2011/2012 Season

  • WARNING!  Early in 2012 Qatar began posting guards at archaeological sites around the country.  We have confirmed three different cases of people who were collecting desert roses and were approached and questioned by a guard at the desert rose site (which is next to an archaeological site).  Their vehicle plates were photographed, their personal contact information was taken, and they had to speak on the phone to authorities to try to explain their case.  We have confirmed that one person was arrested in March 2012 and had to go before the courts to defend himself (he was later released after a lengthy and stressful ordeal and they determined that he had not taken anything from nor disturbed the archaeological site).  The guards do NOT distinguish between picking up a stick, a rock, a desert rose, or a piece of archaeological pottery. If a guard suspects you or anyone in your party are doing anything that the guard believes is not allowed, then he has the right to question you and report your behavior to higher authorities.

Observe and obey all posted signs at natural and archaeological sites.  Do not cross fences unless you have obtained the appropriate permission.  And take photos, write about it, draw it, or take mental memories rather than physical items from sites.  See the following links for more information.      

For questions about the Rambles, email the Rambles Team Coordinator: rambles-coordinator@qnhg.org

Completed 2011/2012 Rambles and Field Trips:

15 October, Dhow trip:
  • Sold Out
  • Pelagic birdwatching and boating trip, 12:00pm (noon) to 6:00pm 
  • Ticket cost QR 100 per person
  • Due to the dhow capacity limit, tickets are limited and all tickets have been sold as of 8 October.
Friday, 21 October, Barzan Towers trip:
  • Morning trip to the Barzan Towers north of Doha 
  • Meet at 8:30am (carpools can be arranged at the meeting place)
Saturday, 29 October, Musfer Sinkhole:
  • Morning trip, meeting at 8:30am

Friday 18 November, Al Kharrarah Hills

  • Come for a walk in the Al Kharrarah hills in one of the more remote parts of Qatar. Look carefully and see what wildlife we can see. 

Saturday, December 10th Ramble: The Abrouq Peninsula

  • Get ready to head off into the isolated and convoluted landscape of the Abrouq peninsula for an early morning wildlife hunt. With its mesas and abrupt natural features, eroded by the wind and sands over the millennia, this is a wonderful place to go for a casual morning of rambling. 
Saturday, 7 January 2012, Mesaieed Mangrove Forest
  • This little gem is a mangrove forest on a tidal inlet between Mesaieed and Al Wakrah. Wade through clear seawater to explore the forest or walk around the perimeter to meet at the beach. Look out for the bird life. For those who like exploring bring some old shoes or sandals that can get wet and a spare set of dry clothes.
Friday, 13 January 2012, Qatar geology, fossils, and crystals viewing ramble
  • Registration has CLOSED and all spots are full
  • Full day trip
  • 4x4 vehicles only (sand and rocky hill terrain)
  • You will be learning about the geology of the area and may view and photograph fossils and crystals; NOT collecting them to take home. 
Saturday, 21 January 2012, Zubara City Archaeology ramble
  • Half-day trip to Zubara fort (northwest Qatar) with guided tour of near-by dig by archaeologists 
  • Any vehicle may make the trip
  • Extreme care must be taken around archaeology sites, children must be under close control and no pets.
  • No registration required.
Saturday, 28 January 2012, Al Khor Island (Jazirat Al Ghanim)
  • Pay tribute to World Wetlands Day with a ramble to Al Khor
  • Morning to early afternoon ramble
  • Al Khor Island is also known as "Purple Island" due to it being the site of production of purple dye from seashells approximately 3400 years ago. The dye was used for dyeing the clothes of the elite. It is also surrounded by an abundant expanse of mangroves and has a fine view across the water to Al Khor.
  • Access to the island is via a causeway, which has several breaks in it to allow tidal flow through. We will have to wade across the breaks through water, so wearing STURDY footwear is ESSENTIAL to protect your feet from the sharp shells and rocks found there!
Saturday, 4 February 2012, Orxy Breeding Centre, Camel Race training, and Equestrian Centre
  • Half-day Ramble - morning to early afternoon
  • Visit the Oryx Breeding Center: Arabian oryx and other gazelles
  • Watch the camels training as we drive along the adjacent track
  • Equestrian Centre stables tour
Saturday, 11 February 2012, Ramble day-trip to deep south Qatar
Jaow Hashemiya (Acacia camp) / Jaow Hanyra (sharks teeth valley)
  • All QNHG Members are Welcome. The journey to this camp site will be a day trip.  We will explore the area at leisure as there are some great outcrops to walk over and many fossils to be observed. It is a great area to enjoy the desert in. The Acacia Camp area is spectacular, sheltered, surrounded by steep embankments with a floor dotted with acacia trees and many small plants. There is also a chance to see some of the desert creatures. 
  • 4x4 vehicle with high clearance is mandatory for driving to the sites

