7 day Socotra Expedition

Hit the Highlights: One Week Socotra Expedition

This one-week Socotra Island expedition may hit all the highlights but it’s no ordinary trip. Taking in the best and most beautiful the island has to offer this itinerary will introduce you to Socotra’s famed endemic plants as well as give you a glimpse into Socotri life and give you the opportunity to see some of the island’s coolest spots.

This is a fairly rough Socotra itinerary, meaning you will be camping each night, many of which you won’t have access to showers- but trust me it’s worth it! Though for those not keen on camping for an entire week it is possible to do a modified version of this expedition bringing you back to a hotel in Hadiboh each night.

Scroll down to the end of this page to see all the trip details, including prices and more.

Next group departure will take place January 31 – February 7, 2023

One Week Socotra Expedition Itinerary

One Week Socotra Expedition Day 1

Hadiboh | Homhil Protected Area

Be met by your local Socotri guide on arrival at Socotra International Airport. Collect your bags and go through formalities and head into the main town of Hadiboh. Here you will have an early lunch before making the drive to Homhil Protected Area.

Homhil is home to a scattering of Socotra’s fascinating endemics including the famed Dragon blood tree, bottle trees, and frankincense trees. Meander among these rare plant species and to a natural infinity pool that you undoubtedly have to see to believe.

In the afternoon spend your time checking out the interesting plant life around and taking a much needed swim in the Homhil pool that overlooks the Arabian Sea.

Hadiboh Doors, Socotra Island, Yemen
Natural pool, Homhil Protected Area, Socotra Island, Yemen
Homhil Protected Area, Socotra Island, Yemen

Accommodation: Tent camping at Homhil
Meals: Lunch, dinner

One Week Socotra Expedition Day 2

Homhil Protected Area | Arher | Ras Erissel

Today we get an early start and trek down from Homhil to a village on the coast where your 4WD awaits to take you to the sugary white sand dunes of Arher.

In the afternoon, explore the areas further east around Ras Erissel before heading back to your camp at Arher where you can climb to the top of the mountainous dunes to catch an unbelievable sunset.

Homhil Prtoected Area, Socotra, Yemen
Ras Erissel, Socotra, Yemen
Arher Dune, Socotra, Yemen

Accommodation: Tent camping at Arher
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

One Week Socotra Expedition Day 3

Arher | Hoq Cave | Di Hamri Marine Area

For those ambitious, catch the sunrise from atop Arher Dune before breakfast. From here we’ll continue toward the massive Hoq Cave. We will get dropped off near a village from which we will make the approximately two hour trek uphill and into the mouth of the cave.

Once to the mouth of Hoq Cave, we will continue our walk roughly 1.5 kilometers into the earth. Make sure to bring a headlamp or torch to see the impressive stalactites, stalagmites, and other cave formations. Once we’ve finished exploring the cave it’s time to make the jaunt back down to the village and continue onto Di Hamri.

Di Hamri, meaning ‘two rocks’ in Socotri is named after the impossible to miss double red rocky outcropping that sits adjacent to the wide coral-filled bay. Spend the afternoon snorkeling in Socotra’s main marine protected area in search of parrotfish, turtles, sharks, and more.

Arher Dune, Socotra, Yemen
Hoq Cave, Socotra Island, Yemen
DiHamri, Socotra Island, Yemen

Accommodation: Tent camping at Di Hamri
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

One Week Socotra Expedition Day 4

Di Hamri | DIxsam Plateau | Wadi Dirhur

From Di Hamri we pick up camp and make way toward Socotra’s central highlands on the Dixsam Plateau. Here you’ll have the opportunity to wander amongst some the largest and oldest dragon blood trees on Socotra.

In the afternoon, we’ll make a trip down into Wadi Dirhur and take a short trek along the valley floor to a small chain of pools before heading back up onto the plateau for the night.

