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Difference between revisions of "Socotra"

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*<see name="Socotra Eco Tours" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">www.socotra-eco-tours.com</see>
 
*<see name="Socotra Eco Tours" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">www.socotra-eco-tours.com</see>
 
===Itineraries===
 
===Itineraries===
 +
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.
 +
 +
 +
for more information please visit www.socotra-eco-tours.com
  
 
==Do and See==
 
==Do and See==

Revision as of 20:03, 23 September 2013

Socotra (Arabic سقطرى ; Suquṭra) is an island and three islets in the Indian Ocean, an offshore territory of Yemen, near the "horn" of Somalia.

Contents

Cities

Other destinations

Understand

Due to its remarkable biodiversity, with over a third of the local plant species found nowhere else, Socotra has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With over 40,000 inhabitants, though, it's not just a nature reserve.

The Island is new to tourism, so if you are looking for a luxurious vacation this is not the right destination. However, Socotra is a perfect destination for the adventurous and nature loving travelers. Socotra takes pride in their eco-tourism and values their spectacular plant and wildlife that may sometimes be only found on this island. Although the lodging and facilities may not be the same as more modern and developed locations, Socotra is a beautiful and magnificent destination choice. Great care is shown to both guests and the environment.

Socotra is an eco-tourism system with limited infrastructure and new to the international tourist market, and therefore the hotel accommodations are not quite like other destinations. However there are four hotels in Hadibo: Taj Socotra Hotel, Hafijj Hotel, Socotra Hotel, and Summer land Hotel. These hotels may not be the most luxurious, but they do provide air-conditioning, televisions, and refrigerators in all of the rooms. Most of the rooms at these hotels have their own bathroom, but there are a few rooms at the Hafijj Hotel and Socotra Hotel that must share bathrooms. Fortunately, there is a restaurant in each of the hotels with simple yet delicious cuisine. Considering Socotra is a fairly new eco-tourism destination, their facilities are decent. In addition, there is also another hotel at the airport as well as multiple guest houses around the island.

The most popular lodging is actually camping on the beaches. There are several campsites that allow tourists to barbeque on the beach with beautiful mountain views in the background. Tourists can choose to purchase camping tour packages which include a driver or guide that will show tourists around the beaches as well as provide meals during their stay. It is a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty and wildlife of the island.


An airport that provides fairly regular airline transportation was only constructed in 1999. Like everything else, infrastructure and transportation has only just begun in recent years. There are also plans for new harbor facilities that will allow fisherman to sell and catch more easily and make importing food and fuel simpler.

In addition, there are also two information centers located at the airport and Hadibo.


When to go: Climate is an important consideration. And this depends on your interest. Nature enthusiasts should go from early October to late April. The monsoon occurs in July till mid-August (during July in the south east and south west of the island, wind surfing activity can be arranged). Generally, wildlife and natural viewing is best from the end of January through May.

Get in

As of February 2012 there are flights from Sana'a/Socotra and Aden. These stop at Riyan Mukalla Airport. Yemenia Airlines offers one flight per week on Thursday morning; Felix Airways offers three flights per week on Monday morning, Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning;

Flight duration is about two hours.

Get around

There is a public bus from the airport to Hadibo and from Hadibo to Qalansia. Beside these two buses, there is no public transport, but car rental with driver is available. There is a lot of walking and hiking along with camel back rides available.

See

Socotra is considered the jewel of biodiversity in the Arabian Sea. Although the region is small, it is characterized by unique land and marine biodiversity.

The interior of the island is dominated by the beautiful and green Hagghier mountains and limestone plateau. While on the outer coastline, breathtaking natural beaches have pure white sand dunes and palm trees. Socotra Isand is very rich and is home to many rare spectacular species of reefs, fish, birds, plants, and trees which are not found anywhere else in the world. The limestone plateau and the Hagghier Mountains are the richest areas for endemic plant species, but endemics are found throughout the island in every type of vegetation. One of the most famous plants is the Dragon's Blood Tree “dracaena cinnabara” which exists only on Socotra and nowhere else on the Earth. The tree got its name because if any damage is made to the bark then a dark red liquid oozes out.

