1-11 APRIL, 2025

with Jeremy Woodhouse & Luka Esenko
(11 days/10 nights)


The secret of eternal life shouldn’t be something that’s easy to stumble across and by cleverly hiding it out on Socotra the gods have certainly taken that thought to heart. At 3650 sq km Socotra is easily the largest Yemeni island and traditionally one of the most inaccessible. Lying 510km southeast of the mainland, the island has developed in near total isolation from the rest of the world. Rumoured to have once been a refuge for dragons and the Phoenix, it continues to provide a refuge for all manner of extraordinary fauna and flora, much of which is found nowhere else. 


Because of the number of its endemic plants and creatures, it’s been described as the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’. While this is a little optimistic, there is no denying that Socotra is a unique and otherworldly island. It’s the kind of place where people speak a language unknown to anyone else, where the knowledge of how to make fire by rubbing sticks together is still common and where the elderly recall days when money didn’t exist. – Lonely Planet



This itinerary is an indication of what we will do. It is very flexible and we may change things. Since there are only flights to and from Socotra every Tuesday and Friday, our tour will be 11 days long.

Pre-tour: Mon, 31 Mar, 2025—Fly from USA to Abu Dhabi
On arrival inAbu Dhabi you will check into the hotel at the airport

O/N Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport
Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport is directly accessible after Arrivals Passport Control via the air-conditioned Skypark walkway in Terminals 1 & 3. The hotel features free Wi-Fi in all areas, stunning views from the roof-top swimming pool, a fully equipped gym, bar and 24hr “a-la carte” restaurant, Room Service and Costa Coffee outlets.

Day 1: Tue, 1 Apr, 2025—Abu Dhabi | Hadiboh | Delisha Beach
Air Arabia 476 09:00 am: Depart Abu Dhabi for Socotra; 10:20 am: Arrive in Socotra

We will pick you up at the airport and transport you to your hotel in Hadiboh. In the afternoon, we will visit Delisha Beach with pristine white sands and its resident army of crabs. Relax while swimming in the sea and in the freshwater lagoon. If you are full of energy you can climb a huge sand dune overlooking the beach.

With around 7,000-10,000 inhabitants and backed by the Hajhir (Haggier) Mountains, Hadibo is the largest town on Socotra and is one of the only places on the island that enjoys such conveniences like hot running water, flushable toilets, stable electricity, cell phone signal, and the occasional slow wifi. Socotra’s only hotels are in the city (the best being the Summerlands Hotel $75-$140 a night), as is most of the commerce.

Delisha Beach
Delisha the closest sandy beach to the capital city of Socotra, Hadibo. It’s in about half an hour drive along the relatively good paved road. 

Overnight in Summerlands hotel

Day 2: Wed, 2 Apr, 2025—Qalansiyah Beach
Today we will drive to the western part of the island to the little fishing town of Qalansyiah. It consists of traditional Socotri houses, narrow alleyways, and a long beach full of fishing boats. We will continue to nearby Detwah Lagoon which is a marine protected area renowned for its magical landscape. This is surely one of the best views on the island!

Qalansyiah Socotra’s “second city” is home to narrow streets and a popular fishing port with colourful boats and friendly locals. 

Detwah Lagoon a stunning bright white sandy tongue stretches out from behind Qalansyia into the turquoise Arabian Sea, while a blue lagoon forms behind it, making Detwah one of the most beautiful parts of Socotra. Excellent for swimming as well as exploring marine life in the lagoon. 

Overnight in Detwah Lagoon

Day 3: Thu, 3 Apr, 2025—Golden Sands of Shu'ab and Dolphins
After breakfast in Detwah, we will take a boat trip to Shu’ab Beach. We will probably meet some Spinner Dolphins along the way and we will see flocks of cormorants flying by. We will have a lunch at Shu’ab beach and spend the afternoon exploring the area before heading back to Detwah

Shu’ab This remote part of Socotra’s west coast is only accessible by boat or by hiking. Shu’ab Beach is a beautiful white sand beach, and nearby there are plenty of reefs to explore the marine life with a mask and snorkel.

