With its rocky interior of palm oases and gorgeous rim of sandy beaches, Masirah is the typical desert island. Used variously as a staging post for trade in the Indian Ocean and as home to fishermen attracted by the rich catches of kingfish, lobster and prawn, Masirah is home to flamingos and herons that patrol the coast by day and armies of ghost crabs that march ashore at night. With a rare gastropod, the Eloise, and large turtle-nesting sites, the island is justifiably fabled as a naturalist’s paradise.
Expats stationed in the main town of Hilf affectionately termed Masirah ‘Fantasy Island’ – not because of the wildlife, but because anything they wanted during the long months of internment was the subject of fantasy only. Now better supplied, Masirah is still remote, with minimal facilities. As such it continues to offer a rare chance to see nature in the raw.