YPT is delighted to announce the Socotra Arabian Sea Tour for 2018. We will officially be chartering a whole ship to take us there and back from the Omani port city of Salalah.
Suffering civil war, coups, revolutions, not to mention bombings in recent years, the country of Yemen is generally off the radar for tourists. Unless that is, you know about the island of Socotra.
Located between the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula where the Arabian Sea meets the Indian Ocean, Socotra is an ecological wonder of the world. Alien landforms sit above beautiful beaches, and the archipelago is home to a diverse and often unique flora and fauna.
Whether it’s coming to a new and inaccessible country, or exploring an ecological paradise, Socotra is a place for everyone.
Check out our preceding Oman Desert tour for a wonderful way to start your Arabian tour!
Demand is big and spaces are limited on our boat so sign up fast!
Own arrival in the Southern Omani city of Salalah; the starting point of our cruise to Socotra Island
Meeting at our central hotel at a time to be confirmed
Head out for our first look at this port city and then dinner of local Omani food, before heading to the Oasis Club for a few drinks.
Overnight in Salalah
Monday 7th May
After breakfast we head for the old town and check out the Haffa souq local market and the beach
Lunch at the Ba’albek café for Lebanese food
Free afternoon to explore the Sultanate’s second city and stock up on provisions for the boat ride
We board our very own YPT charter ship at 6pm for the overnight sailing to Socotra.
Dinner on board but pack your own drinks!
Tuesday 8th May
9am arrival at Socotra and transfer to Adeeb’s eco-lodge in Hadibo to check in, relax, recuperate and have lunch.
After lunch we head to Ayhaft Canyon National Park. Hike in the park and swim in the freshwater pools. The park is renowned for it’s vegetation and birdlife
Drive to Delisha beach. Go for another swim in either the sea or the freshwater lagoon
Climb the huge sand dune overlooking the beach and watch the sunset over Delisha
Dinner and overnight at the Adeeb’s Eco-lodge
Wednesday 9th May
After an early breakfast, drive to the northeast of Socotra and explore the Dihammri Marine Protected Area
Dihammri is famous for snorkelling and has the best coral reef in Socotra. We’ll spend the morning diving or for those less keen on the water checking out the beach (diving equipment available to hire)
Lunch on the beach
Drive to Terbak village
Hike up the hillside then explore Hoq Cave (4 hour hike). Hoq is over 3000 metres deep and is the site of many archaeological findings in Socotra that date back nearly 2000 years.
Drive to Ras Erisel, the eastern point of the island where the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean meet. Known as a ship graveyard to the locals many wrecks are sunk in the ocean here.
Climb the Arher sand dune for a panorama of the area and to watch the sunset
Dinner and overnight camp at Arher campsite
Thursday 10th May
Set off after breakfast for a drive through the canyons of Defarhu Valley to the southern coast of Socotra.
Stop off in traditional villages for a look at rural life in Socotra
Drive to Hayf and Zahek villages which stand in the shadow of enormous sand dunes, before heading to Omak beach on the Indian Ocean
Swim, sunbathe or relax on the beach, or hike up to Digub Cave and explore it’s stalactites and stalagmites
Drive up to Dixam plateau (700 metres) to the Shebahon viewpoint for a spectacular view and a look at the Dragon’s Blood Tree – the quintessential example of endemic local fauna on Socotra
Dinner and overnight camping will be at the Wadi Dirhur campsite
Friday 11th May
Up bright and early to explore the western part of the island. Our first stop will be Qalansiya, a small traditional fishing town. From there we will hop on a boat and head to Shuaab
The boat ride is fun in and of itself, but we’ll try and spot spinner dolphins that regularly follow the boats!
Arrive in Shuaab and swim at the beach before we explore the mangrove swamp just behind it
Lunch in Shuaab
Get the boat back to Qalansiya and check out the Detwah lagoon, another place famed for its landscape and wildlife
Dinner and overnight camp at Detwah Lagoon Protected area
Saturday 12th May – Departure
After breakfast we have a free morning to enjoy the beach before we transfer to Socotra seaport and grab lunch.
Check out the visitor centre in Hadibo and grab provisions for the boat
Early evening sailing on our YPT charter boat and overnight on the boat
Sunday 13th May –
Arrival in Salalah and end of tour
For those continuing to Somaliland we spend the night in Salalah before flying to Dubai.
– Boat trip between Salalah and Socotra
– Entry fees in the protected areas
– Accommodation Fees: hotels, tourist resorts, eco-lodges, camping in protected areas
– Camping equipment, cooking equipment and cook.
– Transportation: 4×4 private cars Toyota Land cruiser
– Local tour guide: (English, Arabic and Socotri speaking) and YPT tour guide
– Full board meals
– Boat trip to Shuaab for watching dolphins