The Dragon's Blood Tree is an umbrella shaped tree that can survive even in the dry heat climate of Socotra

There is also the Desert Rose (adenium obesium) which looks like a blooming elephant leg. Also found in Socotra's landscape is the ever-strange and extremely rare Cucumber Tree. In addition there are over 120 species of birds and about 190 species of butterflies. There is so much beauty all around the island, it is difficult not the appreciate to magnificent scenery and wildlife.

  • Socotra Eco Tours. www.socotra-eco-tours.com

Itineraries

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.


for more information please visit www.socotra-eco-tours.com

Do and See

Camp: With a bit of water for washing, a good meal and warm sleeping surrounded by virgin nature, camping on the beaches will provide a very special break from the every day routine in civilization!

[Socotra Holidays and Tours]http://www.tovisitsocotra.com can carry all the camping equipment and cooking gear or you can opt for any one of the several campsites like Dihamri and Homhil.

Hiking: The Scant, Tinnera, Firmihin, Dersmotin regions, are the most popular destinations for trekkers. Hiking is for everyone and even for those who are less athletic. However for more difficult and high altitude trails, it is recommended to be accompanied by a local guide.

Camel back ride: It is an opportunity to get to know and enjoy the spectacular scenery and relaxed the rhythm of ancient time. This is more of a less active adventure. The camel back rides provide a more relaxing ride over plateaus and colorful panoramas and mountains.

Surf: Socotra has excellent conditions for surfing. The best time to come for this activity is during the monsoon season from June up to late August. In July the wind speed can reach up to 60 mph and you have to be aware of such conditions. Since the winds and be very rough it is recommended that only experienced surfers participate.

Scuba dive/ Snorkel: Dive into the tropical warm weather filled with coral reefs. Enjoy swimming among the hundreds of species of fish and marine life such as barracudas, monkfish, dolphins, rays and even mantas. Diving for all ages and levels.

Bird watching tours: This is for anyone who has an interest in birds. Excellent way to view nature and the highly diverse bird population while avoiding harming any wildlife.

Local boat safaris and fishing: Take one of the organized tours and be taken to incomparable destinations. The trip to Shouab beach is a half day tour to discover the beauty of this remarkable destination. With the clear water and white sands you can snorkel and relax. While driving the boat, dolphins can be seen swimming right next to the boat.

Also go on a fascinating fishing experience with some of the locals.

Remarkable volcanic caves: Explore the Hoq Cave with its overwhelming beauty and variety of crystal decorations.

Beaches Shouab, Qalansia, Arher, Noget, Amaq among others

Wadis and fresh water pools Homhil, Wadi Dirhir and others

Eat

Socotra is a remote island and therefore their cuisine is limited and simple. Local restaurants often serve fresh fish, chicken, goat, rice, and potatoes. The fish is highly recommended and all meals are typically served with flat Arabic bread.

There are also resturants at each of the five hotels with a simple menu similar to that of the local restaurants.

Oranges, bananas, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, bottled water, and soft drinks can all be bought at shops in town. Vegetables can be bought also but they are more expensive because they must be shipped over.

  • If you are camping in Socotra, your driver/guide will be responsible for your meals (typically some amazing freshly cooked fish), if the tourists would like to be liked by the local community, they should help the driver and the guide. Relying on the driver and the guide and not helping them is not good, so help please

Drink

Since Yemen is an Islamic country, there are no alcoholic beverages provided except at five star hotels in the big cities mainland. It is suggested for tourists to bring their own alcohol if desired. Bottled water and soft drinks can be purchased at shops in town. Bottled water is also available at the campsites, and tea is served with all the meals as well.

Stay safe

Malaria is not common, but malaria prophylaxis is recommended. Cholera is not on the island at all.

The hospitals offer less than adequate service, but pharmacies are located around Hadibo.

Get out

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