Rustaq Wildlife Reserve ideal for adventure tourism enthusiasts

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Muscat: Rustaq Wildlife Reserve in South Al Batinah is an attraction for adventure tourists.

Rustaq Wildlife Reserve extends from Wadi Bani Kharous in the Wilayat of Al Awabi in the east to Wadi Al Sahtin in the north and from the tributaries of Wadi Bani Awf to Wadi Al Sahtin in the south in the Wilayat of Rustaq, is an attractive destination for tourists and adventure sports lovers due to the stunning natural landscape, such as mountains, deep valleys, water bodies, and dense forests on the banks of the valleys, which are an ideal ingredients for eco-tourism.

The Environment Department in South Al Batinah Governorate, represented by the Rustaq Unit of the Department’s Environmental Control Department, is responsible for monitoring the reserve to reduce intrusions that threaten the wildlife.

 Ibrahim bin Abdullah Al Saadi, an environmental specialist in the Environment Department in the South Al Batinah Governorate, explained that Rustaq Wildlife Reserve is one of the reserves in which various wild animals and birds breed. The most important landmarks of the reserve are Wadi Bani Awf, Wadi Al-Sahtan, Wadi Al-Sin, Wadi Quta, Jabal Dhawi, Wadi Al-Hayl, Sharjah Hanj, Daan Rustaq, Ain Al-Huwait, Aqaba Sinnoot, and the western mountain of Wadi Bani Kharous.

Traversing this reserve is the mountain range, which is distinguished by its high altitude reaching a height of more than 2, 000 metres above the sea level.

Al Saadi said: “Rustaq Wildlife Reserve is a destination for many adventure tourism enthusiasts, whether from inside or outside the Sultanate of Oman. It provides a unique experience while walking and mountain climbing with its picturesque landscapes.”

Al Saadi pointed out that Wadi Bani Awf and the villages of Baldsit, Hat and Birkat Al Sharaf in the Wilayat of Rustaq, which overlooks Jabal Shams, as well as a number of villages of Wadi Bani Kharous in the Wilayat of Al Awabi, are a tourist corridor linking the South Al Batinah Governorate to the Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.

Al Saadi pointed out that Rustaq Wildlife Reserve includes 6 species of wild mammals, such as the Arabian ibex, which is considered an endangered animal, the mountain fox, the lynx, the white-tailed mongoose, and the hedgehog. There are also 15 species of wild birds, such as eagles, ospreys, and other birds that live high in mountains, which are difficult to reach.

“More than 110 species of plants and trees have been recorded in the reserve, some of which are included in the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. What distinguishes the reserve is the presence of plants and trees of economic value that are exploited by the people, such as thyme, shuaa, qafs, bot, nemat, and other wild trees, ” Al Saadi said.

Rustaq Wildlife Reserve in the South Al Batinah Governorate has an area of 254 square kilometres.

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