Tradition, cooking and culture

Find an overview of all trips that familiarize you with the traditions and culture of the Dhofar people. If you love to cook, you can try out new recipes with the mountain nomads (Jebali). If you want to learn more about frankincense, you can go on our frankincense trip. Female guests are welcome to spend time with Jebali women, learning more about their heritage and culture.

One-day cooking course with mountain nomads (Jebali) »
For female guests: Visit Jebali women who discuss their lives in Oman and in the mountains of Dhofar »
Excursion to the frankincense harvest and frankincense oil production »

One-day cooking course with mountain nomads (Jebali)

Services:
Half day private tour
English speaking guide
Cooking equipment
Light meal, tea
Departure: daily at 8:30 am
Duration: 4-5 hours

The “Jebali” (mountain nomads, from “jebal”, meaning “mountain”) continue to live traditionally in the Omani Dhofar Mountains. In our cooking class, you’ll learn more about their customs and their cuisine, which consists of camel and goat meat, exotic spices, and bread baked on stone, for example.
At 8:30 am we leave the hotel. After a 30 minute drive, we’ll come to the small mountain village of “Jabbal Ateen”. On arrival, the Jebali will welcome you with tea in a family house. Here, you’ll be able to discuss the menu and the preparation of the dishes with the chef.

Learn how the Jebali cook camel and goat meat, what kind of oriental spices they use to refine their dishes, where and how they bake their delicious bread, and how they prepare the famous “Mazby”: Meat is impregnated with herbs and spices before it’s cooked very slowly, while it is buried under hot pebbles and stones. Thereafter, the extremely tender meat tastes delicious.

The food is cooked outside. Under the chef’s guidance, you will prepare the main dish and bake bread. When you’ve finished cooking, you can enjoy the light meal and the Omani dessert. Before leaving, you’ll receive a certificate, as evidence of your newly-learned skills.

 

For female guests: Visit Jebali women to discuss their lives in Oman and in the mountains of Dhofar

Services

Half day private tour
Tea, snacks
English speaking female guide
Departure: daily at 8:30 am
Duration: about 4 hours
Not included:
Henna tattoo

This trip offers female guests the opportunity to learn more about the Jebali women living in the coastal mountains of Dhofar. The women talk about their daily routine in the mountains and in Oman, the division of labor with their husbands, their children, school, worries and joys. You’ll have chance to ask questions and interact with them.

At 8:30 am we’ll leave the hotel. After a 30 minute drive, we reach the small mountain village of “Jabbal Ateen”, situated on a hill. On arrival, three to four Jebali women welcome the guests offering tea. After the initial hellos, the women will start talking about their lives in the Dhofar Mountains and in Oman. Do feel free to ask questions, they’ll be delighted with your interest in their lives. Over the course of the conversation, you’ll have the opportunity to tell them a bit about your everyday life back home.

If you have always wanted a henna tattoo, this is the perfect opportunity to get one. The Jebali women are more than happy to paint your hands and feet (for a fee). The tattoo usually fades after two to five weeks.

Note: Please wear decent clothes (long pants or a long skirt and a decent top that covers your shoulders)!

 

Excursion to the frankincense harvest and frankincense oil production

Services:
Half day private tour
English speaking guide
Small incense gift
Small glass of frankincense water
Departure: 8:30 am
Duration: about 4 hours

Welcome to Dhofar, the “Land of frankincense”! In times gone by, frankincense was a high-end luxury commodity. To this day,  the local population values and cherishes frankincense. Everywhere in the region, there is an aromatic aroma of frankincense resin in the air. You can find the product in many perfumes, make-up, soaps, candles and even ice cream. In the ancient world, frankincense was prescribed for rheumatism, stomach trouble and even respiratory diseases. Nowadays, western medicine also uses the remedy for all kinds of treatments.

At 8:30 am we leave the hotel by bus, and head toward Wadi Dawkah. The “frankincense wadi” with its high density of wild frankincense trees (Boswellia sacra) is a World Heritage Site. Learn how frankincense resin is harvested by scoring the gnarled trees. Our guide will inform you about incense production.

We will now continue our trip in the direction of Wadi Afol near Mughsayl, where many frankincense trees also grow. Learn more about the differences between Nagdi incense in Wadi Dawkah and Shizri incense in Wadi Afol.

Heading along a winding road, we’ll drive up to a nearby mountain top, where you’ll have a spectacular view of the “Al Fazayeh” beach. After stopping to take some photos, we will travel back to Salalah. In a small laboratory, you’ll learn how valuable oils are distilled from aromatic frankincense resin. Anyone who would like to buy a small frankincense souvenir is most welcome to do so in the adjoining little shop.

 

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