It was a dream I had carried from when I was a child, and we lived in Algeria. My parents had taken me to the Sahara in our white 1975 VW Beetle. We had shared a couscous with the bedouins. I must have been 4 or 5 years old as my brother was not even around then. And I remember being so scared of the scorpions, but also, I remember the calmness, the immenseness of the desert, and its apparent purity. I promised I would go back one day.

So we’ve just spent New Year’s Eve with our children in the desert, Wahiba Sands in Oman. Things have changed of course since the 70’s. Oman is not Algeria, things are catered to the tourist, all needs can be accomodated. But still, it was a magic and authentic experience. Our camp was the only one with no electricity. A set of 15 traditional tents, and a few huts, all decorated with exquisite bedouin taste. Read: heavy wool carpets in tones of reddish earth, dark browns, shades of pinks and yellows, simply laid on the sand. A gas lamp and a torch as our only sources of light apart from the stars (no moon on December 31st, 2011 in Oman). And sturdy beds covered with thick blankets to keep us warm in the desert night.

Cozy we were, with a wonderful sense of togetherness. And as we peaked through the openings in our tent and stared at the sky, we wondered what it’d be like to really live like nomads, and keep on travelling for ever.

We arranged our trip via Scott Dunn, and stayed at Safari Desert Camp in the Wahiba Sands, Oman. Approximately 3 hours drive from the capital Muscat, and reached after a 40min drive off-piste in the desert. 

Vanessa Boz lives in London, and is the author of the one of our favorite travel blogs, Boz Around.


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