Photowalk Wadi

Wajmah Village and Wadi Sahtan

Article about Wadi Sahtan and the stunning mountain village of Wajmah

Wajmah Village (قرية وجمة) is a stunning mountain village in the Western Hajar Mountains of Oman, within the governate of Al Rusaq in Al Batinah region. Wajmah Village offers some stunning views into Wadi Sahtan (وادي السحتن) and the villages flanking that massive valley, and has some fantastic (albeit unmarked) treks making it a must-visit place for photographers and the adventurous types!

Wajmah Village is really a sight to be-hold, and I suspect you will be like me and feel complete surprise as you wind up the last winding part off the steep and treacherous and mountain path that covers a distance of 4km or so from Al Fara’ah (الفراعة) (which is marked on Google Maps incorrectly as Al Nid village) to Wajmah. Al Fara’ah itself is a seemingly unremarkable village, one that is identical to any other village in Oman with small shops and grocery stores, a mosque and paved road connecting it to Al Rustaq, but it also happens to give you clear views of Jabal Shams peak!

Wajmah, on the other hand, is perilously tucked under a massive cliff just under the rugged tips of Jabal Shams above, making it integrate seemingly with the surrounding landscape and be almost camouflaged. Besides its traditional houses, and terraced fields (which are mostly completely dry now unfortunately), the unique over-hanging rock above the cliff-side of the village is a really unique feature of Wajmah that really stands out.

Wajmah used to house many families, but it is now almost completely abandoned with only one family still living there permanently – even then, this family still moves down to Al Fara’ah during school term to avoid the tough ‘school run’ every day! The water shortage has devastated the farms in Wajmah unfortunately, and most families have moved down and built homes closer to the paved road and modern amenities; however, most of them still visit Wajmah often to tend to their homes and sometimes farms. You will may get a feeling of eeriness, and abandonment, when walking through Wajmah’s alleys – but please keep in mind that it is almost certain that there are people in the homes, so make sure you don’t yell/act rowdy and definitely do not try to intrude on any home or property – I know for a fact that the local mosque of the village is still continuously attended by residents for example 🙂

Another thing to keep in mind is respecting local culture, Wajmah is a traditional village and to be on the safe side if you encounter the locals, I would advise to observe local dress-code and custom. To re-cap: women should cover their shoulders (long shirt or scarf is fine), and both men & women avoid wearing shorts and tight clothes, also it is polite to say ‘salam’ to greet anyone you see 🙂

Wajmah Trekking & Adventure Activities

I have only visited Wajmah once, and did not get a chance to do any trekking or explore it further beyond the village boundary. However, I am aware of quite a number of routes and activities around Wajmah that range from short treks to extreme canyoning – which I cannot wait to try. If you like to explore trekking and adventure options in Wajmah and Wadi Sahtan, then please reach out to me details as I can arrange them through my trusted affiliates – some options include:

  1. Day-trip from Muscat to Wajmah village, hiking in the mountains and visiting nearby villages.
  2. Overnight hiking tour in Wajmah and surrounding villages (~20km total trekking disance). You will spend night in an Omani house with traditional food
  3. Adventure trip to Wajmah as day-trip from Muscat, abseiling in the ‘Great Crack’

Wajmah Village & Wadi Sahtan Gallery

Getting to Wajmah Village & Visiting Considerations

Wajmah Village can be reached from Muscat by taking the expressway to Al Rustaq. You have to pass through Al Rustaq and follow the signboards to Wadi Sahtan, after you pass a number of villages, you will see the turn to Wajmah just before Al Fara’ah village. You could reach Wajmah from Muscat in just over 2 hours this way.

There is also the route from Wadi Bani Awf, by taking the turn immediately to Wadi Sahtan from there. I haven not personally done that section yet, but I know that it is an off-road drive on a mountain path that might be challenging.

The road is completely paved to Al Fara’ah, but the 4km connecting Al Fara’ahto Wajmah is a very steep and treacherous mountain-path that definitely requires a 4WD and a driver who knows how to use it – I would not recommend it if you’re not comfortable driving off-road (to give an example, it is comparable and maybe a bit steeper than the Wadi Bani Awf Crossing drive, and definitely harder than the drive up to Jabal Shams) so please keep that in mind. Please note the limited parking available at the village, and be considerate how & where you park your car as, even though the village is semi-abandoned, the villagers still come to tend to their farms and homes often and need to park their vehicles.

Below Google Maps outlines the main points of interest, I have also placed pins on Jabal Shams, Wakan Village and Balad Sayt, so you can see that they are not that far off Wajmah at all – but obviously you will need to do some steep mountain roads to get to them 🙂

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