Kayaking the Mangroves and Surfing the Dunes: Round It Up In Qatar

We always save the best for last, that’s the tradition. Tradition Dammit! This past weekend has been eventful to say the least. Saturday we ventured an hour north, meeting up with Entalek Eco-Adventures in Al Khor for some mangrove kayaking. Then, to top it off we hooked up with Arabian Adventures for an overnight desert safari. The weekend was everything Noah and I had expected, and then some.IMG_2820

An hour away from Doha, Entalek Eco-Adventures headquarters their kayaking group, leading groups out into the mangroves of northern Qatar. For QAR125 (~USD35) per person, the guides will take you out on a three hour expedition, giving you time to get out, explore, and do some swimming. One suggestion, if you plan on driving to the meet-up point (which is mandatory), I would only do so with a 4-Wheel Drive capable SUV. From the marina where you initially meet up with your guide, you then drive about 20 minutes through barren and unpaved desert. Once you arrive at the departure point, they’ll have life vests, kayaks, and paddles. The kayaks are two person, so bring a friend!

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We were beat after the kayaking trip, and we knew we had a lot planned for the next day so we rested up.

Speaking of which, it was time for our trip with Arabian Adventures. The tour group picked us up at the front gate of our compound and we were on our way. After about an hour drive south, to a small municipal called Khor al Udeid, the road ran out. Noah and I turned towards each other, semi-confused, but we went with it. Soon we arrived at a camp, greeted by camels and ginormous sand dunes.

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The camel ride was QAR20 per person. It lasted about 10 minutes, traveling no more then 100 meters, and then turning around. It was no great expedition, but it was an experience none-the-less. While we were doing this, our driver Amir, was deflating the tires of the vehicle, preparing it for the extremely frightening dune bashing. Warning: Dune Bashing is not for the easy stomach

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In the last one, we were going backwards… Imagine going 80km/hr sideways drifting down a dune at greater then 45º angle.. I suggest wearing a diaper.

When we arrived at the bedouin camp, we were greeted by our hosts with an array of soft drinks and a tour of the facilities. It was nearing dusk, so we rushed to the nearest dune to capture the sunset.

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We attempted to sand board as well, but that’s for another time. Long story short, it was a failure to say the least.

We made our way back down to camp, where our dinner was prepared. A thorough and extensive multitude of meats, rice, and vegetables. I was too busy stuffing my face to take a picture. Post dinner, for QAR20, we purchased our shisha and sat our butts down and didn’t move for three hours, just talking.

At the end of the night, we called it quits because we knew we planned on waking up at 4:30am to catch the sunrise.

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Both tour facilitators were amazing. Both being friendly and providing awesome customer service. Noah has made the pact to do the overnight desert safari every time he’s here (roughly twice a year).

Tomorrow’s my last full day here, and we have nothing planned. Maybe one last trip to the Souq Waqif to pick up some last minute gifts. At 10:30 pm, we’ll depart for the Doha Airport to catch my flight out at 1:35am. Lord knows why it’s so late/early, but whatever!

It’s been a great trip, too short to say the least! Hopefully it wont be my last time here because this country is exceptional.

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3 thoughts on “Kayaking the Mangroves and Surfing the Dunes: Round It Up In Qatar

  1. Pingback: How To: Maximize Your Day in Doha | TRVL 101

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