You will pass through Yemeni immigration and customs at Socotra Airport, not in Seiyun, as foreigners are not permitted to enter Yemen in Seiyun. The situation has improved over the last couple of years, with the Hadi Government (Saudi backed) and Yemeni military gaining control over the region. Powered by Inertia Network. Any foreigner needs to get a visa to enter Yemen. After the war broke out, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia established a coalition force in the country, with the Coalition largely responsible eastern and southern Yemen— including Socotra. The island is extremely safe and has even accepted some refugees from the mainland. The total amount of time we spent in Seiyun Airport was about two hours; it was a very straightforward and simple experience. 16 of us in Baghdad, Iraq in 2018! Also, while my driver Ahmed was absolutely brilliant – a terrific person and a highly skilled driver and cook, the guide was disappointing, both from personal and professional side. Most Western governments advise against all travel to Yemen and to Socotra because of the threat to life and destruction from war and terrorist activities. It has incredible rock mountains, out of this world trees and vegetation, crystal clear blue oceans, white sand beaches, diverse coral reefs, vast sand dunes, and a friendly local population of around 70,000 people. Currently, there is only one safe way (that does not involve a 4-day rat infested boat ride that may or may not depart) onto the island. Well, I did not say it was an overall negative experience :) There were merely things that could have been done better. Not professional at all. Speaking seriously, I'd mention the danger of getting sunburnt. Our main guides name was Abdul and our driver Abdul-Rahman, and Abdul was an enthusiastic and good-humoured guide who spoke excellent English and was a big part of making our trip as great as it was. Even thought the island has suffered some collateral damage for this reason, conflict from the civil war never threatened to reach Socotra. He didn’t sound too knowledgeable; his English was poorer than it could have been for an English teacher that he claimed to be, and his manners in general were not too professional. Data Management. It seems that their sole interest is in driving profits and they are often understaffed for the volume of tourists that they book. Access to Socotra has been practically off-limits to foreigners since the start of the civil war. On the way, you can observe various kinds of succulents and other plants, which will remind you of the long lost days. Seiyun is the gateway to the Hadhramaut Valley, one of the most picturesque regions of Yemen known for the famous “sand castle” city of Shibam. Also, is it possible to travel around Socotra without a tour guide? And I was certainly NOT promoting them; please, stick to the facts. It’s a truly spectacular place. Is it safe to visit Socotra? If you must visit … You may unsubscribe at any time. It never really got affected by the war on the mainland (not counting the fact that it got almost taken over by UAE). (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? Socotra Dream people who were camped by us had already been eating by that time. Is it Safe to Travel to Socotra? But our journey went without any threat or sense of hostility. Unlike Ahmed, he was quite often more concerned about his own pleasures than the customers’ interests. I can only say that when I went (group of 3) we were taken directly to the office, where we tweaked and verified our itinerary with the manager Abdul-Jameel, who was courteous, knowledgeable and asked intelligent questions about our interests in order to modify our itinerary. But I get it, Mainland Yemen may not be for everyone right now. more, Get answers to your questions about Socotra Island, http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html. Socotra has never been at war and is very safe. So Socotra it is. In reply to my own post, I took the plunge and headed to Socotra and it was the best holiday of my life. ;), This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. These all shut down in early 2015 as the war raged on in the mainland, essentially severing Socotra’s connections with the outside world. Answer 1 of 4: My wife, two kids (ages 6 and 7) and I have heard about Socotra Island and are interested in travelling there. Is Socotra Safe? Being part of Yemen has certainly not helped its cause. I have to underscore that every single one of the travellers that we met that were with Socotra Dream complained about the lack of care and attention they received and felt like they were being ignored and treated like spare parts. Our Purpose MembershipDestination InformationContact Us, From the Edge MagazineExpeditionsMissionPartnership. Socotra or Soqotra (/ s ə ˈ k oʊ t r ə, s oʊ-, ˈ s ɒ k ə t r ə /; Arabic: سُقُطْرَىٰ ‎ Suquṭrā), located between the Guardafui Channel and the Arabian Sea, is the largest of the four islands in Socotra Archipelago.The territory is located near major shipping routes and is officially part of Yemen, and had long been a subdivision of Aden Governorate. I would highly recommend Socotra Eco Tours and would be glad to pass on the itinerary that myself and my three friends followed if you inbox me. In fact, many residents of mainland Yemen have sought refuge from the war in Socotra Island, since it’s never been at war. And if one were even thinking about visiting, how on earth would