Overnight in Detwah Lagoon

Day 4: Fri, 4 Apr, 2025—Dixam Plateau and Firmhin
After breakfast, we will make our way by 4x4 vehicle to Dixam Plateau. This area is known as a great spot to see the native Dragon Blood trees, the resin of which is collected, used and traded by the people of Socotra. The area is also home to the endemic and rare Socotra Bunting (estimated at 1,000 pairs). We will hike down the Durhur Canyon to the wadi in the canyon for lunch—you may swim in the freshwater pools at the Wadi. 

In the afternoon we will drive to Firmhin, the largest forest of dragon blood trees in the world.

Diksam Plateau
This stunning plateau is located near the geographic centre of Socotra and is home to Dragon’s Blood Trees, local bedouins, a Dragon’s Blood Tree nursery, and stunning views into the Durhur Canyon.

Durhur Canyon
This canyon near Diksam is surrounded by walls 700 metres high and boasts a unique ecosystem 

This forest just on the opposite side of the canyon from Diksam has the highest concentration of Dragon’s Blood Trees on the entire island.

Dinner and overnight at Diksam home stay

Day 5: Sat, 5 Apr, 2025—Dixam Plateau and Optional Skand Mtn Hike
Today you will have time to explore the dragon blood trees on the edge of the canyon. We will have an optional hike to the Skand Mtn area. This is a fairly strenuous hike and the round trip journey will be 6-7 hours including time to photograph and relax in a fresh water poo on the way up

Dinner and overnight at Diksam home stay

Day 6: Sun, 6 Apr, 2025—Qaria Lagoon | Homhil Protected Area
Today’s destination is Homhil, a protected area with gorgeous landscapes. En-route we will stop at Qaria Lagoon. It is the largest lagoon on the island and we will hopefully see a variety of waterbirds, including flamingos, herons and greenshanks.

Once at Homhil you will most certainly be accosted by local children who will want to sell you dragon blood resin and frankincense. Our trail leads to a viewpoint where there is a natural infinity pool for swimming. 

Homhil Protected Area Home to probably the second densest population of Dragon’s Blood Trees in Socotra, this valley is full of a diversity of plant life

Overnight Homhil

Day 7: Mon, 7 Apr, 2025: Homhil
We will spend the day photographing in the forests of Dragon’s Blood trees and Frankincense trees. If you have the energy, we will do the 1 hr hike to a freshwater swimming hole known as the “Infinity Pool”.

Overnight Homhil

Day 8: Sat 8 Apr, 2025—Arher Beach
After breakfast we will trek to the North-East of the island and will have our lunch in a small cave. The rest of the day we will spend at Arher Beach where a fresh creek, emerging from granite cliffs, meets the sea water on the beach. If you feel fit, you can climb a huge sand dune to get a fantastic view over the expansive coastal landscape.

Arher Beach
A stunning white sand beach where massive sand dunes have formed against the granite cliffs above the shoreline

Dinner and overnight in Arher Beach

Day 9: Wed, 9 Apr, 2025—Arher/Ras Irisseyl
Drive to Ras Irisseyl, the final beach on the northeast coast of Socotra. There you will visit a fishing village where you may see the fishermen repairing their nets or bringing in their boats. You will also see a skeleton of whale which brought by waves from Indian Ocean. 

Dinner and overnight in Arher Beach

Day 10: Thu, 10 Apr, 2025—Hadibu
In the afternoon we will have the chance to do some last minute shopping before we go to a local restaurant for dinner. You will be blown away by the local Socotri bread!

O/N Summerland Hotel

Day 11: Fri, 11 Apr, 2025—Departure from Socotra | Abu Dhabi
After an early breakfast, you will have the opportunity to do some shopping in Hadiboh to buy local honey or souvenirs. We then transfer to Socotra airport for our flight back to Abu Dhabi.

