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Discover Socotra Island: A Paradisiacal UNESCO World Heritage

Welcome to Socotra Island: A Hidden Eden

Welcome to Socotra Yemen Island, an enchanting island often called the last untouched "Garden of Eden" in our modern world. Certainly perfect for nature lovers and avid travelers, Socotra Island showcases a unique collection of foreign wildlife and plants, exclusive to its landscapes. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the isle of Socotra accordingly boasts mystical landscapes and rare species, such as the iconic Dragon Blood Tree and the mesmerizing Desert Rose.

A Unique Biodiversity

Socotra -Yemen’s remote location in the Arabian Sea, is situated between the Guardafui Channel and the Indian Ocean. It fosters a remarkable biodiversity reminiscent of the famed Galapagos Islands. At the same time its isolation helps protect the unique flora Socotra. Furthermore it helps protect endangered endemic species Socotra and maintain a pristine environment. Key attractions include the remarkable Dragon’s Blood Treed of Socotra Island. Its known for its striking red resin, and the vibrant Desert Rose that stands out against the island’s arid backdrop.

Exclusive Wildlife and Culture

Isle of Socotra is not only a sanctuary for unique plants but also for exclusive bird species like the Socotra Scops Owl and the Socotra Cormorant, both of which are native only to Socotra. At the same time, the local beaches and crystal-clear bays provide excellent spots for snorkeling and diving. Consequently they make it a paradise for underwater and adventure enthusiasts. Visitors will also find the culture of the Socotri people fascinating, with their deep-rooted traditions and isolated way of life.

Visit Socotra Island

Our travel team organizes tours to Socotra Island every week from October to March and we welcome groups ranging from two to fifteen people. This tour is a unique opportunity to explore a virtually untouched paradise and experience its breathtaking natural wonders firsthand.

We invite you to discover the enchantment of Socotra Yemen Island with us and let its unspoiled beauty captivate your heart.

Day 1: Cairo - Aden - Halibo (Socotra) (Flight)

 Arrival on Socotra Island. Overnight stay at Summerland Hotel or similar. (D)

Day 2: Homhil P.A. - Stop at Qaria Lagoon

Today, we head towards the Homhil Protected Area and enjoy the fabulous landscape of deep gorges and plains along the way. Afterwards, we'll make a stop at the Qaria Lagoon. Qaria is the island's largest lagoon, where we hope to see flamingos, herons, and redshanks, among others. Once at Homhil, we can explore a selection of hiking trails, one leading us to a viewpoint overlooking a natural pool, a village below us on the plain, and the sea.  

Markedly, Homhil is home to many Dragon’s Blood trees of Socotra Island.. Its resin has been collected, used, and traded by the people of Socotra. Frankincense trees are also common here and deserve a closer look.

 Dinner. Overnight camping outside Homhil. (B/L/D)

Day 3: Hoq Cave/Arher Freshwater Stream & Beach

After breakfast, we drive to Hoq Cave. On our way, we'll witness great landscapes: beautiful beaches and low-lying bushland with endemic trees. Due to the limestone plateau and mountains, there are many cave systems on Socotra Yemen Island.

During our expedition, we explore one of the largest caves, Hoq, with its underground water reserve, subterranean animals, and archaeological finds. The 2.5-hour ascent to the cave entrance will be strenuous, but definitely worth it once we reach this cave system, which is at least 10 km long. Inside, during an easy walk of 2 km, we admire many large stalagmites, stalactites, and a rim pool while taking photos.

We head to Arher, where sand dunes up to 150 m high have been piled up against the steep cliffs by the prevailing westerly winds. In Arher, a fresh stream emerges from a granite massif and meets the salty seawater at the beach. You can relax on the green grass around the stream, swim in the sea, or if you feel fit, climb a huge sand dune for a fantastic view of this enchanting place.

Dinner. Overnight camping in Arher. (B/L/D)

Day 4: Defarhu - Amek Sandy Beach - Dagub Cave - Hayf & Zahaq Sand Dunes

Another day starts and we travel to the south of the Socotra island with attention to villages along the way. Our first stop is Amak Beach, where we can swim in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean. For lunch, we head to Dagub Cave, which offers a view of a few traditional villages below.

