Can you imagine following in the footsteps of the Portuguese navigator Vicente Sodré, Vasco de Gama’s uncle and the first navigator to reach the island of Socotra?
If you want to follow in the footsteps of this Portuguese navigator, come with us on this adventure where we’ll explore this remote island in the Indian Ocean for 8 days.
It will be an 8-day adventure where you’ll get to know the island’s endemic fauna and flora, including the strange but interesting Dracaena cinnabari tree.
We’ll also take you on a boat trip through the calm, clear waters that surround the island and give you the chance to catch a glimpse of some marine species, as well as swim in this sea. We’ll also visit fishing villages, caves and explore dunes and canyons.
This is an adventurous trip, where we sleep in tents and you’ll be accompanied by a leader.
Are you coming with us on this adventure?
6 – 12 people
There are no scheduled activities today, but depending on your arrival time you can take the opportunity to explore a little of Abu Dhabi. The leader is already in Abu Dhabi, and you can meet him today to get to know each other.
Abu Dhabi - Arrival in Socotra
The first day begins with a flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra. The flight departs at 11 a.m. (UAE time - subject to change) from Terminal 1 at Abu Dhabi International Airport. After arriving at Socotra airport, we will go to the hotel in Hadibo for lunch. After lunch we will head to Ayhaft Canyon National Park. In the gorge (valley), you can enjoy large freshwater pools where you can swim or dive. Around them will be a variety of endemic plants such as the Dessert Rose, Tamarinds, Cucumbers and a wide variety of birds such as the Socotra Sparrow, Socotra Sunbird and Socotra and Somali Starlings. After swimming, we headed to Delisha beach, which consists of pristine white sands filled with crabs. You can relax while swimming in the sea and a freshwater lagoon. If you're full of energy, you can climb a huge sand dune that overlooks the beach. There is also the possibility of watching a fabulous sunset from Delisha.
Shuaab golden sand - Detwah P.A. Lagoon
Today we will explore the western part of the island. Our first stop will be in Qalansiya, a small traditional fishing town. From there, we took a boat and headed for Shuaab. We are very likely to see spinner dolphins and other marine animals during this boat trip. Once at Shuaab, feel free to swim, relax and enjoy this unspoilt place, as well as take a look at a mangrove area. After exploring the surrounding mangroves in the areas, we will return to Qalansiya in time to explore Detwah lagoon, which is a protected marine area known for its magical landscape. This area has some of the best views on the island, where you can swim, sunbathe and relax in the shallow sea.
Dixam Plateau - Shebahon Lookout - Wadi Dirhur Gorge
After breakfast, we head to the Dixam plateau (about 700 m above sea level) and the Shebahon viewpoint. This area is home to an endless number of plants endemic to Socotri, such as the dragon's blood tree and other trees, as well as the Shebahon viewpoint, which offers a wonderful view of the Daerhu gorge, where we can observe breathtaking landscapes and unusual but beautiful rock formations. We will then descend to the Wadi in the gorge for lunch and a leisurely stroll to swim in the freshwater pools. In the late afternoon, we will prepare our way to Omak Beach on the Indian Ocean.
Omak PA - Digub Cave - Hayf and Zahek Sand Dunes
After a quick dip in the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean, we head to Digub cave, overlooking a series of traditional villages. The cave itself is interesting as there are many stalactites, stalagmites and pools of water that have seeped into the rock over time. After the cave, we headed to the village of Hayf and Zahek to see the huge sand dunes that have been pushed against the mountainside by the seasonal Socotra winds. We then head to the Digub cave, overlooking a series of traditional villages. The cave itself is interesting as there are many stalactites, stalagmites and pools of water that have seeped into the rock over time. After that we headed to the north-east coast of the island, through the interesting Defarhu Valley. Along the way you will see traditional villages, natural pools of water at the bottom of the gorge and the unusual Desert Rose tree which clings in many places to the gorge walls. The vegetation here is lush and there are many birds. We will then continue on our way to the marine protection of Dihammri.
Dihammri M.P.A - Homhil N.P.A
After breakfast, you can swim, snorkel and dive in the Dihammri Marine Protected Area, which is home to dozens of species of colourful marine life and is one of the richest coral reefs in the archipelago. Diving/snorkeling equipment can be rented at the Dihammri Dive Centre. After Dihammri, we will depart for the protected natural area of Homhil, which is home to an infinite number of plants endemic to Socotri, such as the dragon's blood tree, the incense tree and the desert rose, etc. Once in Homhill, we will walk along a selection of trails, one of which takes us to a viewpoint where there is a natural pool and a view of the villages below on the plain and the Arabian Sea.