you get there, given that Yemen is in a state of war? We promise to not spam you. And mind you, I’m a very seasoned traveller with quite low demands, and it takes a lot to make me disappointed. ta.queueForLoad : function(f, g){document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', f);})(function(){ta.trackEventOnPage('postLinkInline', 'impression', 'postLinks-47890862', '');}, 'log_autolink_impression');flight in the early morning I see no reason why not to treat yourself to a sleep in a fine authentic hotel in the old city of Sanaa. There, you can use the washroom and charge up your electronics. If anyone needs more details, please, feel free to send me a PM. ... You are not safe even in the capital Sana’a, as the … Perhaps if you go with Socotra Eco Tours than request Abdul as a guide and maybe there are some Socotra Dream guides he are more attentive - this would be a good suggestion because it seems as if both companies have their faults. ta.queueForLoad : function(f, g){document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', f);})(function(){ta.trackEventOnPage('postLinkInline', 'impression', 'postLinks-47531804', '');}, 'log_autolink_impression');Socotra island is very safe more than you expect, I were on Socotra with 3 friends and we spent on Socotra one week and one night in Sana'a (the last night before departure back to home), we had city tour in old Sana'a city with guide who arranged by Nagib the organizer for our trip to Socotra, he helped us to obtain our visas and he issued the domestic tickets by Felix airways. Say, many people "heard" that Yemen is a very unsafe country to visit, and yet we are not passing this rumor over here, are we? Mobile 00967 777477418. This is a regularly scheduled commercial flight, and while delays of a couple of hours are normal, it has been flying regularly since late 2018. Answer 81 of 102: I am thinking of travelling to Socotra in late March/early April with two friends (our party will consist of two male Brits and an Irishman). To review the Tripadvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html. In May 2018, UAE military invaded & took over strategic locations on Socotra island (including the airport & seaport). After a while, you’ll be directed to the main waiting hall area with the other Yemeni passengers boarding boarding the flight in Seiyun for the quick hour hop over to the island. If you are thinking about going, just do it, you'll remember it forever. A quick Google search shows that that region is an Al-Queda stronghold. Click here to visit our Privacy Policy. Travel to Socotra is indeed safe, and as long as you follow standard precautions and travel to the island on the weekly flight from Cairo, you should not run into any problems. So I’m not sure if its charm lasts for long at this pace…. I personally always thought TA was for sharing personal experience by real travellers. No, it is currently (2016) not safe to travel to Socotra nor Yemen at all. Copyright 2020. Make sure your passport not only does not contain any Israeli entry stamps or visas, but also does not contain any border stamps from Jordan or Egypt. If you’re thinking about going, I’d encourage you to do so before the island changes or the route in is closed off again. Apr 11, 2019 Socotra is incredible for nature lovers, hikers, adventure seekers and off the beaten path explorers. The WoT scorecard provides crowdsourced online ratings & reviews for socotra.com regarding its safety and security. Felix Airways is going to operate soon its direct flights from Sharjah to Socotra. A security official from the airport will check your passport and maybe bring your passport into a back room for inspection. Is Socotra genuinely safe and is there any threat or danger, no matter how small, to tourist visitors to the island? A big part of the reason, in addition to Socotra's remote location in the Arabian Sea, is that it's Yemeni territory. This is, unfortunately, a different story on mainland Yemen, over 370 km away. Despite this frank and daunting warning from the embassy we have been unable to find any evidence proving that this is the case on Socotra - despite our extensive research it appears that crime against tourists and kidnapping are non-existant on Socotra and there have been no recorded incidences of them. I’ve been to Socotra three times in the last year, it’s very safe and easy to manage. You walk right off the stairs of the plane, onto the runway and for those continuing on to Socotra, you’re directed to a waiting hall on the right hand side of the airport. Or photographing one of the delightful and very un-rose-like desert roses? I'm just back from fantastic trip to Yemen that included few days in Sanaa (including travel around the nearby cities and villages) and eight days in Socotra. Even in early morning hours, at sunrise, better apply the suncream with high UV protection. Socotra is the definition of an ecological paradise that has essentially no commercial tourist infrastructure, making it a truly special place to visit. While the mainland of Yemen struggles with extremists, famines and bombings in a civil war between the houthis and the Saudi coalition, trouble here is very unlikely as … There are more than 700 endemic species on Socotra, while Socotri, an ancient Semitic dialect spoken on the island, is one of the oldest languages still in use on earth. Socotra is known as the Arian Sea’s jewel of biodiversity. