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Difference between revisions of "Socotra"

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Asia : Middle East : Yemen : Socotra
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==Cities==
 
==Cities==
 
* [[Hadibo]]
 
* [[Hadibo]]
 +
* Qalansia
  
 
==Other destinations==
 
==Other destinations==
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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.   
 
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'''. There is also another hotel at the airport and also multiple guest houses around the island.  There are '''two campsites''' that allow tourists to barbeque on the beach with beautiful mountain views in the background.
+
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 luxerious, but they do provide air-conditionting, 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. 
 +
 
 +
   
  
 
A runway 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.
 
A runway 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.
 
In addition, there are also two information centers located at the airport and Hadibo.
 +
 +
  
 
'''When to go''':  
 
'''When to go''':  
Line 22: Line 29:
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
  
Yemania Airlines offers two flights per week on Friday and Monday:
+
Flight timetable  Sana'a/Socotra has recently (february 2012) changed:
     From Sana’a to Socotra Island (Friday departure time 5:00 am)
+
Yemania Airlines offers one flight per week on Thursday morning;
    From Aden to Socotra Island (Monday departure 9:00 am)
+
Felix Airways offers two flights per week on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning;
*Flight durations are almost three hours.
+
      
 
+
Flight durations are almost three hours
Felix is a new airline and is about to take over all flights to Socotra, providing flights once a day to and from the island.
+
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
There is no public transport, but car rental is available.
+
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==
 
==See==
  
The Dragon’s Blood Tree “dracaena cinnabara” exists only on Socotra and nowhere else on the EarthThe tree got its’ name because if any damage is made to the bark then a dark red liquid oozes out.
+
Socotra is considered the jewel of biodiversity in the Arabian SeaAlthough the region is small, it is characterized by unique land and marine biodiversity.
[[Image:Socotra_tree.jpg|thumb|This umbrella shaped tree can survive even in the dry heat climate of Socotra
+
]]
+
 
+
  
 +
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. 
 +
[[Image:Socotra_tree.jpg|thumb| 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.
  
  
Line 55: Line 61:
 
===Itineraries===
 
===Itineraries===
  
==Do==
+
==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!
 
'''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!
Line 61: Line 67:
 
Socotra Adventure tours can carry all the camping equipment and cooking gear or you can opt for any one of the several campsites like Dihamri and Homhil.
 
Socotra Adventure tours 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. 
  
'''Camel back ride''': For a less active adventure
+
'''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 AugustIn 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.  
 
+
'''Surf''':  Socotra has excellent conditions for surfing.  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.   
 
'''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.  
+
'''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.   
   
+
'''Beaches'''
+
  
'''Historical Monuments'''
+
'''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.
  
'''Remarkable volcanic caves'''
+
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.
  
'''Hiking''': For even those who are less athletic.
+
'''Beaches''' Shouab, Qalansia, Arher, Noget, Amaq among others
 +
 
 +
'''Wadis and fresh water pools''' Homhil, Wadi Dirhir and others
  
 
==Eat==
 
==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.   
 
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.
 
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.
 
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 delicious freshly cooked fish)
+
* If you are camping in Socotra, your driver/guide will be responsible for your meals (typically some delicious 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==
 
==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.
 
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==
 
==Stay safe==
  
Malaria is not common, but malaria prophylactic is recommended.  Cholera is not on the island at all.
+
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.
+
The hospitals offer less than adequate service, but pharmacies are located around Hadibo.
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==

Revision as of 10:22, 6 May 2012

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 luxerious, but they do provide air-conditionting, 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.


A runway 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

Flight timetable Sana'a/Socotra has recently (february 2012) changed: Yemania Airlines offers one flight per week on Thursday morning; Felix Airways offers two flights per week on Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning;

Flight durations are almost three 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.







Itineraries

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 Adventure tours 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 delicious 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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