Air Arabia Flight 477 11:50 am: Depart Socotra for Abu Dhabi; 15:05 pm: Arrive Abu Dhabi



Dragon's Blood Trees


Egyptian Vulture


Dragon's Blood Trees and Bottle Trees


Average Weather in March at Socotra Yemen

  • The average minimum temperature (usually the minimum temperature is noted during the night) in Socotra in March is 23.4°C (74.12°F).
  • March is a dry month with an average of 11mm (0.4in) rain. It rains on average a total of 0 days. The average maximum daytime temperature lies around 29.0°C (84.2°F). 

January marks the beginning of the long dry season. Fall monsoon rains generally tapper off at the beginning of the month, leaving a lush, green landscape throughout the island. Many of the flowers bloom towards the middle and end of the month.

Phone & Internet

There is a slow 3G mobile network available on Socotra and many major international phone service providers can connect to the local network. SIM cards are not available for foreigners to purchase on Socotra.  

There is virtually no internet on the island so you'll have to wait till you get back to Dubai before you can share you stunning images with the world. You might be able to check email and use messaging services on the Socotra 3G network when you have signal (available around most of the major towns). The Summerlands Hotel has wifi. It’s slow, but it works. 

Money, Exchange and ATMs

For all personal expenses, bring USD cash to the island—once you arrive in Hadibo you can change it on the black market. 

There are no ATMs on the island and credit cards are not accepted anywhere, so you must carry cash. 


A Yemeni visa is required for most nationalities wishing to visit Socotra. In order to obtain a visa for Socotra as a tourist, you will need to send me a good scanned copy of your passport (no iPhone shots) which I will then forward to our tour operator in Socotra. The visa will be issued through the Yemeni Ministry of the Interior’s Immigration Department in Socotra. 

Boycott of Israel 
Yemen is one of several Arab League countries that takes part in the boycott of travel to Israel. If you have any Israeli visas, passport stamps, arrival/departure cards, or Egyptian or Jordanian stamps issued on a border with Israel, you may be deported from Yemen. 

If you have any evidence of travel to Israel you will have to either get a new passport of try to get a duplicate passport. US, UK and EU citizens may apply for this service.



DEPOSIT: $1,000

Maximum Group: 9

Tour Price Includes

  • Round trip tickets to/from Socotra 
  • Yemen/Socotri Visa
  • Hotel accommodation (except pre-tour hotel)
  • Camping gear
  • 4x4 vehicles and drivers for the whole tour
  • English local guide, well trained and experienced guide all the tour
  • Food ( Breakfast Lunch Dinner) all the tour
  • Local guide for trekking in mountain areas
  • Sufficient supply of water and soft drinks all the tour
  • Protected areas entry fees
  • Boat ride to Shu'ab beach
  • Transfers from/to Socotra Airport

Tour Price Excludes


In Socotra, hotels are not available at most places and we will be camping at well maintained campsites. All camping gear (tents, cooking supplies, mattresses, etc,) will be provided and is included in the tour fee.


    We advise you to be reasonably fit as we will be hiking outdoors every day photographing landscapes

    Electricity is rare commodity in Socotra. We will not have it available every day so bring enough memory cards and camera batteries for at least couple of days. We are assured that there will be a generator at our disposal. You will also be able to charge devices in the vehicles

    Camping gear will be provided, but we recommend that you bring your own sleeping bag. Make sure it’s light enough as temperatures on Socotra will be warm.

    There is virtually no internet on the island so you’ll have to wait till you get back to Dubai before you can share you stunning images with the world. You might be able to check email and use messaging services on the Socotra 3G network when you have signal (available around most of the major towns). The Summerlands Hotel has wifi. It’s slow, but it works. 

        Optional Extension

        We recommend to book at least one night in Abu Dhabi both before and after Socotra photography tour. Abu Dhabi is an excellent photography destination and easy to explore on your own. Let us know if you would like to extend as a guided trip – if enough interest we will organise some amazing photography at Abu Dhabi’s top locations.