Continuing with my explorations in Qatar, Polar and I set off to find this mysterious Karaana Lagoon which we had heard whispers about. Our main motivation was that it was relatively close to our home (we live in the middle of the desert) and of course neither of us are in a position to leave Qatar (damn you Covid!) so well… why not find a change of scenery?
And Karaana Lagoon in Qatar did not disappoint! What a serene place.
This post is aimed at people living in Qatar but can easily be added on as part of a holiday. Having a vehicle is essential for this trip- there are no public transportation options.
Watch our video here!
What is it?
Situated near a water treatment facility, Karaana Lagoon in Qatar went from being a place with high levels of pollution, to a healthy green space and a wildlife habitat for various bird species and fish. The pretty parts are the three artificial lagoons which were designed to store about 2.4 million cubic meters of treated water coming from the Al Karaana treatment plant. With clean water and green areas around them, the artificial lagoons form a safe habitat for wildlife, and they now include various types of birds, fish, frogs and other wildlife.
In 2006, the government reconstructed the area by draining the old lagoons and treating the contaminated soil at the bottom, in order to recreate & enhance the natural area and ensure the protection of the environment.
Do I need a 4 wheel drive vehicle?
The inaccessibility of many hidden gems is what puts people off visiting them in Qatar. For those without SUV’s or 4WD vehicles, it may be too risky to visit some of the off the beaten path sites. However this is not the case for Karaana Lagoon in Qatar!
You can do the entire journey in a regular car.
You’ll see the car I went in, in the photos below. While the last 20 minutes does consist of you driving on a gravelly road, the terrain can be managed by a regular vehicle (however I would advise you not to go after a heavy rainfall which may soften the sand). Just be careful when driving and try to drive on the lower terrain rather than adjacent to the lagoons.
Will it cost me money?
No! Visiting Karaana Lagoon in Qatar is absolutely free. But there are no facilities on site.
How do I get there?
This is My google maps pin!
No matter which part of Qatar you may be coming from, you will need to join Salwa Road heading in the direction of KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). You may see signs for Bu Samra which is the border town close to KSA.
Don’t worry you aren’t going anywhere near Saudi Arabia, just traveling in that general direction.
You’ll take exit 62 towards Al Karaana. There are signs for Al Karaana Lagoon- follow them. Eventually there will be a point where the road forks and you should turn right.
You’ll pass the treatment facility on the right, but keep going. When the filtration pools are coming up, you’ll see a gravelly road on your right.
Go up the hill, turn right at the ‘Give way’ sign (its in Arabic) and if you’re in a regular car, drive on the low terrain.
Eventually you’ll see grass and water ahead which will bring you to the most picturesque spot where two lagoons confluence.
Your closest shops & bathrooms are around 20-30 minutes away in either direction at 2 different Wuqood petrol stations. Your first petrol station- if you’re coming from Doha- is in the vicinity of Mekaines- Mekaines Woqod Petrol station. The next one will be 20 minutes from Karaana Lagoon in Qatar- Swadatheel Woqod Petrol station. This one is slightly more well equipped with a hardware store, chai & chapati stores as well a vet! The last petrol station is in Bu Samra just before the border but it’s a full hour away from Karaana Lagoon in Qatar; however I’m including it here in case you really get horribly lost.
What can I do there?
Green grass laps at blue waters, as if it is the land that kisses up to the lake, creating a view that astonishes. It did not feel like we were still in Qatar.
Despite being a place near a sewage treatment facility, the atmosphere at Karaana Lagoon in Qatar is extremely peaceful and inviting. There was no one else around when we went- on a weekday at 3:30pm. We enjoyed a picnic surrounded by the chirping of birds, a warm breeze and the water below us as you will see in our video above!
There is no unpleasant smell or trash in the area.
I would monitor small children as there are no barriers to the water and putting any part of your body in the water is not advised.
What are the ratings on Panda’s Rating Scale?
-Wear comfortable footwear as the ground is very rocky at the lagoons.
-Many locals come here to shoot birds in the early hours of the morning. Be aware of bullets and cartridges lying around.
-There are no bins so PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF. Leave the place as you find it!
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Have you been to Karaana Lagoon in Qatar? Or have I just put it on your list? Let me know in the comments below!