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
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.