Teeq Cave and Tawi Ateer Sinkhole of Oman
Teeq Cave and Tawi Ateer Sinkhole is the most famous sinkhole and cave in Dhofar governorate.
The place is famous for its geographical and historical richness, its historical and archaeological sites, as well as its remains of early civilization. All these add to Oman’s rich biodiversity.
It serves as an amazing tourist destination, offering a great opportunity for those interested in discovery, along with nature and adventure.
Tawi Ateer Sinkhole
Tawi Ateer Sinkhole, also known as the Bird Well, has gained international popularity after being discovered in 1997.
The sinkhole was discovered by a team of Slovenian explorers hand in hand with Sultan Qaboos University.
Known to be one of the largest solvent sinkholes in the world, Tawi Ateer Sinkhole was formed by water flowing down the valleys, with its magnificent waterfalls along the intersection with Teeq Sinkhole.
There are several interesting structures, surrounding Teeq Sinkhole. As round collapse dolines, walls around this sinkhole are very steep, and there are wadis entering the sinkhole as very spectacular waterfalls.
Teeq Sinkhole’s capacity is about 975 thousand cubic metres. The diameter ranges from 130 to 150 metres and its depth is 211 metres.
How to Get There
There are two routes to get to the sinkhole site. The first route is to take the mountain after Taqa (the same that of Wadi Darbat). The second route is to get to Tawi Atair from the Anti-Gravity point.
The travelers usually take the route of Wadi Darbat (Tawi Atair) to first see the sinkhole and cave. Then head towards the Anti-gravity point.
At the bottom of the sinkhole there is more. Teeq Cave was discovered. Recent research is ongoing and the results are very impressive and exciting.
Teeq Cave is situated near the top of the sinkhole. The capacity is about 170 thousand cubic meters, with no less than six entrances. The largest entrance is the Western one with a wall that can be seen from the top of Teeq sinkhole.
How to Get There
You can reach that entrance along narrow paths located off the main trail. From those paths you can enjoy panoramic views of the sinkhole and its waterfalls.
Back in 1980, a new species of fish called after one of the discoverers was found in the lake of sinkhole. It was named after the well known researcher of Arabian caves Andy Dunsire: Garra dunsirei Banister.
The unique fish only lives in Teeq Cave with no other freshwater fishes in 600 km radius.
Fish use tentacles and other senses, not vision, due to their very small eyes and the darkness in the cave. This fish is an important sign, as it is relict from the times when the weather in this area was different and there were permanent lakes and streams.