Wadi Dawkah

Nature Reserve in Dhofar

This small reserve, 40km north of Salalah, protects a 5km grove of ancient frankincense trees and is listed by Unesco as part of the frankincense-related heritage sites. More than 1200 trees are dotted around the arid wadi that lies just beyond the cooling mists of the khareef. The trees have fewer leaves as a result, but equally the sap is of a better fragrance and therefore the trees are all the more prized.

Sign boards at the site explain how the tapping of sap is carried out. Trees are bled for sap when they reach 10 years in age, and each tree yields three to four kilograms of luban (frankincense) each season. The beads of incense range from yellow to the highly prized milky-blue nuggets; some are even the colour of jade. There's a small path, some shaded picnic tables and toilets, but no other facilities at the site.