Daily Archives: June 10, 2008

Al Hoota Cave: A Beauty Beneath

The main entrance

“Al Hoota Cave is the first tourist’s cave in the Gulf region. It is one of mother natures highlights in the Sultanate of Oman. Safe walking pathways and a lighting system are designed to add a magical touch to the unique natural formations in the cave.”
Website: http://www.alhootacave.com/

Facilities include a restaurant (with Lebanese and international cuisine), a souvenir shop (great gifts here and reasonably priced!), a coffee shop and a natural history museum on the 2nd floor.

Finally, an Omani woman who doesn’t object to having her photo taken with a foreigner! ha!ha!

The Walk to the Cave Entrance

Our tour-guide leading the way to the main entrance of the cave

All 13 photos I took within the cave are quite blurry, as you will see, due to the fact that I am not using flash. “Cameras and video cameras are not allowed in the cave; please leave them at the ticketing booth”. I totally understand having this general rule because so many people don’t seem to know how to take pictures without flash (same rule in many museums around the world) but the specific rule should be that FLASH is not permitted as it can “cause damage”.

This is the train that normally takes visitors from the main building to the cave. (Not working on this day…)

Walking through Al Hoota

Our tour-guide said that “Al Hoota” is Arabic for “deep passage“.

Blind fish, small crustacean, mosquito larvae and water beetles live in Al Hoota Cave. While the crustacean and larvae are washed into the cave during floods, the water beetles live in the ground water. The water beetle, hydaena putearius, is only known in two places in Oman.

Caves are lacking light and therefore lacking green plants. Thus, cave animals are dependent on the import of organic materials from outside. Remains of plants and animals, delivered with water and wind, as well as remnants of cave animals, like carcasses and excrements, represent the basis of the cave food chain. The vast majority of animals in Al Hoota Cave are not true cave dwellers. They came either by coincidence with floods or they escaped underground temporarily from heat and drought.