Join our Socotra Yemen Island December tour as we will be taking the Yemenia Airways flight from Cairo, to Hadibu, Socotra via Aden in mainland Yemen.
Suffering civil war, coups, revolutions and bombings in recent years, the Republic 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. Alien landforms sit above beautiful beaches, and the archipelago is home to a diverse and often unique flora and fauna of which over 30% can only be found on the island.
Whether it’s coming to a new and inaccessible country, exploring an ecological paradise, hiking, camping, spotting wildlife or having an in-depth experience of the Yemen – Socotra is a place for everyone.
Every facet of the Yemen visa process is taken care of by YPT for $200 – no need to send your passport away anywhere. The Yemenia Airways Cairo-Socotra roundtrip ticket is an additional $1185 per person. These will be asked to be paid at the moment of your booking with us.
Sunday 8th December – Cairo (Egypt) – Aden (Yemen)
Meet our tour guide at 7:30pm at the Yemenia Airways check-in counter at Cairo International Airport Terminal 1 (CAI) to discuss tour itinerary and to meet your fellow travellers.
Depart on our 10:30pm flight to Socotra (Yemen)
Monday 9th December – Aden – Hadibu (Socotra) – Ayhaft Canyon National Park – Delisha Beach
Arrive 3:00am into Aden Airport, and depart again at 7:00am
Arrive in Habibu, Socotra at 10:00am. Upon arrival we’ll be greeted by our local Socotri guide who will accompany us for the trip.
Begin our drive to Ayhaft Canyon National Park where you can enjoy a short walk to stretch your legs after the flight and lunch.
Continue to Delisha Beach – a beautiful white beach next to the sea and a lagoon where we can enjoy the sunset and beverages
Dinner at the Delish Tourist Complex.
Overnight in our centrally located hotel in Hadibu
Tuesday 10th December – Homhil National Park – Arher
After breakfast we’ll head for Homhil National Park – famous for its Dragon’s Blood trees, which cannot be found anywhere else outside of Socotra. But that’s not all: many other impressive forms of flora like the bottle tree and the cucumber plant can be found here. After an hour’s walk we’ll reach an amazing crystal-clear pool with a view over the whole southern part of Socotra.
For those up for a hike may descend from the mountain on foot. Others may walk back to the car and be driven down towards the beach.
Drive to Arher
Arher is the meeting point of freshwater and saltwater, creating an impressive natural phenomenon. Over here you’ll find some giant sand dunes.
Free to explore around the area on your own. Those up to the challenge may climb the 300 meter high sand dune found here.
Dinner and overnight in Arher.
Wednesday 11th December – Arher – Hoq’s Cave/Raw Ersil – Dihamri Marine Protected Area
Breakfast, then after waking up next to the beach you may choose between 2 morning activities:
A steep hike to Hoq’s Cave (4 hours). This is one of the most important spots on the island. OR:
Be driven to Raw Erisel, the meeting point of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean and walk from there back to the camp.
Once everybody has returned from their chosen activity, we’ll have lunch and drive to Dihamri Marine Protected Area. While the beach may not be so spectacular here, in the sea you’ll find a great diversity of flora and fauna.
Here, diving and snorkelling are available (rental available, extra cost) or you can also decide to join the local fishermen for sea expedition!
We’ll bring back freshly caught fish from the sea and prepare for the special dinner celebration in Dihamri.
Overnight in Hadibu Eco Campsite and partying!
Thursday 12th December – Dixsam
Breakfast and begin drive to the Dixsam Plateau. This is the most famous spot for the Dragon’s Blood trees, where you can also spot many rare birds.
Along the drive we’ll stop for photos at Shehahon’s viewpoint
We will have lunch in the village of Dixsam. Here we’ll meet the head of the village who will happily tell more about his functions here and the situation of the people living on Socotra Island.
Stop at Wadi Derhur where we can take a walk. This used to be a famous camping spot, but sadly, after a major storm everything was damaged.
Hike through the beginning of Fermahin – a forest of Dragon’s Blood trees.
Tonight we’ll mingle with the people of a typical Socotri village!
Breaking and head out for a walk through the village accompanied by our new local friends, including a visit to the local garden, where they try to plant new Dragon’s Blood trees.
Drive towards the Southern coast at Nogud.
Explore the cave of Dagub.
Stop at the big sand dunes of Sahek and Hayf at Amak Beach, where you can swim in the sea.
Lunch at the cave or at Amak Beach, depending on the sun.
Return back to Dixsam for dinner and overnight, surrounded by Dragon’s Blood trees.
Saturday 14th December – Qalansiya – Shuaab – Detwah
Breakfast and early morning drive to Qalansiya, the second largest city on the island.
We’ll take an half an hour long boat trip to Shuaab, passing by huge rock formations and flocks of birds. If we are lucky we might spot a few dolphins!
Relax at the most beautiful beach of Socotra and meet the local goat herder, guarding his flock against the lupine hordes.
Lunch on the beach.
Upon returning to Qalansiya we’ll drive to Detwah Lagoon.
Here we’ll make our camp and you can walk around the big lagoon and see the amazing landscape.
Located by the lagoon is a hidden cave where Ellai, famously known as the Socotra caveman spends his days fishing, preparing aloe vera and goat skins. He’s incredibly welcoming to our groups and will show you what he days on a daily basis.
Overnight camping at Detwah Eco-campsite.
Sunday 15th December – Hadibu
Breakfast and return to Hadibu.
We’ll spend the day on a city tour of Hadibu and learn more about life in Yemen.
Our first stop will be the women market (including its spice market) where you will get to see the kind of goods people barter on the islands.
We will then head to the fish market. Here the fishermen bring a cornucopia of sea creatures and try to sell them to make ends meet. This place can get very lively and we might catch some auctions!
We’ll then head to the khat market; it is here that the stimulating narcotic — all the rage in Eastern Africa — is sold.
We will stop by the streets of the manufacturers of doors; these artists make ornate doors like those that can be found around many middle-eastern countries. They really make an art of it as each door is unique and is supposed to represent the family that lives inside the house it protects.
We finish our day trip popping by a local school where we meet students, as well as the teachers, and interact with them for a possible impromptu English lesson
Tonight is our last night in the faraway paradise, time to celebrate.
Overnight in our hotel in Hadibu
Monday 16th December – Habidu – Cairo (Egypt)
Breakfast, peaceful morning before catching our flight back to Cairo to board our 11:00am flight on Yemenia Airways.
Arrive into Aden at 2:00pm, departing again at 6:00pm.
Arrive into Cairo at 11:30pm at Cairo International Airport Terminal 1.