مغارة مقل

Moqal Cave - Muqal Cave - Miqil Cave - Moqul Cave

Useful Information

Location: Wadi Bani Khalid.
(22.6238383, 59.0968204)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Wadi Bani Khalid Pools & Cave, Wadi Bani Khalid 113, Ibra, Tel: +968-9945-4591.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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مغارة مقل (Moqal Cave) is an actual cave, a karst cave which is normally dry. The entrance is located in the cliff face of Wadi Bani Khalid, and accessed by a trail with stairs and railing. While the cave is actually not developed inside, the development for the access makes it a semi-wild cave. It is one of those caves which are actually visited by hundreds of visitors, but we actually deem not suitable for touristic use. In other words, this page is intended to rectify those descriptions on the web and give a slightly different view of this site.

This cave is a karst cave, most passages are rather wide and low, so most of the trip is done crawling and stooping. In the dry sections there is no problem getting dirty, but at the rear end there are wet sections and even cave clay, and you will definitely get dirty. In general, this is a cave which requires caving gear, a small group of spelunkers with at least one caver who knows what he is doing, and all the security regulations apply, like leaving the return time with someone who may alert rescue if you don't return. Good shoes, long trousers, helmet with headlamp and two spare lamps are the absolute minimum. Due to the numerous low passages, we would strongly recommend gloves and knee-pads. All this stuff is completely omitted by the people who actually visit the cave. They go in with t-shirt, shorts, flip-flops and a hand-held torch at best. Fortunately, the number of accidents is not published. But one YouTube video of the cave is dubbed "the most Dangerous Dark Cave". Obviously nonsense, dangerous is not the cave, it's the stupid visitors.

There are two cave entrances close together, the lower one which is entered, the other one is higher up the hill and a second opening of the same cave. It is a vertical shaft and requires abseiling, it can be seen from the entrance passage after a few dozen meters. The entrance shows some wear down, there are numerous graffiti in the first section, and the floor is polished by the large number of visitors. After the entrance passage, there is a chamber where you can stand upright. At the far end is a crawl which goes down at a 30° angle to a cave river, so do not slip.

The cave has no speleothems, but really impressive solutional features. Quite unique are almost circular boreholes in the ceiling which go vertically up. Definitely a result of hypogene speleogenesis. The cave river is quite strong even during dry times, so be careful. Most likely, the cave is flooded during floods in the wadi, but actually it's not possible to access the cave any more if this happens.

The tour starts at a restaurant located at some natural pools. The wadi below has a huge parking lot, as the site is quite popular. From here it's a 300 m hike to the first pool, and 500 m to the restaurant. The pools are used for swimming and are quite popular. Some say the locals are not happy when visitors venture higher up the gorge, but among the huge number of visitors, there are always some who do. It's about 500 m hike to the cave, and while the gorge has no trail, hikers just use any available crevice or swim through the pools, there is actually a very well developed trail to the cave entrance.