Y Magazine

Braving Oman’s cave of horror

Charged with adrenaline, a bunch of guys tiptoed into a mystery cave and came out, two hours later, amazed. Hasan Shaban gets a glimpse of the spooky sights and scary tales

A group of Omani adventurers got together and set out on an unearthly journey recently, and emerged from their two-hour mystery-filled exploration with goose bumps and incredible stories to recount to their friends.

Their object of curiosity was Amir Cave.

Making their way inside the 600-metre-deep cave, the team came across many “strange creations” but it was the screaming skull that sent shivers down their spines. It was a rock formation that resembled a screaming skull but when you get to see it all of a sudden by the flickering torchlight it’s really frightening.

An eerie silence prevailed there, and except for the bats and the lizards that came alive by torchlight it was emptiness spread all over.

Billed as the horror cave, Amir Cave in Nizwa is a must-visit destination for the ones who seek thrill, and an Omani team is promoting the place for adventure tourism.

Nestled in Al Sojra village, between the mighty rocks of Jabal Akhdar in Al Dakhiliyah governorate, the cave is just 18km from Muscat International Airport but the drive could take around two and a half hours.

Adnan Balushi, spokesperson of the Fussha tourism promotion team, said they chose to document the cave in order to promote it as the most frightful cave in the Sultanate.

The team of 14 members was formed after an ‘Athar’ contest organised by Oman Oil Marketing Company under the supervision of a local volunteer group.

Al Balushi said Al Sojra — the village where the cave is located — was named after a local tree ‘Sojar’ which had become extinct.

The village lies 15km from Jabal Akhdar province and can be reached by car following a sandy road and then by foot to cross a hanging wooden-bridge built by locals to cross the wadi and reach the neighbourhoods.

Al Sojra is blessed with Omani walnuts, figs, olives, grapes, apricots and different types of pomegranates, according to Al Balushi.

He pointed out that Amir Cave, dating back thousands of years, had remained unknown for a long time.

“The cave was inhabited by one of the ancestors of the village not long ago, and it was named after him as there are remains inside the cave that indicated that it was used as a home,” according to Al Balushi.

However, he said more details about him were unavailable.

What makes the cave unique are the calcareous deposits formed by erosion which got formed into terrifying shapes.
“There are many narrow places and gaps in the cave and it’s tough to make it to the end of the cave. It is good to get assistance from the villagers or tour guides when exploring the cave,” Al Balushi advised.

The cave is surrounded by stone houses built more than 500 years ago and are still being used.

“There is an easy and safe access to the cave and families can enter and discover its wonders without risk. It takes around to two hours to tour the entire cave,” he said.