When people heard of Yemen, The first thing they will say is-OMG, Al-Qaeda! It;s very dangerous!. I mean it’s true that mainland Yemen is a bit dangerous. But for this island-Socotra which is isolated from the mainland. I can tell you, it’s 100 % SAFE! Well, not only it’s safe, it’s one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL place I have ever been. I will not lie. Just see some photos I took during the first day yourself.
I booked a 8 days tour with a travel agency called Socotra Eco Tour. Their service is excellant!! They can help you to arrange Visa and send to you through email so you basically need to do nothing! The whole tour is ALL INCLUSIVE> That mean once you pay, you don’t even need to buy you own snack. Below are my itainary and price if you guys want to check it out. I think it’s 100 worth it and the staff are honest and fun. Even if you left US$1000 behind, they won’t stead a penny from you:)
Socotra Eco-Tours: a one-week tour
Socotra Island – Unforgettable holidays with Socotra Eco-tours
Day 1: Arrival on Socotra
We will pick you up at the airport and transport you to a hotel in Hadibo. After you refresh yourself we will take you for a trip to Ayhaft Canyon National Park. In the canyon (wadi), you will enjoy large fresh waterpools where you can swim or soak. All around you, there will be Tamarind trees, Cucumber trees and a wide variety of birds such as Socotra Sparrow, Socotra Sunbird and both Socotra and Somali Starlings. In fact, Ayhaft is considered as a natural nursery due to its large abundance of endemic trees, plants and birds.
In the afternoon, we will visit Delisha beach with pristine white sands full of crabs. You will relax while swimming both in the sea and in a freshwater lagoon. If you are full of energy you can climb a huge sand dune overseeing the beach. There is also a possibility of watching a fabulous sunset from Delisha.
Dinner and night in Adeeb ecolodge.
Day 2,3 and 4: Dixsam/ trekking in skand/the south, Amek sandy beach, Dagub Cave.
After breakfast, we will make our way by 4×4 vehicle to Dixsam plateau and Shebahon viewpoint. This area is renowned for the native Dragon Blood trees, the resin of which is collected, used and traded by the people of Socotra. The area is also home to the endemic and rare Socotra Bunting (estimated at 1,000 pairs). The Shebahon viewpoint gives a fabulous vista overlooking Daerhu canyon where we will see unusual yet beautiful rock formations. We will then make our way down to the wadi in the canyon for lunch and an easy-going walk and swim in the freshwater pools in the wadi camping & overnight at Diksam . Next morning we will trek to the highest peak of socotra we will camp at Ta’ahur area.
After breakfast we travel to the south of the island, with visits to villages along the way. Our first destination is Amak beach where we can swim in the clear water of the Indian Ocean. For lunch we will go to Dagub cave, which overlooks a scattering of traditional villages below. The cave itself is of interest as there are many stalactites, stalagmites and pools of water that has seeped through the rock over time. We will then witness the colossal sand dunes of Hayf and Zahek which have been pushed up against the mountainside by the seasonal winds of Socotra. If you are feeling especially fit, you can climb the dunes for a view that is truly worth the effort. Dinner and overnight camp at Amek beach.
Day 5: Hoq Cave / Dihamari
This morning, we will make an early start to drive to the base of Hoq cave in Terbak village. Before the sunshine gets too hot, we will walk up to the entrance of the Cave. It is more than 3 km long with a water pool at the end and holds a wealth of Socotri history. Inside, you will see ancient stalactites, stalagmites and crystallic formations. Ancient writings on the cave walls and also what appears to be a picture of an old trading ship have been preserved over the ages by a calcite glaze. There is also evidence to suggest that the cave was once used for ritual purposes by the presence of mysterious ‘alters’.
In the afternoon, we will drive to nearby Dihamri marine protected area. It boasts with one of the richest coral reefs on the archipelago. You can relax on the beach in palm leaf huts and swim and snorkel in Dihamri Bay. Snorkeling gear can be hired there. Marine species you will see underwater include: Parrotfish, Moray eel, Rays, Sea urchins, if you are lucky you will meet turtles. Divers can also use the services of Dihamri Diving center and go for a dive in Dihamri or another of superb diving spots of Socotra. You can do two dives in Dehamri
Dinner and night in an eco-camp in Dihamri.
Day 6: Homhil Protected Area/ stopover at Qaria Lagoon
Our today’s destination is Homhil, a protected area with fabulous sceneries that give you a kind of prehistoric feeling. We will stop at Qaria lagoon en-route. It is the largest lagoon on the island and we will hopefully see flamingos, herons and greenshanks.
The trek to Homhil starts at the bottom of a spectacular ravine on the sea level. The trek is of medium difficulty and won’t take more than 1,5 hours. You will have enough strength to enjoy the view back towards the sea where we have started ascending.
Once at Homhil, we can choose from a selection of walking trails. You will be astonished by the prehistoric atmosphere of the landscape rich with dragon blood trees and bottle trees. You will be addressed by local children who sell dragon blood raisin and frankincense. One of the trails leads to a viewpoint with a natural pool with almost freezing green and blue water.
Dinner and night in an eco-camp in Homhil.
Day 7: Rosh Marine protected Area /Arher freshwater creek and beach
After breakfast we will trek to the North-East of the island and will have our lunch in Rosh marine protected Area, The rest of the day we will spend in Arher where a fresh creak coming out from a granite massive is meeting salty sea water on the beach. You can relax on green grass around the creak, swim in the sea or if you feel fit you can climb a huge sand dune to get a fantastic view over this charming spot.
Dinner and night camping in Arher.
Day8: Departure from Socotra
After an early breakfast, we will drive you to the Socotra airport. You can visit a souvenir shop there while waiting for a short flight to the mainland.
The price for the above itinerary is $1050 for one person and $700 per person for a group of two.
Services included :
– hotel accommodation, camping gear.
– 4×4 vehicle
– English speaking, well trained and experienced local guide
– Food, and a sufficient supply of water and soft drinks
– Protected areas fees
– Some local guides at specific places
Services not included:
– air tickets (international & domestic)
– personal insurance
– guide’s and driver’s tips
– diving equipments and diving guide
– anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary
I guarantee you, I have NOT done any touch up or enhancement for all the above photos and all the beaches look absolutely jaw dropping!. I will write about all my experience in Yemen in my next post….stay tune:)