For those interested in stargazing, the Dixsam Plateau is one of the best places on Socotra Island for viewing the stars- even better if viewed with the silhouette of a Dixsam dragon.

Dragon Blood Tree, Dixsam Plateau, Socotra Island, Yemen
Wadi Dirhur, Dixsam Plateau, Socotra Island, Yemen
Egyptian Vulture, Wadi Dirhur, Socotra Island, Yemen

Accommodation: Tent camping on Dixsam Plateau
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

One Week Socotra Expedition Day 5

Dixsam Plateau | Firhmin Forest | Omaq Beach | Zahek Dunes

Catch the sunrise over the dragon blood trees of Dixsam Plateau before taking a ride back down into Wadi Dirhur and back up the other side and into the Firhmin Forest.

Firhmin Forest is home to the densest population of dragon blood trees on Socotra, and therefore, the world! It’s estimated that there are over 9,000 dragon blood trees in this forest.

Once you’ve had your fix on the most famous of Socotra’s endemics, continue south to Socotra’s Indian Ocean Coast to your camp at blinding white Omaq Beach. In the late afternoon head to nearby Zahek Dunes

Dragon Blood Trees Firhmin Forest Socotra Yemen
Omaq Beach, Socotra Island, Yemen
Zahek Dunes, Socotra Island, Yemen

Accommodation: Tent camping on Omaq Beach
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

One Week Socotra Expedition Day 6

Omaq Beach | Dagub Cave | Detwah Lagoon

After breakfast, depart Omaq Beach to explore the cavernous Dagub Cave briefly before taking a jaunt back across the island and to the northeast to reach the idyllic Detwah Lagoon.

In Detwah spend the afternoon relaxing in the most turquoise waters, get in on a game of football with some local teens, or maybe catch the well-known Abdullah the Caveman who may take you out to explore around the lagoon.

Dagub Cave, Dixsam Plateau, Socotra Island, Yemen
Detwah Lagoon, Socotra Island, Yemen
Detwah Lagoon, Socotra Island, Yemen

Accommodation: Tent camping on Detwah Beach
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

One Week Socotra Expedition Day 7

Detwah Lagoon | Qalansiya | Shua’ab Beach

After an early breakfast, make the short drive to the second-largest town on Socotra of Qalansiya. From the beach in Qalansiya we will load up into local dhow fishing boats and cruise along Socotra’s rugged western coast down to the impossibly white sands of Shua’ab Beach. Keep your eyes peeled as you leave Qalansiya for jumping spinner dolphins who frequent the area.

After a perfect final beach day in Socotra, head back for Qalansiya in the early afternoon (the waters around here get notoriously rough later in the day) and then enjoy your final sunset and dinner back at Detwah Lagoon.

Detwah Lagoon, Socotra Island, Yemen
Spinner dolphins, Qalansiya, Socotra Island, Yemen
Shua'ab Beach, Socotra Island, Yemen

Accommodation: Tent camping on Detwah Beach
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Departure Day

Detwah Lagoon | Hadiboh Airport

Following breakfast, you will be dropped off at the Hadiboh Airport to catch your flight to either Abu Dhabi or Aden/Cairo to continue your journey home (or elsewhere).

Accommodation: None
Meals: Breakfast

One Week Socotra Expedition Trip Details

Cost: $2,100 per person (minimum of two pax/solo travelers can still book a private trip but costs will be double)

Dates: Year-round, but best between January and April. Next group departure is January 31-February 7, 2023

Duration: 8 days | 7 nights

Start/finish: Hadiboh Airport

Deposit: 30% due at time of sign up

Inclusions: Meals as noted on itinerary, camping equipment, Yemeni visa fee ($170), 4WD transport, English speaking local guide, entry fees

Exclusions: Airfare to/from Socotra ($950 return from Abu Dhabi, and $1,160 return from Cairo), UAE or Egypt visa fees (if applicable), travel insurance, personal spending, tips for local staff

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