Socotra, a remote archipelago located in the Arabian Sea, has captivated photographers from around the world with its otherworldly landscapes and unique biodiversity. This hidden gem, often referred to as the “Galapagos of the Indian Ocean,” offers an unparalleled opportunity for photographers seeking to capture stunning and surreal images.
Socotra’s distinct beauty lies in its dramatic and alien-like landscapes. From the iconic Dragon’s Blood Trees, with their umbrella-shaped branches and red resin, to the surreal limestone formations known as “karsts,” every corner of Socotra presents a visual feast. Photographers will be enchanted by the contrast of the crystal-clear turquoise waters against the rugged mountains and white sandy beaches.
The archipelago is home to numerous endemic species, making it a paradise for wildlife and nature photographers. The Socotra warbler, Socotra sunbird, and Socotra starling are just a few of the unique bird species that can be found here. Marine life is equally impressive, with vibrant coral reefs and the opportunity to spot dolphins and sea turtles.
For photographers, Socotra offers endless opportunities for capturing mesmerizing images, whether it’s the ethereal sunrise over the sea, the silhouettes of the iconic trees against a colorful sky, or the intricate details of the island’s flora and fauna. The remote and untouched nature of Socotra adds to its allure, providing a sense of adventure and exclusivity.
However, due to its isolated location and limited infrastructure, visiting Socotra requires careful planning and arrangements. Travelers should ensure they have the necessary permits and be prepared for a rustic experience.
Socotra is a photographer’s dream, offering a truly unique and awe-inspiring setting to capture images that will leave a lasting impression on anyone who sees them. It’s a destination that promises to ignite creativity and spark a sense of wonder in all who visit.
Close to Nature and Comfort
There are no hotels in the whole of Socotra Island other than in the small town of Hadibu. This town is the administrative centre and it hosts Socotra’s only airport. So in order to go around the whole island and to photography locations, we will be organizing all-wheel-drive SUVs. Each participant will have a window view. Accommodation throughout the trip will be in single occupancy tents.
Everything from the setting up of tents, camps, and cooking will be taken care of by our drivers and chefs. You may want to bring your snorkeling equipment to explore the sea life in shallow lagoons.
What awaits us?
- Photograph the white sand dunes.
- Visit the numerous caves.
- Photo the dragon blood trees and other local fauna.
- Provide snorkeling equipment and snorkel in beautiful crystal-clear lagoons.
- Visit the local fishermen and experience their way of life.
- Swimming in freshwater grottoes on the plateau
- Observe the Milky Way and stars in the unpolluted sky of the Southern Hemisphere.
- Glorious sunrises and sunsets against the local landscapes.
- Experience the Yemeni cuisine.
How to get there?
In order to reach Socotra Island in Yemeni, you need to travel to Abu Dhabi and then take a flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra Island. We will assist in booking the flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra Island.
We will help to book the flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra Island. There is only one flight a week on a Tuesday. The price of the return air ticket is US$920.00
Presently there is only one flight a week from Abu Dhabi to Socotra Island. It leaves every Tuesday at 11:00, arriving at Socotra at 12:15 and leave on a Tuesday from Socotra to Abu Dhabi leaving at 13:45 and arriving at Abu Dhabi at 17:00. You may need to spend a night in Abu Dhabi on the 4th.
Our local Agent will apply for the visa on arrival on our behalf. We need to provide our Agent the necessary documents. The price of the Yemen Visa is US$120 inclusive of all costs.
Difficulty of trip
There are not many hotels on Socotra Island especially in the places that we are going to. There will be camping throughout the trip and some hiking/trekking to places for photography. This is a moderately difficult trip.
Day 1 – 5th March (D)
Meet participants at Abu Dhabi Airport. Fly to Socotra and upon arrival meet with our local guide who will accompany us throughout the entire trip. Next, we will go to the Dihamri Marine Reserve, where we will sunbathe, swim the Azure Sea, and relax. Those who wish to go snorkeling or scuba diving (additional fee) can do so. You can also join the local fishermen to go fishing. Meanwhile the camp will be set up and dinner will wait for you. Overnight at Dihamri Reserve.
Day 2 – 6th March (B,L,D)
Homhill National Park, Dragon Trees, Frankincense Trees, Archer Dunes. Breakfast on the beach and to Homhill National Park (1hour). Here we can see the most unusual trees on our planet. We will see the scared Boswellia, which is called the Frankincense tree. Frankincense is made from the fragrant resins of these trees.
Giant Mushrooms can be found here. This is a dracaena, which is also called the Dragon tree. This tree grows only on Socotra Island. The resin of this tree is bright red, that is why it is called “dragon’s blood”. The resin is used in medicine. The Cucumber trees – dendrositsios also grow in this park. They look like cucumbers with leaves stuck on the top.
Next, we go to a natural pool with emerald-coloured waters. We can swim or go down to the beach. We will head to Arkher where we will set up camp and have our dinner.
Day 3 – 7th March (B,L,D)
After breakfast we will hike to Khok Cave. This 2.5km long cave is a wealth of natural beauty: stalactites, stalagmites, as well as small lagoons. After lunch we drive to Momi Plateau to visit one of the most amazing places, – Kelesehan Canyon. This canyon is famous for its water cascades and fresh water pools. In the late afternoon, we will head to Roche Marine Reserve to explore one of the best snorkeling and diving spots in Socotra. Roche is home to dozens of colorful marine life and coral reefs in the archipelago.
Day 4 – 8th March (B,L,D)
After breakfast we drive towards the South Coast of Nuged. Here we explore the Degub Cave. This overlooks the scattered villages below. Next we go and explore the sandy Omak Beach. We will rest and have a swim in the Indian Ocean. Lunch will be served on the beach. In the afternoon we will drive to the huge sand dunes of Haifa and Zahek. We will return to Omak Beach where we will spend the night.
Day 5 – 9th March (B,L,D)
We drive to Dixam Plateau after breakfast. This is where the fabulous forest of Fermachin is located. It is the most picturesque place where dragon trees grow. We will walk through the forest and stop at Shebahon Observation deck for panoramic views. By noon, we will reach the village of Diksam. Here we will meet an Elder who will tell us about the life and traditions of the Bedouins living here. After lunch, we will get to the most beautiful canyon of Socotra – Wadi Dehur. The evening lights is the best time to capture some good landscape shots.
Day 6 – 10th March (B,L,D)
Today we will explore the western part of the island. Our first stop will be Qalansiya, a small traditional fishing town. We will then continue to Detva Lagoon, which is a protected marine area. This is the only Ramsar site in Yemen with a wetland. It is known for its magical landscape and unspoiled gorgeous sandy beaches and turquoise waters.
Late in the evening we will take a short walking tour of the lagoon to meet Abdullah (Ella); a local who was born in a small cave near the lagoon. He still lives in it with his family. Abdullah also known as Ella, a caveman is a legend on the island. His personality and daily lifestyle will give you an idea of how the people of Socotra lived in the past.
Day 7 – 11th March (B,L,D)
Early in the morning, we will take a boat ride to Shoub Beach with the local fishermen. Along the ride, we will be accompanied by long-nose dolphins. We will see multiple bird colonies. We may also fish for dinner. On the arrival of one of the most beautiful beaches. We will have a picnic on the beach, take some photos and wander through the mangrove forest. In the evening during dinner we will share our impressions of the trip around Socotra Island.
Day 8 – 12th March – (B)
After breakfast we will visit the fish market and buy local souvenirs. We say goodbye to the paradise island and fly back to Abu Dhabi. End of program.
If you are interested in joining this photosafari, please contact Maxby at [email protected]