Sheba TourismSocotra Island is a small archipelago of four islands and islets in the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa some 350 km south of the Republic of Yemen, which administers Socotra for the Banu Afrar Mahra Sultanate
of Qishn and Socotra. The archipelago consists of the mountainous main island of Socotra (3625 km² ) and three smaller islands, Abd Al Kuri, Samha with a few hundred people and the uninhabited Darsa, and other uninhabitable rock outcrops.
The climate is generally tropical desert, with rainfall being light, seasonal (winter) and more abundant at the higher ground in the interior than along the coastal lowlands. Socotra has three geographical terrains: the narrow coastal plains, a limestone plateau
permeated with karstic caves, and the Haghier mountains.
Socotra is one of the most isolated bits of land on earth of continental landmass origin not of volcanic origin). The island probably detached from Africa as a fault block during the
Middle Pliocene (ca 6 mya), in the same set of rifting events that have opened the Gulf of Aden to its north west. The long geological isolation of the archipelago and its fierce heat and drought have combined to create a unique and spectacular endemic flora that would be highly
vulnerable to change; surveys have revealed that more than a third of the 800 or so plant species are found nowhere else. Botanists rank the flora of Socotra among the ten most endangered island flora in the world. The archipelago is a site of global importance for
biodiversity conservation and a possible center for ecotourism. Even the Semitic language,Socotri,is spoken only there.
One of the most striking of Socotra's plants is the dragon's blood tree Dracaena cinnabari which is a very strange-looking, umbrella-shaped tree. Its red sap was the dragon's blood of the ancients, sought after as
a medicine and a dye. As with many isolated island systems, bats are the only mammals native to Socotra. In contrast, the marine biodiversity around Socotra is rich, characterized by a unique mixture of species that have originated in farflung biogeographic regions: the western
Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, Arabia, East Africa and the wider Indo-Pacific. The monsoonal climate is strong: from June to September the island has traditionally been inaccessible, because of exceedingly strong monsoon winds and high seas and strong winds. In July 1999 a new airport
opened Socotra to the outside year round.
Socotra is called Dioskouridou in the 1st century CE in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a navigation aid. In the notes to his translation of the Periplus, G.W.B. Huntingford remarks that
the name is not Greek in origin, but from the Sanskrit dvipa sukhadhara -island of bliss-. A tradition holds that the inhabitants were converted to Christianity by Thomas in AD 52, and in the 10th century the Arab geographer Abu Zaid Hassan states that in his time most of the
inhabitants were Christians.
The explorer Tristo da Cunha put ashore in the early 16th century and considered Socotra conquered for Portugal, at which time Christianity had disappeared from the island except for stone crosses at which Alvares
said people worshipped.However, during a visit of the island in 1542, Francis Xavier found a group of people claiming to be descended from the converts made by St. Thomas.
The islands passed under the control of the Mahra sultans in 1511, but eventually became a British protectorate in 1886, for whom it was an important strategic stop-over. With the independence of Yemen, the islands arrived at their current arrangement.
>> The First day
On arrival at Socotra airport, we will then transfer to the hotel in Hadibo to acclimatize and have lunch, the afternoon activity is a visit to Ayhaft canyon then after that Deleisha cast which consists of pristine white sand, relaxing swimming both in the sea and also in a
freshwater lagoon all with a beautiful mountainous background. There is a also the possibility of witnessing a fabulous sunset from Deleisha, after dinner in the restaurant we move to local house to witness and participate into a local dancing, and then overnight at hole in Hadibo.
>> The Second Day
After breakfast we will make our way by 4xdrive vehicles 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 of the endemic and rear Socotra bunting (estimate 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 maybe also to swim in the freshwater polls in the wadi. Dinner and overnight camp in the Daerhhu village.
>> The third day
Today we travel to the south of the island, with visits to villages along the way. Our first destination is Aomak beach where we can swim in the clear water of Indian Ocean, Forlunch we will go to Dogub cave, which overlooks a scattering of traditional villages below..
>> The forth day
After breakfast we will drive to the north east of the island to Difarhu canyon where we can see traditional villages and natural water pools at the bottom of the canyon. The unusual Desert Rise tree clings t o many places on the canyon walls. The vegetation here is lush green and there are many birds, then we will make our way to the marine protected area of Dihamri which is home to
one of the richest coral reefs of the archipelago. The many marine animals to be seen whilst swimming /snorkeling include; parrotfish, Moray ell, Rays Sea urchins, etc. we would like to remind people not to touch the corals in the marine protected are as this would cause irreversible damage, dinner and overnight at Dihamri marine protected area camp site.
>> The fifth day
Today we make our way to Homhil protected area, taking in the fabulous sceneries ofdeep ravines and plains along the way; we will stop at Qaria lagoon en-route. Qaria is the largest lagoon on the island and we can hopefully see Flamingos, Herons and Greenshank, amongst others. Once at Homhil, we can walk a selection of trails, on ne of which takes us to a viewpoint where there is a natural
pool and a view villages below on the plain and of the sea, Homhil is home to many Dragons Blood trees the resin of which is collected, used and traded by the people of Socotra, Frankincense tress are also prevalent here and deserve a close look. we hike down to the northeast coast of the island to Wadi Shifa (medium –two hours walking) where the cars can meet us then driving to Arher area,
which is a meeting point f fresh water from the mountain and salt water from the ocean .Arher is also home to another magnificent sand dune, The remainder of the day is for swimming and exploration of this location.camping and overnight in Arher.
>> The sixth day
Today we enjoy the hole day next to the peatch and enjoying swimming and having sunbath .Or if you want to make an adventure we can go to visit Halah Cave the biggest cave in the island ,and back to Hadibu, then dinner and overnight at hotel.
>> The seventh day
From Hadibo we drive to Qakansyia to look around this charming and picturesque fishing town with tis traditional houses and narrow alleyways. We then go to the protected area of Detwah lagoon, which is renowned for its spectacular landscape, sting rays can be seen in the lagoon, so take care
when you swimming. There is also a large array of sea birds to be seen at this location. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Hadibo.