely formed due to flood of water as indicated by the massive size of the boulders just outside the entrance and down in the wadi beneath. Tahery Cave is part of the Salma Plateau cave network, and is likely the lowest point of the network, where the flow of water entering all the other chambers pushes through to the outside here, and flows down into the wadi.

I have personally witnessed a flooding event in another cave connected to Tahery, and that was back in Jan 2014 during my first visit to 7th Hole Cave, where the heavy rains caused a flash flood inside the cave (I know this because our guides got stuck inside the cave during the event) that would have likely flown all the way out through Tahery Cave – so if you visit Tahery Cave try to visualize how the landscape would have formed due to many flash floods over long periods of time. There is also an adventure where you could actually descend down into the cave network at 7th Hole Cave and traverse all the way out through Tahery Cave – but that is something I am yet to attempt personally!

Tahery Cave Trek Considerations:

The trek to get to Tahery Cave is not an easy one due to several reasons. Firstly, the path is completely exposed so you will be trekking under direct sun the entire time, well until you reach the cave – and this makes it quite hot even in the winter months. Besides the direct sun, the path to Tahery Cave has switch-backs through several wadis/gorges some of which edge ever so close to steep drops. This is normally not a problem, but the rocks in the area in this part of Eastern Hajar mountains break easily making the gorge-passes dangerous if you’re not sure-footed, and especially a bit scary for anyone with a fear of heights.

One other consideration of the Tahery Cave trek is how easy it is to get lost – the path blends very easily into the landscape and the gorges and hills encountered look almost identical blending into the monotone brown colors of the surroundings. This makes it extremely easy to lose sight of the path and end up disoriented unable to tell how many more gorges or hills you need to pass. I mention this because I have personally lost my way the first time in this trek because we lost sight of the group in front of us, and it was also still tricky to stay on the trek path even when I had the trek map loaded onto my watch. However, this seems to have improved from what I saw in my last track, with freshly painted markers at least in the first half-or-so of the trek, still I would advise you to really keep good track of the number of gorges you pass as well as any landmarks you can remember so you can orient yourself as you go, or in case you got lost. I also recommend having a tracking device (I used Garmin Fenix 5 watch, which is fantastic for these situations) where you can use the ‘Track Back to Starting Point’ feature in case you get lost – even though it does not help you in terms of elevation profile, it still does the job!

The last portion of the trek involves scrambling on rocks to get to the cave entrance – it may look like a short distance but it can take up to 30 mins to actually reach cave entrance from the moment you see it. The path resembles scrambling through one of the Wadis in Oman and care should be taken not to slip on the smooth boulders. Once you are inside the cave, you can continue trekking through and exploring the cave for a bit, before you reach a large chamber with a semi-vertical wall that you need to have some technical climbing skills to traverse, and be ready to swithc to caving at that point onwards. It takes me approximately 30-45 mins to reach that large chamber. Do keep in keep in mind that there are some really deep drops inside, especially immediately after entering the cave – there is a metal ladder put across one of them and that one, along with a couple of other spots, are likely to be too tricky to cross for anyone who with fear of heights. In addition, it gets dark quickly as you go inside so have your flashlights ready.

I hope you also always keep in mind the reason the landscape at Tahery Cave looks so stunning – the potential of flash floods, and plan accordingly. I would strongly advise against attempting the trek and definitely against entering the cave in case there was rain or potential for rain in the area.

Based on the above considerations, I would rank the trek to Tahery Cave as moderate difficulty, and would not recommend it for the beginners or people going for the first time unless they are accompanied by an experienced hiker or someone who knows the route well.

Suggested Packing List:

  • Hiking clothes with long sleeves / pants – I recommend wearing pants to prevent cuts or bruises at the sharp rocks, and I generally like long sleeve tops with UV protection to protect against sunburn
  • Sun scree and sun hat
  • Plenty of water – I recommend carrying 3 litres at least if its a day-trip, more if you’re planning to camp inside
  • Snacks and food – it is nice to have a picnic once you reach the cave if you’re doing a day-trip
  • Gloves (optional) – this is in case you need to scramble as the rocks are sharp and can get quite hot during the day
  • Flashlights/headlamps – if you plan on exploring inside the cave

Tahery Cave Trek Map:

You may download the map of my trek to Tahery Cave using the links below, as recorded using my Garmin Fenix 5 Watch. Please note that these files are for the trek going in only (you need to loop back the same way to return), and the last bit of the trek (once you have reached the cave) should not be regarded as the GPS signal gets lost once you enter the cave and I had forgotten to pause tracking.

How to Reach Tahery Cave:

From Muscat, drive toward Qurayat and take the Qurayat-Sur highway, take the Fins exit (if you’re reached Wadi Shab then you’ve gone too far), but keep on the right side of the highway and head towards the mountains away from the coastline, the black-top road becomes a dirt road shortly after the turn. You will drive past a couple of small villages (actually more like dwellings as there are only a handful of houses there with some cattle). The road is a very steep mountain road (it is the same one that takes you to Majlis Al Jinn cave), so you definitely need a 4WD and you should engage the low gear to maintain traction. The starting point of Tahery Cave is not marked and is just off the road after ~15 km, it is ~30 mins drive from the highway and you can check the exact location from the following google map directions to the pint for ‘Tahery Cave – Trek Start’:

More Photos of Tahery Cave:

Did you know that I also offer guided trekking tours to Tahery Cave (the photos when we were camping inside was from a tour I did in January-2019 with guests from Italy and Japan) – read up more about OmanTripper tours here or feel free to contact me to arrange one.

4 replies on “Tahery Cave at Salma Plateau”

Hi Al,
Regrettably, this is all rather historic but I lived and worked in Oman from 1994 until 1997 and there were many fascinating places that I was lucky enough to visit including The Majlis of the Jinn by foot from the landward and the seaward sides. The Jabal Akhdar cross-over Huwaib to Mis’fah including the famous stick bridge whilst following the polished stones. The Grand Canyon of Oman, the Saiq Plateau, the Arabian Oryx Reserve and Ras Haddad plus the Beehive Tombs. There is so much to see and so much history and very sensibly it’s not been over exploite. Keep up the good work.
PS I was the only European in Quriyat when the harbour was built and everyone was unfailing kind and helpful.

Dear Dr. Peter,

Many thanks for giving us a tiny glimpse of your experience – My sincere apologies as I have seem to have missed replying to this comment!

it must have been amazing to visit such places back then! Despite the locations being a bit more ‘popular’ I still think even now we have not reached a stage where a lot of these wonderful landscapes and locations have not been ‘exploited’ or became negatively affected by overuse/tourism (although some are on the way of becoming like that, unfortunately).

I am sure you will have a wonderful time visiting Oman again, and hopefully reliving some of your experiences again.

Thanks for your comment, and please definitely do stay in touch if you ever plan on visiting Oman!

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