Beauty of the Daymaniat Islands
beauty lies within,' goes the maxim which,
more or less, encapsulates the underlying charm of
the string of nine islands called Daymaniat Islands.
nothing much to look at, these islands in the Gulf
of Oman provide sanctuary to a great treasure in bird
and marine life.
with the waters around them, they are protected by
Royal Decree as a nature reserve and a national bio-treasure.
It takes about 40 minutes by boat to reach the islands
from Al Sawadi Forum Resort.
from the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Environment
is mandatory before embarking on a trip to the islands.
One can explore the waters around the islands, but
cannot set foot on the outcrops themselves as they
are the nesting grounds for the Hawksbill turtles.
appear to be mere clumps of rocky outcrops in the sea turn
out to be an enchanting haven for coral, besides a rich variety
of marine and bird life, says Jeanina Santiago
pufferfish, known for inflating themselves with water or
air when threatened.
called tortoiseshell turtle, the Hawksbill turtle is a sea turtle
with a hooked upper jaw that resembles a hawk's beak, and two
pairs of large shields on top of the head, between the eyes. In
past years, demand for tortoiseshell had made the Hawksbill an
easy target for poachers and hunters, driving the creature towards
the brink of extinction.
Omani government, in an effort to safeguard this national treasure,
has thus restricted access to island outcrops. But divers, snorkellers,
nature-lovers and tourists are permitted to explore the waters
TWO photogenic Blackspot
THE underwater world promises
a rare experience
with schools of clown fishes encircling the corals
this end, the management of Al Sawadi Forum Resort obtains permits,
renewable on a weekly basis, to take boatloads of tourists and
others to the islands.
much of Daymaniat's beauty lies beneath the waters that surround
these islands. Magnificent coral gardens and marine life in resplendent
colours make the islands among the best dive sites in Oman.
in these clear, pristine waters, one can see a vast expanse of
coral reef with schools of fishes encircling the corals. Indeed,
Daymaniat's underwater world promises a rare and exciting experience
for both beginners and professional divers and snorkellers.
been diving in these waters for the past many years. This is my
thirtieth visit to the area," said a British diver, who has
been resident in the Sultanate for the past 12 years. Good visibility
and the variety of fishes thriving in these waters make the Daymaniat
Islands a popular dive location, he adds.
SEA anemone, a marine
A PICTURESQUE bank of
coral in the
waters around the Daymaniat Islands
every dive, the divers exchange notes on what they have seen.
They report sightings of green turtles, the predatory barracuda
that is known for its fanged teeth, fusiliers, clown fishes, rays
also encounter leopards also called zebra sharks
in these waters," adds an Irish diver, who visits the Daymaniat
Islands every time he gets a break from his Sohar-based assignment.
frequent these waters, but are not the predatory kind that can
pose a threat to swimmers and snorkellers. "Divers and snorkellers
are safe in these waters. The kind of shark that inhabits this
area does not attack or kill human beings," assures Azzan,
the friendly 20-year-old Omani guide-cum-'skipper' from Al Sawadi
Resort's diving centre, Ocean Extreme.
divers advocate a hands-off approach when it comes to admiring
the creatures of the sea. Some varieties of sea-life can be dangerous
when touched, notably the lion-fish, moray eels and sea snakes.
who would like a glimpse of these underwater treasures, can try
snorkelling. It is advisable to wear a lifejacket or hold on to
a buoy. For as long as one is within reach of a guide-cum-lifeguard,
and one respects the creatures of the sea, there is nothing but
an exhilarating experience to enjoy!
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