Discover the mystery of Socotra, part of a remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean. A Jurassic island so isolated that a third of its plant life is found nowhere else on the planet. Home to the unique dragon's blood trees that look like flying saucers perched on trunks and the unusual desert rose trees which look like elephants' legs with pink flowers on top. Birds such as the Socotra starling, Socotra sunbird, and Socotra grosbeak are found nowhere else on earth. Rolling white sand dunes, dotted with camels, crumbling stone villages and turquoise lagoons brimming with an abundance of marine life, all make up this Arabian jewel.
Explore this fascinating island of endemnicity with us as you uncover a destination, so remote and so untouched, it may feel like you are the only travellers there. Socotra, a forgotten island that has stood still in time for millions of years.
Day 1 – Socotra – Wednesday - Ayhaft Canyon National Park
Welcome to the remote but uniquely beautiful island of Socotra!
You will be met at the airport and assisted with immigration. Transfer to your hotel. Drive to Ayhaft Canyon National Park. In the canyons large water pools, you will be able to enjoy a swim while enjoying the wide variety of birds and trees. In the afternoon, you shall visit Delisha beach. Here you can swim in the sea, walk along the white sands or paddle in the fresh water lagoon. There is also the chance to climb a sand dune for an aerial view of the beach, as well as enjoy sunset on the beach. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 2 – Thursday - Qalansyia - Detwah Lagoon – Shuaab
Drive to neighbouring Detwah lagoon, a marine protected area renowned for its magical landscape. Relax by the golden sands and turquoise waters of the bay, while taking in one of the best views on the island. It is possible to swim here. Then we take a boat trip to Shuaab. On the boat we hope to see Spinner Dolphins, Cormorants and you will be able to line fish off of the boat. Explore the long sandy beach and mangrove area before lunch. In the afternoon, there will be free time for swimming and to soak in the surroundings before boat ride back to Qalansyia. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 3 – Friday - Dixsam Plateau - Derhur Canyon - Fermhin Forest
Drive to Diksam Plateau and gorge, the most spectacular limestone landscape feature on the island. The gorge drops vertically to the valley floor. You will be able to walk along the edge of the gorge where you will see Dragon’s Blood trees. Sections of the plateau have partially slipped into the gorge, leaving ‘lost worlds’ accessible only to buzzards and vultures. The plateau is home to nomadic Bedouin herdsmen who move from one site to another with their herds. We will be welcomed by them with a cup of tea and see houses built into ledges where the plateau meets the gorge. The forest in Diksam is the last Dragon’s Blood woodland. Local people will show you how they used to collect – and still collect on a smaller scale – the precious red resin of the trees. After Diksam Plateau a dramatic change in landscape onto the lush canyon floor, home to Bruce’s Green Pigeons and Laughing Doves. Cool down by swimming in the wadi’s deep pool. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 4 – Saturday - Amak Beach - Dagub Cave - Hayf & Zahaq Sand dunes
After breakfast, travel to the south of the island, visiting villages along the way. The first stop is at Amak beach where we can swim in the clear water of the Indian Ocean. Lunch will be at Dagub cave, overlooking traditional villages. The cave itself contains many stalactites, stalagmites and pools of water that have seeped through the rock over time. After lunch we shall visit the colossal sand dunes of Hayf and Zahek that have been pushed up against the mountainside by seasonal winds. There will be an opportunity to climb the dunes for a view worthy of the effort. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 5 - Sunday - Defarhu – Qaria Lagoon – Homhil
Drive to Homhil protected area. En-route we will stop at Qaria, the largest lagoon on the island where we shall hopefully see Flamingos, Herons and Greenshank. At Homhil, there is a selection of trails, one of which takes us to a viewpoint where there is a natural pool overlooking a village and the sea. Homhil is also home to Frankincense trees. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 6 - Monday - Hoq Cave - Arher Creek & Beach
After breakfast, drive to Hoq Cave. One of the biggest caves on the island, with subterranean water supplies. The 2.5-hour uphill trek to the cave entrance is tough but rewarded by the cave system spanning over 10km long. As we walk inside, we will admire many huge stalagmites, stalactites, and a rim pool. Afterwards we will drive to Arher where sand dunes have been piled up against the sheer rock faces by the prevailing westerly winds. You can relax on green grass around a freshwater creek, swim in the sea or if feeling fit climb a huge sand dune to get a fantastic view over this charming spot. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 7 - Tuesday - Dihamari Marine Protected Area
Drive to neighbouring Detwah lagoon, a marine protected area renown for its magical landscape. Relax by the golden sands and turquoise waters of the bay, while taking in one of the best views on the island. It is possible to swim here. Then we take a boat trip to Shuaab. On the boat we hope to see Spinner Dolphins, Cormorants and you will be able to line fish off of the boat. Explore the long sandy beach and mangrove area before lunch. In the afternoon there will be free time for swimming and to soak in the surroundings before boat ride back to Qalansyia. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 8 - Wednesday - Departure
After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to Socotra airport to meet your onward flight.
- Meet and greet service on arrival at Socotra Airport
- 7 nights hotel accommodation
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days except arrival and departure days
- English speaking local guides
- Transportation in 4WD vehicles
- Entrance fees and protected area fees
- Visa support
- Food, cooking equipment, cook and water
- International and domestic flights
- Travel and medical insurance
- All services, meals other than those indicated above
- Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
- All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc
**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures for travel between October to May.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.