Unquestionably, the cave itself is interesting, with many stalactites, stalagmites, and water basins that have seeped through the rock over time. Straightaway, we'll see the colossal sand dunes of Hayf and Zahek, pressed against the mountain wall by Socotra's seasonal winds. If you feel particularly fit, you can climb the dunes for a view that is truly worth the effort.

Dinner. Overnight camping at Amek Beach. (B/L/D)

Day 5: Dixsam Plateau - Derhur Canyon - Fermhin Forest

After breakfast, we drive to Diksam. Without a doubt, the Diksam Plateau and canyon are the most spectacular limestone feature on Socotra island. The canyon drops 700 m vertically to the valley floor. We will walk along the edge of the canyon to see attractive stands of the  Dragon’s Blood tree Socotra and the extensive limestone pavement. Parts of the plateau have slid into the canyon, leaving "lost worlds" accessible only to vultures.

The plateau is home to nomadic Bedouin shepherds who move with their herds from place to place. As an illustration, we will be welcomed with a cup of tea.  At this point we  can observe many houses built into the rocks where the plateau meets the canyon.  In summary, the forest in Diksom is the last Dragon Blood forest. Nowhere else in the world can Dragon Blood trees be found in such densities. The locals will show us how they have collected and still collect the precious red resin of the trees on a smaller scale.

After filling our cameras with as many pictures of  Dragon’s Blood trees of Socotra Island as we can, we continue on the road towards Derhur Canyon. After the Dixam Plateau, the road plunges 400 m deep into a canyon through the granite. It offers a completely different atmosphere than the airy heights of the plateau. The lush floor of the canyon has been planted with palm trees, under whose shade Bruce's Green Pigeons and Laughing Doves reside. While we can refresh ourselves by swimming in the deep pool of the wadi we will escape the midday heat.

Dinner. Overnight camping in Diksam. (B/L/D)

Day 6: Qalansyia - Detwah Lagoon – The Golden Beach of Shuab

 In the morning, we drive to the neighboring Detwah Lagoon, a marine protected area known for its magical landscape. At first you'll have the opportunity to swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters and to explore the rich marine life. Afterwards, we'll take a boat to Shuab Bay, renowned for its pristine golden sand beach and vibrant coral reefs. On this occasion, you may enjoy a relaxing day swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing in this idyllic setting. In the evening, we'll return to Qalansyia for dinner and an overnight stay. (B/L/D)

Day 7: Qalansyia - Dixsam Plateau - Dragon Blood Tree Forest of Isle of Socotra

 This time we venture back to the Dixsam Plateau and immerse ourselves once again in the enchanting landscape dotted with the iconic Dragon Blood trees. We'll spend our time to explore the area. We take in the breathtaking views and learn more about the unique flora and fauna that inhabit this region. Lunch will be served amidst the natural beauty of the plateau. Meanwhile in the afternoon, we'll embark on a gentle hike through the Dragon Blood Tree Forest. It allows for ample photo opportunities and a chance to witness these remarkable trees up close.

As the day winds down, we'll return to our campsite for dinner and another night under the stars. (B/L/D)

Day 8: Socotra - Cairo (Flight)

 Sooner or later – every trip comes to its end. After breakfast, we'll have some free time to enjoy our last moments on Socotra Island. Depending on our flight schedule, we may have the opportunity to visit a local market or take a short walk in the surroundings. Finally, we'll transfer to the airport for our flight back to Cairo. Lastly, we have to bring an end to our unforgettable journey through the natural wonders of Socotra Island. (B)

If you have booked optional tours with us, we will pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel. This way, you can start your optional program with us the next morning. (B)

  • Flight tickets (Cairo - Adan - Halibo - Adan - Cairo)
  • Visa fees
  • 2 Hotel nights either in Socotra or Adan.
  • Camping equipment
  • 4x4 vehicle
  • English speaking, well trained and experienced local guide
  • Food, cooking equipment, cook and a sufficient supply of water.
  • Protected areas fees and all fees.
  • A boat ride to Shu’ab
  • Some local guides at specific places.
  • A Dabuka representative in groop sizes 10 - 15
  • Travel insurance and all types of insurances.
  • Meals not mentioned.
  • Tips for the guide and staff.
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the program.
  1. dabukade:

    Days full of wonders make this week feel like it was a month ! A fantastic itinery covering the Island from North to South and East to West –  around Socotra with 3 cars and a most lovely “kitchen-crew” !  Crossing different landscapes, here and there tough off-road rides straight up and down stony paths, learning about healing plants, exploring caves, following the dolphins,  swimming in unreal natural pools, between Dragonblood Trees, Desert Roses, Cucumber Trees, Egyptian Vultures and goats, camping at abondant places, starry nights, bonfires at the beach and every day a fresh fish on the dish !

