Wadi Dawkah – Natural Park of Frankincense Trees
Wadi Dawkah is a natural park of famous Frankincense trees, which is also inscribed in UNESCO World Heritage Site. The wadi in Dhofar region of Oman is a stony, semi desert valley, where the density of frankincense trees spreads across 5 square kilometers.
Wadi Dawkah is a habitat for Boswellia sacra type of Frankincense trees. Boswellia sacra is a tree in the Burseraceae family. It is the primary tree in the genus Boswellia from which frankincense is harvested. The Frankincense from this tree is considered the best type of frankincense.
A lot of people from different parts of the world come to Salalah to see the frankincense trees. There is a viewing gallery at Wadi Dawkah for the visitors to sit and see the valley.
There are also two other points of interest for the tourists that are connected with Frankincense, the ancient ports of Khor Rori and Al Baleed. These ancient ports shipped Frankincense from Oman to the rest of the ancient world like Egypt, China and across Europe.
Production of Frankincense
At the age of 8 to 10 years, frankincense tree enters into production stage. The season of production begins in April every year when the temperature of the Wadi starts to rise.
The production process begins by wounding the tree at various positions depending on the size of the tree. This first wound is called Tapping. As a result of tapping, a milky white sap leeches out of the wound. There are couple of other wounding process
The average quantity of a fully grown frankincense tree is 3 to 4 kilo grams of frankincense per season. There are four different types of frankincense grown in Oman – Shaabi, Shizri, Nejdi and Al-Hawjri. Al-Hawjri is the best one as it’s whiter and clearer then the others.
The end of the season is called Alkashem.
Location of Wadi Dawkah
Wadi Dawkah is located around 40 kilometers North of Salalah on Salalah-Thamrit-Muscat Highway and Frankincense trees are spread across 5 square kilometers.
The exact location is marked on the map below.
Note: Some of the above information is taken from the tourist guide boards placed at Wadi Dawkah.