Small And Big Wonders At The King’s Forest in Rawdat Khuraim

The Hiker’s Maxim: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time (J.K.).”

For years, I have been maintaining a special connection with nature since I learned the value of it. I get in touch with life forms outside the house or in the wilderness not only when I get the chance to but on a regular basis. All of us need to undergo green therapy every once in a while.

I was on my way home the other day when Sai Achanta, one of the best travel buddies I have here in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, invited me to join him and his newly found “comrades” called Shutter Arabia in Rawdat Khuraim for a nature travel the following day. He said I was the first person in the office whom he thought was interested in this kind of trip. Sure he was right. The winter season has just ended so heading into the wilderness for a weekend getaway is perfection.

After Sai and I met the cool photogs of Shutter Arabia at Ikea in Exit 16, we cruised over the 100 km distance of Rawdat Khuraim from the capital city. It only took us approximately 35 min to get there, which already includes two stopovers. When we arrived, it was still a few minutes past sunrise. The golden hour was once again up for grabs.

For some reason, I was the only one who made efforts to catch the exquisite color waving like a lady in front of us.

I forgot they already had enough of this kind of view as they have been exploring some of Riyadh’s hidden places that are good, if not perfect, for photography.

There is something about the golden hour when the sky produces that rare soft, diffused light. Magic as I always call it!

I am no professional photographer but believe me when I say the prevailing color during this hour absolutely looks more flattering than the scorching midday sun in pictures.

We were chitchatting until the clear sky appeared. We started walking over the large expanse of what is now considered the King’s Forest after it was formally opened to public on 22 January 2005 by the Crown Prince himself. The locals know about the place very well; in fact, there were already a few of them heading to the campgrounds as soon as we began shooting the small and big wonders of the forest.

I doubt the case is the same for expats.

This part of Rawdat Khuraim is divided into two areas: the “wildlife park” which was already closed in order to preserve what is in it and the other is simply a nature park that is accessible to public. The former looks a lot better according to the news and what I heard from the locals. The latter is, let me put it this way, just enough for what it is worth. However it may be, I found the place a decent diversion from the usual scenery on weekdays.

There are always beautiful things in the mundane. If you cannot find them, create them. Having said that, this nature park is not mundane at all, especially for white-collar workers like us who are confined to office spaces most of the time.

According to Samirad, the Saudi Arabian Market Information Resource, there is an estimated 132 species of wild plants and 42 species of fauna in the forest. A lot of them are in the very open area of the King’s Forest.

One of the very good things about photography is that it makes us realize or notice that every subject possesses a striking beauty, especially if we take a closer look at it.

If I get a super camera in the future, I will surely come back here to solely shoot the evasive rabbits and other fauna. The welcoming fragrant smells of grass and trees around, the clear blue sky, the clean earth, the sight of a “very-wild-making-it-impossible-to-shoot” resting rabbit, the sound of cantillating birds perching on acacia branches, the vibrant, little flowers, and among other wonderful things are something beyond the ordinary.


These wonders not only make for a good scenery but immersion in their midst is revitalizing. Some of the best things in life are indeed free.

Enjoying and respecting the wildlife and the environment at the King’s Forest make for an awesome weekend getaway.

Shukriya, Sai & Shutter Arabia, for this very refreshing trip earlier today! I am keeping my fingers crossed for another nature travel with you and the fun group in the future.

The Eco-Warrior’s Creed: “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. kkessler833 says:

    Beautiful photograph!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Thanks a lot, Kessler.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mabel Kwong says:

    The Kings Forest looks amazing. Not your typical forest with all the big trees close together but more like an open nature reserve. “All of us need to undergo green therapy every once in a while.” This is so true, and this place you went to seemed to reinvigorate your senses. Your words sounded so peaceful and calm as you took us on this journey. Well, except the part where the sky was “waving like a lady” and you trying to capture the fleeting moments of the dawn sky. That made me smile and grin 😀 I am like that way, all alert when trying to capture blue hour at the end of the day.

    Back to the subject of having to get away: that is so important. There is so much out there to discover and learn when we have time on our hands. Sounded like a trip with great companions too. Doesn’t sound like they minded you taking all these beautiful photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Hi, Mabel. So sorry, I was not able to reply immediately. My vacation is around the corner and trying to make things easier for my reliever within the few days left is what’s keeping me busy. Nevertheless, I’ll make sure I’ll catch up with you all soon.

      Glad to know you undergo green therapy too. I’m sure you’re one of the many awesome writers I know who can well understand the need to get away with the four corners of the workplace every now and then.

      And, yes, the Indians who were with me that day are all merriful people. They’re all professional photogs and I was the odd man out. Having said that, they didn’t make me feel that way. I never tasted Indian food before because they really look foreign to me, but they are really nice and I gave in to their request when they asked me to join them for a South Indian Breakfast.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. aysabaw says:

    grabe ang ganda ng mga litrato. napaka refreshing nga magpunta dyan lalo na kung palaging pader at papel ang nakikita mo 😀


    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Tama, Aysa. Medyo sabik ako sa mga ganyang view dito kasi ang opisina namin ay gawa sa conretong semento at wala kahit artificial plants sa loob.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. aysabaw says:

        Ikaw na lang magtanim hehehe pwede naman yata maliit na halaman sa desk mo lang hehe


      2. Sony Fugaban says:

        May clear desk policy kami. Bawal ang mga anik anik sa lamesa. 😌

        Liked by 1 person

      3. aysabaw says:

        Hala grabe naman yan…


      4. Sony Fugaban says:

        I know. Wala eh…kaya iba makasabik ang mga tulad namin. Hehe

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Lani says:

    Beautiful pictures. Wow. I’m in love with every one of them! Especially the flowers 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Hi, Lani. Sorry, I was not able to reply immediately. My vacation is around the corner and trying to get things done for my reliever is what’s keeping me busy. Nevertheless, I’ll make sure I’ll catch up with you all soon.

      Thank you for dropping by and the kind words. Nice to know you love flowers.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Chia says:

    There is indeed beauty even in the most deserted place.Beautiful photos Sony. You can make them as post cards. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      That is so humbling, Chia. It’s comforting to know people like whom I admire too give big compliments about my photos.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chia says:

        I wish I can have that kind of photography skills too! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sony Fugaban says:

        I’m sure you will do better. I’ve read your profile and your expertise is pretty close to photography.


  6. Diwata says:

    Parang magical yung sunset dyan.. Ang ganda sarap mag stroll and just forget about the world… Great post Sony

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sony Fugaban says:

      Hi, Diwata. It’s been a while. Ngayon lang ako uli nakawala sa hawla ng sunud-sunod na trabaho pagbalik ko ng bakasyon two weeks ago.

      I’ll try to catch with all of you.

      Anyway, the place becomes magical talaga pag golden hour. The colors seeping through give that magic vibe.

      Liked by 1 person

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