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visiting Socotra Island

Hadiboh, Yemen
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visiting Socotra Island

hi!

first of all I aplogize... cannot speck German!

i am Yemenite from Socotra island, a small paradise 300km from Yemen and Somalia coast.

I would like to give information on this wonderful place to all people interested in visiting it...

After visiting Europe last summer, i realized that Yemen is not coming very popular... so since the development of my island is basically linked to tourism, please just keep this forum alive with all your questions and opinion on Yemen and of course Socotra

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1. Re: visiting Socotra Island

Hello there,

I am planning to visit the island for about 3 weeks. I would like to ask what is an approx budget in US Dollar for a day including accomondation (guest house - does not to be expensive) and food. Could you also give me some price examples (daily needs).

Is it possible to travel as a backpacker or do I need a guide to visit a tourist attractions? and how is it with transport? How can I travel through the Island?

Thank you very much.

Doha, Qatar
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2. Re: visiting Socotra Island

Katerix,

Socotra is very expensive. Hadibo, the island capital, is the only place on the island with hotels. The cheapest being around $20/night. There is camping a pre-arranged locations for $5/person/night.

The only way to get around the island is to hire a car and driver, costing anywhere from $30-$75/day.

I've highlighted this and more on my blog.

…blogspot.com/2010/12/socotra-101.html

London, United...
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3. Re: visiting Socotra Island

Hi

i am planning to visit Socotra next February: can you tell me if any problem in stopping for 1 or 2 days also in Mukalla before or after visiting Socotra?

i would like to spend many weeks in Yemen, but since this is not possible, can you tell me your advice on places not to miss in Socotra?

about the weather is this a season for seaside activities (temperature and wind?) or much better to spend more time on trekking on mountains (temperture and rain)?

Doha, Qatar
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83 posts
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4. Re: visiting Socotra Island

If you have limited time, then a stop over in Mukhala really isn't necessary. Check out my blog entry. …blogspot.com/2010/…mussin-about-mukalla.html

But if you still want to visit, all flights between San'a and Socotra stop in Mukhala to pick up other passengers, so it's easy to stay if you want..

As for Socotra, the best beach is Qalasiya on the west coast. But the highlight of the island is in the highlands. Homhill makes for a good base to check out dragon blood trees and spectacular views to the coast below. …blogspot.com/2010/12/heart-of-socotra.html

Hadiboh, Yemen
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5. Re: visiting Socotra Island

Hi my friends!

I am very sad... Yemen is coming less popular than before because of recent protests... I know that lot of people are fascinated by this country but at the same time are scared about the political situation.

In the island of Socotra every thing is the same. This place is so far from mainland not to be affectd by Sana'a protests.

Anyway, if you would like to come and see the beautiful nature of Socotra, this is the best time of the year: hot weather, calm see, few people to enjoy the wildness of this paradise.

Just one tip for people scared about Sana'a transit: you can arrive to Socotra also from Emirates (Sharaja) with Felix airways, no need to stay in Sana'a

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6. Re: visiting Socotra Island

Thanks for all your updates.

I plan to go there around christmas.

So I speak to you later.

keep in touch.

Thakns

skand
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7. Re: visiting Socotra Island

Hello everybody!!!!!!!!!

First of all

my amazing Socotra island are not got discourged by information on Yemen situation: i confirm that since Socotra is very farm from mainland it is a very safe place.

How to arrive in Socotra? All the flights to Hadibo have an intermediate landing in Mukalla (Yemen) so the best way to come here avoiding Sana’a is a flight from Oman (Salalah) or Emirates (Sharjah) to Mukalla to Hadibo. Sana’a is quite good town. at the moment immigration office is easier and faster in Mukalla, compared to Sana’a. You can check flight schedule on www.felixairways.com: there are daily flights from Mukalla to Socotra (except Thursdays ,sunday,tuesday).

Socotra is not very big, but for a days trip you need to make a choice from a long list of the places: the most important beaches (Detwah lagoon, Delisha, Dihamri, Arher, Irshal on the north coast and the south with Aomak), Dixsam plateau and Homill protected area (dragoon blood and incense trees) are a must! We can also consider exploration of Hoq cave, the villages (Qalansya, and the south) and the capital Hadibo, a boat trip to Shoab and trekking on the mountains to hajjher or along some picturesque wadi.

Let me know if you already have an idea of your favorite places (consider some information and pictures on the website www.unexploredsocotra.com, I am still working on it): if this is not the case I will send you my proposal, but you can decide to change it anytime of your trip: our experience allow us to be flexible in programs since people sometimes is fascinated by a place and prefer to stay there rather than move all the time around the island, or just the opposite!

December is a good time to visit the island: no wind, quite sea, few tourist to enjoy by your own the desert beaches. By boat trips it is often possible to see dolphins and also swim and snorkel with them. Snorkeling and diving is always possible, as well as swimming also in fresh waters in different places of inland.

... what else? sun cream, sun glasses and time to relax in the nature!!

I hope this is information will help you and just wait to have your news soon

Best regards

moshneeq

Edited: 10:25 am, November 15, 2011
sg
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8. Re: visiting Socotra Island

Hi I am intending to visit Scootra in early January 2012. I have a few doubts to clarify here and since you are local perhaps you could explain them.

