Petit Futé
English
  • Français
  • English
  • Español
Results Site naturel Tanuf

Petit Futé's opinion on AL HOOTA CELLAR

Plate millesim 2022

The Sultanate of Oman has many caves, some of which are among the largest in the world, such as the Salma and Teyq caves, several hundred metres deep. Located on the southern slope of the Gebel Akhdar, the Al Hoota cave is the only one on the Arabian Peninsula to be open to the general public. It has the shape of an underground gorge accessible through two entrances: one at 1,040 meters above sea level near the village of Al Hoota, the other at 810 meters above sea level between the Tanuf valley and the city of Al Hamra. The entrance is artificial and located close to the lower natural access. It was created to make the cave accessible to the greatest number of people. The promoters did not go in without a hand and equipped the space with several state-of-the-art facilities: a train to avoid the 400-metre walk in full sunlight to the entrance, footbridges and steps secured by barriers, subtle and well-thought-out lighting, etc. Thanks to these infrastructures, the visit can be made without altering the balance of the environment and in good conditions of comfort despite humidity levels sometimes reaching 90% inside. In order to reinforce measures to minimise any negative impact on this delicate ecosystem, only guided tours are organised in small groups. It is therefore under the guidance of a professional that we set out to explore this fabulous geological complex, which is very old (more than two million years old) and its immense cavities with walls, floors and ceilings lined with stalactites, stalagmites, gours and other formations. As with most of the other caves in Oman, this complex geological system bears witness to a fluvial period and tectonic movements, but also, and above all, to a major erosion phenomenon which is at the origin of the crevices that can be seen.

Discovered in 1960, the Al Hoota cave is 5 km long, although only 500 metres can be visited. It is dug into grey limestone, granular dolomitic rocks and clayey layers. Its largest hall runs for 150 metres and its highest ceiling is 65 metres. Several rare endemic species of insects and crustaceans, as well as bats, are found here. The main cave is also partly traversed by the largest of Al Hoota's underground lakes, 800 metres long, 10 metres wide and 15 metres deep. The latter benefits from natural ventilation. A rare phenomenon, depigmented and blind fishes live there, fed by organic waste transported by the floods during the rainy season. It is an endemic species, the Garra Bareimiae, which one can have the chance to contemplate from an esplanade specially designed for this purpose. On site: shop and restaurant.

Geological exhibition. To initiate or extend the adventure, visit the small museum adjoining the site, which has more than 150 varieties of stone (granite, quartz, limestone, chlorite, etc.), fossilized or petrified wood, coral, etc. Interactive stations explain some of nature's miracles (continental drift, stalactite formation...) while aquariums allow you to discover and observe the animal species that live in the Al Hoota cave: fish, small crustaceans, mosquito larvae and water beetles.

Share on

Information on AL HOOTA CELLAR

Open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm, last entrance at 4pm. Guided tour of about 45 minutes. 7 SMO per adult.

Members' reviews on AL HOOTA CELLAR

1 reviews
3/5
Value for money
Service
Originality
J-ML
3/5
Visited in october 2017
Value for money
Service
Originality
Nous y avons été un après midi de grosse chaleur et cette visite a été la bien venue. Des bâtiments tout neuf, un bar, un "snack" et un petit musée. Normalement on y accède avec un petit train : en panne, avons suivi le guide en plein cagnard en marchand à travers les rails (impossible en France!). Une très belle grotte, bien aménagée, escaliers, passerelles en fer. Difficile si l'on a des problèmes de mobilité. Cependant, un peu chère!

I file my review and I win Foxies

(50 characters minimum) *
Your picture must respect the maximum allowed weight of 10 MB
Value for money
Service
Originality

    * required fields

    Êtes vous sur de vouloir dépublier votre avis ?

    Oui, je suis sur

    To submit your review you must login.

    Join the community

    * required fields

    Thank you for your opinion!
    • Congratulations, your account has been successfully created and we are happy to have you as a Member!
    • Your review has been sent to our team who will validate it in the next few days.
    • You can win up to 500 Foxies by completing your profile!