Wadi Shifa - Ras Erisel - Arher beach
Today, we will descend from the Homhil plateau to the northeast coast of the island, to Wadi Shifa (average - two hours' walk), where the cars can meet us. After a quick lunch, we head to Ras Erisel, situated at the eastern end of the island, where the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean meet and where many ships have sunk. Then we headed for the beach at Arher. Here, a fresh stream comes out and meets the salt water of the ocean. We will have time to relax, swim or climb some of the huge sand dunes while we set up camp and prepare dinner.
Hoq Cave - Rosh Protected Area
After breakfast, we head to the village of Terbak, where the Hoq cave is located. We then climbed for an hour and a half until we reached the cave entrance and then about 1 hour on the side of the cave. After exploring the cave, we will descend for an hour and a half. Hoq is the largest cave on the island and is 3.2 km deep. The cave holds a wealth of Socotri history and hides archaeological finds such as pottery, paintings and wooden tables with Aramaic language inscriptions dating back to 258 AD. The cave offers striking beauty and a variety of crystal decorations such as stalagmites, stalactites and calcite floors. In the late afternoon, we will head to the marine protected area of Rosh to explore one of the best snorkelling/diving sites in Socotra. Rosh is home to dozens of species of colourful marine life and is one of the richest coral reefs in the archipelago.
Departure from Socotra - Abu Dhabi
After breakfast, you will be transferred back to the airport to visit the Visitor Information Centre before returning home. The flight arrives in Abu Dhabi at 17:00 (UAE time - subject to change) When we arrive in Abu Dhabi, we will return home, or if you wish, you can buy more nights and stay in Abu Dhabi.
Travel values may change due to the exchange rate of US Dollars and due to changes in flight prices.
UAE national mobile company Etisalat works in Socotra. Make sure you buy the SIM card when you arrive in the UAE if you want to stay connected.
You can bring alcoholic drinks into Socotra, foreigners are allowed by Yemeni law. However, drinking in public is prohibited.
The food options include meat (beef, goat, chicken), eggs, cheese, sweets, rice, white or wholemeal bread, coffee, tea and drinking water. We also offer vegetarian and vegan meals on request.
Showers and toilets are available at most campsites.
A waterproof cover for phones and cameras is required for the boat trip.
What kind of accommodation am I staying in on this trip?
Accommodation on this trip is camping style during the tour in Socotra and hotel style in Abu Dhabi.
We use twin or double rooms (on request).
Does Triskelion Expeditions handle the flights?
Yes, although we don’t include the cost of flights in the trip, we can also take care of them if you wish. All you have to do is tell us when you book.
We send you a quote with the price of the flights at the time and then you decide whether to buy with Triskelion, on your own or with another agency.
We can arrange flights from Abu Dhabi to Socotra, round trip, and flights from Abu Dhabi if you wish.
Flights to Socotra cost approximately 1000$ (Prices may vary)
Are arrival and departure transfers included?
Transfers in Socotra are included, but not in Abu Dhabi.
There is one flight on the trip that is recommended for the group to arrive at the same time, so transfers are available according to the arrival time of this flight. If you opt for flights with a different arrival time, these are no longer included (in which case there is no refund of the transfer fee).
Where do I meet the leader?
The meeting with the leader takes place at the destination airport.
If I enrol alone, do I have to pay an individual supplement?
It is not compulsory, as we will group together those who sign up for a double room with a twin bed (where possible), by sex and order of registration, travellers who sign up for the trip alone. If the number of travellers is odd, the participant who is left alone will have to pay the respective single supplement.
If you want to stay in a single room, then you will have to pay the single supplement.
What documentation do I need to make this journey?
For this trip you will need to carry a passport valid for at least six months after the date of departure from the country.
A visa is required to enter Socotra, which costs €100 (this may change).
Can I arrive before and leave after the group?
Yes, if you want to arrive in Abu Dhabi before the group and leave after the end of the group trip, you can.
In that case, if you wish, we can book the accommodation for you, or you can choose to buy it without Triskelion Expeditions.
How are meals not included?
Meals that are not included can be taken as a group, in places recommended by the leader or local guides, or you can prefer to eat somewhere else that suits you better, with other people or on your own.
How can I pay for this trip?
A minimum payment of 35 per cent of the cost of the trip is required to confirm the booking.
The remaining amount must be paid at least 45 days before the start date of the trip.
The remaining value of the trip can be paid in instalments up to 45 days before the beginning of the trip.
There is no refund of the amount paid at the time of booking, after confirmation of the trip.
Can I cancel the trip?
You can cancel your trip up until the day we confirm it by email.
If you want to cancel the trip after it has been confirmed, you will incur costs that we have already paid for services to be used on the trip.
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