1. Is it possible to fly from salalah to scotra directly without the need to enter San'aa? My current plan entails taking a flight from Muscat to Sanaa but I will be travelling to Salalah, while in Oman and it is a big hassle to go down South and then up North all again to catch a flight to Sanaa to Scootra? If there is an alternative route, what about getting the Yemeni VISA ?

2. The VISA is a big issue. Would the authorities turn away foreigners who land at San'aa airport without issuing VISA to Scootra in light of the political instability? Provided I have flight details of plans to enter Scootra and when I would be leaving San'aa, is that enough documentation or do I need anything else? Price of Yemeni tourist VISA?

3. I plan to do some light trekking in the mountains and visit the beaches. Any recommendations on where to go?

4. Where do I find guides and drivers? At Hadibo or random?

5. I am staying for 4 nights. How much cash do you think approximately I should bring, given that I do not want to snorkel or dive, or take a boat. Just light trekking and chilling by the beaches.

Cheers,

MUB

socotra
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9. Re: visiting Socotra Island

hi MUB!

this is some information useful for your trip.

If you are going to visit Oman is really a good idea coming to Socotra from Salalah via Mukalla. Check flights in felixairwais website for availability.

Visa: it is not allowed to arrive in Yemen without visa. Some local agents in Socotra can prepare it in advance and assist you at immigration office on your arrival in Yemen, Mukalla or Sana'a according to your flight.

Most of people in Socotra was involved in tourism with their cars, but the problem is the language, since most of them speak arabic or socotri but not english: i strongly suggest you to contact someone in advance to organize car and your stay on the island

there are many places for treking especially from Dixam plateau to Scand in Higher Montains or easy ways like Homhil and surrandings

Money: Socotra do not have AMT and no credit cards are accepte, so you can use cash in yemen-ryals or dollars: prices can be different according to your choices

if you want more information feel free to ask

Socotra
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10. Re: visiting Socotra Island

Hi every body, I just found last update for Socotra !

Yemen Update - Trip Report Sanaa/Socotra 10-19 Nov 2011

My dive buddy & I just returned from a week in Socotra with a day in Sanaa at either end of our stay. All our local arrangements were made by Abduljameel of Socotra Eco Tours (http://www.socotra-eco-tours.com/ e-mail:- holidays@socotra-eco-tours.com tel:- +967 770689762).

We flew Egyptair from London to Sanaa changing planes in Cairo. At check in in Cairo you will need to show a copy of your Yemeni visa. Our visas were obtained by Abduljameel – we emailed him a copy of our passports & wired the fees to him & once he received the visas he emailed copies to us. On arrival at Sanaa airport we gave the copies to the visas desk & they posted the original visas in our passports. Abduljameel had arranged for us to be met at the airport by Akmed of Friendship Group (http://friendship-group.com/en/index.htm) as our guide/driver & one of the officials phoned him as he waited outside to confirm that we were with his agency – arriving independently without this I believe you would not be allowed in. In Sanaa we stayed at the Arabia Felix (http://arabiafelixhotel.com/) one of the few if not the only hotel still open in the old town. We walked around the souk with Akmed & ate at the Al Shaibani restaurant. The traffic in Sanaa is terrible – worse now that there are so many army check points. Parts of the city around University Square & Tahrir Square are blocked off to all traffic. The power goes off at night but the hotel had a generator use for part of it. Akmed is a conscientious English speaking guide with a thorough knowledge of which parts of the city are ok & which to avoid. On our return through Sanaa Akmed had got us travel permits so we were able to visit Shibam/Kawkaban & Wadi Dahr.

We flew Felix Air (tickets arranged by Abduljameel) from Sanaa to Socotra with a stop on the ground in Mukalla. Our bags were overweight but they waived the excess fee. On Socotra we stayed 5 nights at Dihamri eco lodge, 1 night at Ditwah & 1 night at Adeebs near Hadibo. Tents are provided but we slept outside. We did 6 days diving at Dihamri, Erissel, Adho, Rosh, Quisalaya & Shuub & 2 land trips to Homhil & the Dixsum plateau. We had a guide (Sammy), driver (Mohamed) & dive guide (Nassem). Food was plentiful – bread, cheese, jam, rice, pasta, beans, curried vegetables, grilled fish & goat. Plenty of tea, water & soft drinks – no alcohol. The dives were mainly on sand flats at say 60 feet covered with coral heads. Being relatively undived the coral condition is superb with an incredible amount of fish life – nurse & whitetipped sharks, skates, reys, eels, turtles & schools & schools of fish – the Shuub wreck in particular was just covered in blankets of fish. Generally, 15 minute boats rides to the sites in fishing boats. Drift dives no buoys. Visibility around 50 feet. Although a limited amount of spare equipment is available, best to bring your own. 5 mm wetsuits. Some of the best diving I have done in the Red Sea & Arabian Sea (comparing with Egypt, Eritrea, Maldives, Mauritius).

Socotra is a wonderful place both above & below the water. Even if you do not travel through Sanaa it is possible to get there by flying from Sharjah in the U.A.E. via Mukalla. Go now – you will not regret it.

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa…

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