50km trekking chal­lenge seeks to pro­mote Dho­far as ad­ven­ture tourism des­ti­na­tion

Par­tic­i­pants to ex­pe­ri­ence the beauty of Jebel Samhan’s rich wildlife and unique ecosystem

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE - M Na­j­muz Za­far

If you are an ad­ven­ture seeker and look­ing for an epic ex­pe­ri­ence in the lush green Dho­far moun­tains amidst its famed wildlife, Septem­ber 28 is the date you should mark on your cal­en­dar.

“It doesn’t mat­ter whether you are a com­pet­i­tive run­ner or ul­tra-marathon com­peti­tor look­ing for a unique chal­lenge, or a begin­ner look­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence the beauty of na­ture at your own pace. The first Arabian Leop­ard Chal­lenge, from Septem­ber 2830, will be a one-of-its-kind ex­pe­ri­ence for all,” said Ali Hu­sain,

founder, Husaak Ad­ven­tures, which is or­gan­is­ing the event.

The 50km trek is from the top of Jebel Samhan, a moun­tain that

rises dra­mat­i­cally more than a 1,000m above the sea level, to the In­dian Ocean. It will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for par­tic­i­pants to

learn about the unique eco-sys­tems along the path, in ad­di­tion to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the unique Je­beli cul­ture, and see one of the world’s largest sink holes. Once a year Jebel

Samhan un­der­goes an amaz­ing trans­for­ma­tion mak­ing it home to more wildlife than any­where else in Ara­bia.

Apart from an epic ex­pe­ri­ence, the win­ners (male and fe­male) will re­ceive US$1,500 in prize money.

“This is the first time we are do­ing a chal­lenge in Dho­far, although we reg­u­larly do smaller trips there through­out the year. The main ob­jec­tive is to pro­mote Dho­far as an ad­ven­ture des­ti­na­tion as op­posed to just a des­ti­na­tion for ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the kha­reef sea­son, and pro­mote the wildlife va­ri­ety in the area.”

Hu­sain said Husaak’s other events like Jebel Shams Chal­lenge have been a roar­ing suc­cess with the last chal­lenge ear­lier this year at­tract­ing close to 300 par­tic­i­pants from 18 coun­tries. “For Arabian Leop­ard Chal­lenge we are ex­pect­ing at­ten­dance of more than 200 peo­ple, most of them would mainly be from the GCC.”

The chal­lenge will end with a stay at a five-star beach re­sort. The chal­lenge is open for fam­i­lies and chil­dren start­ing from eight plus years. “This is a chance for peo­ple of all ages and fit­ness lev­els to run/walk down Jebel Samhan at their own speed with the pres­ence of ex­pe­ri­ence Husaak guides and med­i­cal sup­port,” stated the com­pany.

“You can be a su­per ath­lete aim­ing for the full 50km run­ning or a na­ture lover who wants to walk and take pho­tos. There are exit points every 5km,” it said.

Ja­bal Samhan Na­ture Re­serve in Dho­far is one of the last refuges for the Arabian leop­ard. The most im­por­tant prey species are Arabian gazelle, Nu­bian ibex, Cape hare, rock hyrax, In­dian crested por­cu­pine, desert hedge­hog and sev­eral bird species.

Other preda­tors, found in the re­serve, in­clude cara­cal, striped hyena and Arabian wolf.

Source: Wikimapia

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