Teeq Sinkhole - Teeq Cave - Teiq Sinkhole - Taiq Cave

Useful Information

Location: Between Mirbat and Salalah, north of the coast, Qara Mountains, Governorate of Dhofar.
(17.1526313, 54.6247127)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstDoline
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=1,000 m, W=500 m, VR=250 m, average depth: 175-200 m.
Guided tours:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1997 explored by a team of Slovenian cavers and members of Sultan Qaboos University.


كهف طيق (kahaf tayq, Teeq Cave) is a huge depression on the karst plateau of the Qara Mountains, which is either called Teeq Sinkhole or Teeq Cave. It's difficult to write Arabic words in Latin characters, so there are numerous transliterations for this name. We use Teeq, while there are also Taiq, Tayq, and Tahik. At the end of two large wadis, one from the north and one from the east, lies a huge, almost oval repression. The surrounding hills are more than 1,000 m asl, the floor of the huge bowl is around 740 m asl. Its long axis, from east to west, is almost 1,000 m long, the width is about 500 m.

The Teeq Sinkhole is developed for tourism, but only in a basic sense. There is a road along the west rim with two parking lots, but there are no shops, no visitor center, not even axplanatory signs. The northern parking lot allows a view into the northern wadi, the southern one is close to the west rim of the bowl. From here two footpaths start, one along the southern rim and another one going down to the floor in serpines below the southern wall. On the floor there are numerous openings, swallow holes, where the water vanishes underground. The wadis are dry most of the time, but during one of the rare but heavy rains enormous amounts of water flow from two sides into the cave system.

It is difficult to say how such a huge structure was formed. It is not simply the result of erosion like a wadi. Even as a place where two wadis meet, it is far too big for this explanation. The "official" explanation is the collapse of a huge underground chamber. This is possible but rather unlikely, so actually we do not know how it was formed. Probably it started with one or several collapses, and the resulting depression was further widened by the water from the wadis. Collapses have happened around the sinkhole, but they are much smaller. The vertikal walls on some sides are a sign of a collapse, erosion would produce a wide bowl. Probably the groundwater was once much higher, for example, during the more humid climate of the last Ice Age. At this time, the water flowing into the sinkhole could have formed a lake which would dissolve the limestone at its ground and walls. And there is the possible collapse of more than one layer of caves.

The site is sometimes mixed up with Majlis Al Jinn Cave, another famous sinkhole in Oman, but they are 770 km apart.