    Passing villages, bedouins, waving children, women in black and colourful girls, boys playing football in the afternoon sun, newly built schools, colored Yemeni doors, forlorn Russian Tanks, the mix of Africa and Arabia, or beyond – an overall unique place, where the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean meet, once-in-a-lifetime? I miss it already by Silke

  2. dabukade:

    Having the opportunity to visit the isolated island of Socotra was so special – stunning beaches and coastal scenery, exquisite snorkeling, exotic trees, a massive cave and fresh-water streams. Each day was full of surprises.
    Thanks to Dabuka and the local travel company, Eco Tours, we were able to spend a week camping all over this natural paradise amongst the kind and proud Socotri people.
    by Jan

  3. dabukade:

    “Our trip to Socotra was amazing. Full of wonders–everyday! The schedule couldn’t be faulted, packed enough so we felt we had truly seen the island but also with sufficient time to relax at Socotra’s beautiful white sandy beaches and turquoise sea. And our guide and crew could not have been kinder or more helpful. Go now while this paradise remains unspoilt.” by Fiona

  4. dabukade:

    Even though Dabuka’s picture presentation had let me fall in love with Socotra, I was still reluctant to actually commit to the trip. Such a strange world to go to plus my first ever camping trip! But then a friend said- “I am going” and suddenly it became all possible. The “dragon island” was everything that was promised but somehow much less “fierce” or “challenging” than I had anticipated; the crew took wonderful care of us, were open to all our requests and even as a vegetarian they took excellent care of my meals.
    by Marina

  5. dabukade:

    A well organized comprehensive trip to the most friendly peace loving and content people in a heavenly pristine and bizarre island.
    Mervet

  6. dabukade:

    The daily schedule was a refreshing mix of a comfortable drive in the 4-wheel-cars, (with this amazingly patient driver who stopped whenever one of us shouted “Stop! Photo”!) and solid walking / hiking as well as swimming in fresh water lagoons and turquoise seas, or just watching a sunset on an empty, white beach. The landscape changed constantly and it was so unreal to be in all these beautiful places, be it the walk among all these dragon trees, the overnight camping stay on the whitest of all sand dunes or the gentle lunch, prepared next to a quiet lagoon in the soothing shade of date palms. For all our meals we were surrounded by these very polite, ever present Egyptian vultures, who knew that they would share our meal in the end and we learned that it is also due to them and their “cleaning efforts” that the places we went to are so spick and span. (Thank you, vultures!) by Marina

  7. dabukade:

    Yes, we did have to accept a downgrade in our bathroom routines but when a friend asked me, whether I would do it again, my answer was a straight “yes!” and when she asked me, which locations / day trips I would skip, I said wholeheartedly “not a single one!! Each and everyone was unique. I am still feeling so blessed that I have been able to go there and experience it!”
    by Marina

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We offer a variety of accommodation options, including hotels either in Halibo or Aden, campsites, and occasionally traditional overnight stays in local communities. The exact accommodation depends on the route and availabilities.

All meals are included during the tour. We offer a diverse selection of dishes prepared by our experienced chefs. Special dietary needs can be accommodated if specified in advance. Fresh fish is naturally available all over the island. Note only during the flight times food is provided by the airline

For exploring Socotra, we use robust, modern 4x4 vehicles to reach the remote areas of the island. For transfers between locations, we use flights to and from Aden and boat trips to reach remote beaches, depending on the type of trip.

Yes, a visa is required. Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the return date. We will take care of obtaining a visa.

We recommend bringing comfortable clothing and shoes for outdoor activities. Don't forget to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a water bottle. Camping equipment is provided, but you are welcome to bring your own preferred personal items.

Most activities are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. However, some hikes may be more challenging. Please contact us if you have special requirements or concerns about the activities.

Socotra is generally safe to visit, but it is always advisable to check current travel advisories and take basic precautions. We also recommend getting travel insurance and obtaining any necessary vaccinations before the trip.

Yes, we offer optional excursions and activities that you can add to your itinerary. Please let us know in advance if you are interested in specific activities so we can plan accordingly.