The Acting Chair of the Emirates Natural History Group—Fujairah, David Edwards, has selected Bithnah as the first place to visit on a Field Trip.
It is only 13 kilometres from the city of Fujairah along the old Fujairah-Dubai road.
It is not a strenuous outing for a first field trip.
It is a very pleasant wadi landscape, surrounded by towering mountains that make you feel you are thousands of kilometres away from your familiar everyday life.
It’s an ideal outing for children and families, with the chance to engage in some of these fun, heritage experiences:
+ Visit a working market garden that supplies fruit and vegetables to the Fujairah souqs and see some of the ancient ways in which local people have irrigated their farms for centuries.
+ Watch or ride an Arabian horse and see why Arabs have marveled for centuries at their beauty. There are some placid horses, some frisky ones and a couple of ponies for the young children to ride.
+ Go into the camel enclosure to see the various types of camels, some of which are used for camel racing. There may well be an opportunity to ride a camel and see some newly born camels.
+ Get inside the enclosure to see the gazelle and the Oryx.
+ Enter other enclosures or have a look from the outside at the doves, hens, peacocks etc.
+ Go for a mountain walk if you’re feeling energetic and see the remains of the ancient fortifications that patrolled the east-west trade route that came through this valley.
+ Sit in a majlis (tent) in the valley or an areesh (shelter) on a higher plateau and drink in the sensational view.
+ Visit the Bithnah Fort (thought to have been built in the 18th century) and ponder the fact that this fort was chosen as the representative image for the emirate of Fujairah on the inaugural five dirham note, printed in 1973.
+ Hopefully we will get to see where French and Swiss archaeological teams have excavated and discovered several graves (including the Long Chambered or T-shaped tomb), pottery and stone vessels that date back to the Iron Age. They have uncovered more recently an old temple that was the centre for snake worship.
+ Meet at the Fujairah Men’s College at 9am on Friday 17 February 2012.
+ David will have a disclaimer form to fill in (see the Membership Form) and will explain convoy procedures and supervision of the children.
+ Cars can negotiate the wadi (although the road is a little rough). It may be better to go in 4WD vehicles or take your car to Bithnah and then get a lift.
+ Everything will finish by 12.30pm but people are free to drift away earlier
+ David Edwards is getting a list together of field trip equipment to bring.
+ This is a public event, open to all, whether you’re living in Fujairah, Al Ain, Dubai etc. We simply need to have a response for the sake of good planning and careful logistics.
+ David Edwards has sent an invitation email to those who gave their email addresses at the launch of the ENHG-Fujairah launch. You can reply by responding to his email or sending him a new letter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
+ Alternatively, David has created an ENHG-Fujairah’s First Field Trip’ Event (link on Facebook) which has a map with directions, an opportunity to indicate that you are going, maybe or not going and a button by which you can ‘Invite Friends’.
If you have questions to ask, write this on the Facebook Event Page (link above).
Don’t hesitate to call David on: 050 1920 634
If you have not filled in a Membership Form (no fees until later in 2012) download your copy at this link and email it to David Edwards: email@example.com
Indicate the topics you would like to hear about at the regular monthly meetings and the places you’d like to visit after downloading the Interest Form at this link. Again please email your completed form to David Edwards: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the various pages and resources of the Emirates Natural History Group.
Fujairah Chapter of Emirates Natural History Group is Launched, FIF, 4 February 2012.
Natural History Group Pledges to Show the Real Fujairah, The National.
Emirates Natural History Group—Fujairah Commences 1 February 2012, FIF, 25 January 2012.
More Fujairah news, resources and photographs are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.
Image: View from Bithnah Fort across the wadi and to the mountains.