Friday, Feb. 24, 2012: Desert Driving & Safety 4X4 Ramble, Part II Rocky Desert Travel

  • This Four-Wheel Drive, off-road ramble is the second part of our desert driving & safety series and is only open to members who participated in the Desert Driving & Safety Part I program previously, since it builds on what we learned then.
Saturday, February 25th: Ramble - Qal'at Ruwayda archeological dig
  • Half-day Ramble - morning to early afternoon
  • Dr. Andrew Petersen has graciously volunteered to again host our visit to the archeological site on which he and his crew have been working and bring us up to date on their recent findings. Dr. Petersen describes this site's background is as follows: "Ruwayda is one of a number of Islamic period sites located on the northern coast of Qatar between Madinat al-Shamal and Zubara. The presence of the world’s largest pearl ban less than 10 km from this coast is probably the main reason for the location of these sites, which include the abandoned villages of Khuway and Jumail. In 2009 the University of Wales in collaboration with the Qatar Museums Authority began a programme of excavations at the largest of these sites, which is known as Ruwayda.
  • We will be visiting the site with Dr. Petersen as our guide. Afterwards, we will be going to a nearby abandoned village for snacks or lunch.
Friday, 2nd March: Ramble Trip Description
  • Where: Kharrarah Ramble
  • When: Friday 2nd March
  • Trip Leader: Parag Parelkar 
What can you expect to see: Kharrarah is a range of very low beautiful pinkish limestone hillocks that used to lie in the path of a huge paleo-cannel. They lie just north of the inland sea and east of Abu Samra. They a covered with multicoloured stones brought down and worn out (smoothed down) by the paleo river. There is some vegetation, flowering plants and you could POSSIBLY see a desert fox, hare, jerboas, raptors, birds, lizards, and snakes (or at least traces of them). The rock formations are very interesting and we will be meandering through the hills observing nature, for about 3 to 3.5 hours.

Friday 16 March 2012 - Sailing Trip
  • Short Description:  Weather permitting, we will sail to the bay of Banana Island (Jazirat Mishut) (25d 17m 40.21s N, 51d 38m 44.2s E) in six 26ft Colgate class yachts, where we will moor for lunch. You can swim from the boats here if you wish but may not be able to step ashore due to construction work on the island. 2 competent sailors per boat i.e. skipper and 2-I-C have been arranged. If the wind is too light we may need to pick a closer, alternative destination. If the wind is too strong we will have to cancel the trip and will try to reschedule it.
Friday 23 March 2012 - Off-road GPS Ramble
  • Registration is required
  • Morning to early afternoon Ramble
  • This Four-Wheel Drive, off-road ramble will test your navigation skills. You will be given a series of coordinates and will be expected to find your way to each waypoint. You will be expected to answer one or more questions about what you find at the location, as well as taking a photo of yourself at the waypoint.  This ramble is focused on navigation and will require travelling on rough gravel roads, rocky desert and areas with soft sand.
  • The following are absolute minimum requirements per vehicle:  4-wheel drive vehicle, hand-held GPS, digital camera, and pen.  If you do not have the appropriate GPS device you can team up with another vehicle.
  • Additional details and registration instructions will be posted for Members on the Trip Information page.
Saturday 24 March 2012 - Umm Tays beach,north Qatar
  • Come for a pleasant stroll on Umm Tays at far northern Qatar. This is a sand island that can be reached at low tide by wading across the beach.  
  • Morning to afternoon ramble
  • Additional details and registration instructions will be posted for Members on the Trip Information page. 
  • We will travel to Jebel Fuwairit  to look at the rock carvings there. This area is located in NE Qatar. The carvings are similar in style to some found at Al Jassasiyah.  There will also be an opportunity to have a swim on the beach. While there will be a high tide at 10am approx., it is not a very high tide so you are advised to bring an old pair of shoes to wear as the seabed can be rocky.
  • Morning to early afternoon Ramble
  • No registration required.  Additional details will be posted for Members on the Trip Information page.
Fri. 18 May 2012 - Insect Night (blacklighting for insects in north Qatar)