Travel Oman: Breathtaking views of Jabal Samhan
December 8, 2019 | 7:44 PM
by Gautam Viswanathan

Jabal Samhan is one of the highest mountain ranges in Oman with its peak at 2,100 metres. The deserted plateau at the summit is punctuated by a solitary yucca tree. At this elevation, only plants native to semi-arid climates can be found.

“Dhofar’s highest mountain is also home to Oman’s leopard sanctuary, for which special permission to visit is required,” says the Ministry of Tourism. “However, visitors can explore a host of attractions ranging from the Tawi Ateer sinkhole to the round houses of the indigenous Jebbali tribe, before setting up camp on the peak’s plateau – just before the sanctuary’s entrance.

“Jabal Samhan is one of the major mountain ranges of Dhofar, whose highest peak reaches 2,100 metres,” the ministry went on to say. “Jabal Samhan has many levels that are traversed by deep and narrow mountain passes, some of which are up to a thousand feet deep. On the plain of Jabal Samhan different plant species such as acacia and frankincense trees grow.

“The narrow mountain passes are poor in water, but there are numerous streams that serve as an important source of water for most of the animals living here,” said the ministry. “In addition to the Arabian leopards are many other mammals native to these mountains, including the Arabian gazelle, the fox and the Nubian goat.”

The Environmental Society of Oman (ESO) added: “The Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve in the Dhofar region of the Sultanate of Oman encompasses a track of limestone highlands, rising steeply from the coastal plain and sloping more gently towards the north. The Jabal, or mountain, has a 1,500 m escarpment which overlooks the Zalawt foothills and the plain of the Mirbat - Sadh peninsula.

“Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve consists of an array of barren, scalloped peaks separated by deep wadis and canyons,” ESO went on to say. “These deep wadis contain rare and unique plants such as Caralluma sp. and Anogeissus dhofarica. Most of the wadis contain water pools where the rare wild animals like the leopard, ibex, gazelle, striped hyena, foxes and wolves come to drink.”

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