As the star, Suhail, approaches the horizon, and the fall transcends into winter, the kashta season is here. We can only attempt to explain the word that can never
truly be translated into English as camping trips that last through the wee hours of the night and emulate everything it means to be Saudi.
The journey usually begins with the car trunks filled with essential cooking tools, ingredients, along with a tent, mats, firewood, depending upon the length of the stay, whether it is short (extending to a few hours) overnight or journeys that last three days or more.
Surrounded by a diverse landscape, everything from the sandy desert to the rugged mountains, green meadows, and beautiful beachsides, the Kingdom’s terrain presents the perfect kashta destination.
Vast spans of desert encircle the country with Al Nafud desert in the north, Empty Quarter in the south, to Al Araqana near Tabuk, Al Quoz in Medina, and Jubba desert in Hail. Each desert has its characteristic sand that presents a unique kashta experience – The desert is perfect for watching the sunset, off-roading, and stargazing. Ensure to travel in a 4×4 vehicle as the rugged terrain requires a heavy-duty vehicle to traverse it without any complications.
Contrary to popular belief that the country is surrounded only by the sand, the kingdom also has vast verdant meadows that are ideal kashta spots like Nora meadow, Al Shawky Valley, and Al Tawqi Valley situated in the countries Najd (center) and present sweeping panoramas of the countries green pastures that are perfect grounds to unpack and unwind.
The country’s mountainscape is also awe-worthy. Jabal Al Lawz (Tabuk) and Al Shafa (Taif) all have spots where you can lay down your firewood and cook a local feast barbeque and enjoy it amongst the beautiful elevations with your family.
It is essential to take all precautions while preparing for a kashta trip, especially if the location is in a remote area – always ensure that you have the correct, well-maintained vehicle when heading to sandy and mountainous regions.
Inform someone of your location, take efficient GPS with you, and take proper communication tools as some areas don’t have adequate cell service – always check the weather to avoid any pitfalls.
Most importantly, make sure that there is no prohibition or need for permission from authorities for the places your plan to embark upon.
As the seasons change from the harsh sun to the calm winter breeze going on a kashta with your family and friends is a fun activity that locals look forward to the whole year