Yemen; Socotra, The Magic Island UF02

7 Days From £0 (Please Enquire)

Socotra Archipelago, in the northwest Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden, is 250 km long and comprises four islands and two rocky islets and is of universal importance because of its biodiversity with rich and distinct flora and fauna.

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Key Information

Travel Style: Small Group
Start Location: Sana’a, Yemen
End Location: Sana’a, Yemen
Accommodation: Hotels
Period: All Year Round
Difficulty: Suitable for Most Travelers

About The Operator

Accreditations: Section coming soon.
Years In Business: 24

Socotra Archipelago, in the northwest Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden, is 250 km long and comprises four islands and two rocky islets which appear as a prolongation of the Horn of Africa. The site is of universal importance because of its biodiversity with rich and distinct flora and fauna: 37% of Socotra’s 825 plant species, 90% of its reptile species and 95% of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world. The site also supports globally significant populations of land and sea birds (192 bird species, 44 of which breed on the islands while 85 are regular migrants), including a number of threatened species. The marine life of Socotra is also very diverse, with 253 species of reef-building corals, 730 species of coastal fish and 300 species of crab, lobster and shrimp.

Socotra is globally important for biodiversity conservation because of its exceptionally rich and distinct flora and fauna. 37% of Socotra’s plant species, 90% of its reptile species and 95% of its land snail species do not occur anywhere else in the world. Socotra is of particular importance to the Horn of Africa’s biodiversity hotspot and, as one of the most biodiversity rich and distinct islands in the world, has been termed the “Galápagos of the Indian Ocean”.

Description

A full day by day itinerary will be provided by the tour operator when you make an enquiry about this holiday.

Includes
- As described

Excludes
- Flights

Prices per person, based on 2 people traveling - please submit an enquiry to receive a personalized itinerary and costs.

Itinerary
Day 01. Hadibu, Eriosh, Wadi Ayhaft - After an early breakfast at the hotel, we will leave to the airport. After landing at the airport in Hadibu, the capital of Socotra, we will occupy our hotel rooms, have a breakfast, pick up our cameras and start exploring the island by car. First we will drive through Hadibu then down the coast to Qadub village to visit its lagoon with flamingos. From there we will continue on to Eriosh to visit its archeological ruins. From Eriosh we continue our trip to the Ayhaft Valley for a swim in its seasonal river and bird/wildlife watching for the rest of the afternoon before continuing back to Hadibu for dinner at Shabwa. Accommodation: hotel in Hadibu
Day 02. Homhil Protected Area - We will have a very early breakfast then depart for the Homhil Protected Area. We will leave our cars at the lower plain that is surrounded by an impressive limestone amphitheatre for a one hour walk north to where the wadi plunges 300 m down to the coast. Lunch will be in the shelter of the Protected Area from where you can enjoy the fantastic view onto the facing hills lined with Dragon’s Blood Trees. When the hottest midday hours are over, we will continue on foot to explore the tiny wonders of the lower plain. We will spend the night camping. Accommodation: Homhil Protected Area
Day 03. Hoq Cave and Di Hamri Marine Reserve - Early morning, we will have breakfast and then continue our journey to Hoq Cave. During our 2.5 hours expedition, we will explore one of the biggest caves, Hoq with it subterranean water supplies, underground dwelling animals and archeological findings. Leaving the cave, we will have our picnic lunch in front of the cave and some rest before returning to our cars, and continuing to Erher to see its cave and creek, looking specifically for Egyptian vultures Then, we get in our cars and continue our trip to Di Hamri Marine Reserve. At the reserve we will snorkel, and have dinner at the small shelter in Di Hamri. Dinner will be of fresh fish and shrimps and prepared by local people from the nearby village, and we will return to our hotel in Hadibu. Accommodation: Hotel in Hadibu
Day 04. Diksom and Skand Protected Area - As usual, we will have an early breakfast and get started as soon as we can. We begin our journey into Socotra’s mountainous interior at Diksom. At Diksom, we will walk along the edge of the gorge to see attractive stands of Dragon’s Blood Trees and the extensive limestone pavement. The plateau is home to nomadic Bedouin herdsmen who move from one site to another with their herds. They will welcome us with a cup of tea. From there we will go on to explore the forest and see the Dragon’s Blood Trees. Local people will show us how they used to collect - and still collect on a smaller scale – the precious red resin of the trees. Lunch will be a picnic under the trees. Then we will continue by road towards Daharo Canyon. After Dixam Plateau the road plunges 400 m into a profound chasm. On the lush canyon floor we can refresh ourselves swimming in the wadi’s deep pool and then continue to Skand. In Skand we will explore the granitic Haggier peaks by foot. Depending on the weather, available time and our physical condition, we either climb down on the other side of the mountain returning to Hadibu directly or if this hike would be too strenuous, we can return to Lower Scand and from there by car to Hadibu. When we reach our hotel, we have our dinner. Accommodation: hotel in Hadibu
Day 05. Coastal lagoons and Detwah Protected Area - After an early breakfast, we will go birdwatching to the coastal lagoons of Hadibu. From the lagoons we will head towards Socotra’s second largest town, Qalansyia. It takes 2 hours to reach our destination. We will stop on the way, near the village of Ghubbah in order to take some photos on a rare karst feature. In Qalansyia, the inhabitants’ main income comes from fishing and date palm plantations. There is a big landing site for the small fishing boats where we can take a look at the variety of fish the fishermen catch and have some for lunch. From the nearby hills, the Detwah Lagoon can be seen, then we will head down to walk in the shore looking for the rays and bath in the warm water of the lagoon. We will take boats and continue our exploration further west to Shu’ab. The guano-covered cliffs of Ras Sh’uab are roosting sites to thousands of sea-birds which we hope to see along with dolphins. Then beyond Sh’uab are the Neet mangroves that fringe a small estuary behind a sandy beach. We will stay out till evening then return to the hotel for dinner and accommodation. Accommodation and dinner: at the guest house in Qalansyia
Day 06. Ras Sh’uab and Sabuniya - After breakfast if weather permits, we visit Sabuniya that is a small island 2 hours from the shore by boat to see Masked Booby, Brown Booby, Red-billed Tropicbird, Persian Shearwater, Sooty Gull, Bridled Tern, Saunders’ Tern and Common Noddy. After our long boat trip, we will have lunch at a local fishermen family and then we return to Hadibu. Before we reach the capital, we can climb up to the remains of the 16th century Portuguese fort. From the fort, we can see the old harbour (now filled with sand) from where trading was conducted. As the final program of the day, we will visit the Socotra Botanical Garden and Nursery. Here we will have the opportunity to observe different species of endemic trees and receive explanations about the efforts of Adeeb’s family while enjoying the hot tea flavoured by lime collected fresh from the garden. We will have dinner back at the hotel. Accommodation: Hotel in Hadibu
Day 07. Hadibu Airport/Sanaa - We will have our last breakfast on the island and leave to the airport for our return flight to Sana’a.