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Inertia Network. The flight leaves Cairo around 2am (3am for us, we were delayed as they finished loading up the place with luggage) and flies to the city of Seiyun in central Yemen. We neither get a clean nor quiet at the end of the day. Updated November 2020, How to get to Socotra was originally written in May 2019 Likely, the most asked question I receive from readers or people on social media is, “how do I get to Socotra?” In March 2019 and February 2020 I traveled back to Socotra for my second and third trips to the ecological gem in the Arabian Sea. Obviously the information is hugely conflicting, so I am looking for as honest, frank and detailed a response to the following questions as possible (bearing in mind that my friends and I have absolutely no desire to put ourselves in any unnecessary danger): 1. The people are friendly and hospitable, and while basic, there is enough infrastructure and supplies on the island to sustain locals and visitors alike. Sorry Cora_v but I think that passing on the words of travellers is exactly what Tripadvisor is for. The ascent takes approximately 2 hours and is quite an adventure itself. All rights reserved. We promise that we won’t spam you. Flying realistically is the safest, quickest, and easiest way to reach the island. But eight days of camping in Socotra were followed by a road trip in the UAE for me, and I needed a shower and good sleep before going on. Thanks for signing up! Socotra’s famous Dragon’s Blood Trees in Homhil, Socotra, Yemen. And I’m very sorry, Richard, but I don’t find it fair on your part to spread the rumours on the company that you didn’t use yourself. This being said, Socotra is part of Yemen, a country that’s been in a state of war since 2015. The island was starting to build a tourism industry until the war. Our main goals were to see the capital and to visit Socotra. The one available is outdated and poorly maintained and the choice is limited Diving is done from a fishing boat Socotra is wonderful strange and enchanting People are kind and the place is safe so far from the turmoil of the mainland Yemen Strongly recommended … Yes, its safe if you plan to stay at Sana'a airport before you travel to Socotra. When the plane is ready to board you’ll get your passport back and follow the other passengers onto the plane. Due to the prolonged geographical isolation combined with drought a… If you’re thinking about going, I’d encourage you to do so before the island changes or the route in is closed off again. It has its own culture and language, a small population, and a lot of untamed nature. I’ve also visited Seiyun and southern Yemen twice this year and while it’s certainly not ready for independent travel, it is possible to travel there with a knowledgable fixer. The war never came close to spreading to the island. We also returned to the main office on the last day of our trip to review the different days that we had done and we were asked for honest feedback which Abdul-Jameel was grateful and respectful for. Their research counted up to about 700 endemic species that are exclusive to the region and not found anywhere else in the whole world. A group of biologists from the UN carried out a survey of the region's fauna and flora in the 1990s. The war lead to severe price inflation, an unstable Yemeni Rial, and a loss of transportation options for locals, let alone tourists. I can say that if you request Abdul-Jabar as your guide with Soctra Eco Tours then you will be very happy - but I cannot say that all of their guides are good - perhaps Cora_v above can tell you the name of the disappointing guide so that you can avoid having them. There are no rebels, no war, no nothing on Socotra! The only exception are the Saudis, but only when they arrive by plane. So is Socotra safe to visit? Who lives here? The British Embassy visited a week before we arrived and at the time of writing are in the process of regrading Socotra's security warning. Come find out 2. Answer 61 of 102: I am thinking of travelling to Socotra in late March/early April with two friends (our party will consist of two male Brits and an Irishman). Socotra Starling, whose scientific name is Onychognathus frater, is a kind of starling in the Sturdinae grouping. WARNING DANGER: WANT Expeditions to Socotra Island, Two weeks in the north of Yemen and Socotra Island, Is it safe for British people to travel to Socotra Island. Qalansia Beach, Socotra Island Habido, Soctra’s Capital Socotra Landscape Homhil views Of all the places in the world you can visit, I can safely say Socotra is THE most unique place on the planet. For an island with an area of 3796 metres squared and a population of about … A word of caution - tourist infrastructure is basic and independent travel would be extremely challenging - you will have a far richer and more rewarding experience if you book through one of the tourist agencies. Yes, 100% it is. times to them – in pre-arrival correspondence; the day after arrival and the day before I was supposed to stay in Summerland. We want to experience countries that few others are brave enough to. I can assure you that the island is absolutely safe and is no relevant to all the cr@p you read from the gvt agencies. The season started in the 05 /September and lasts until the end of April. As for Sanaa, mind that its airport facilities are rather basic. Socotra is conflict free. When I visited Socotra in 2014 I flew from Sana’a to Al-Mukalla to Socotra with now-defunct Felix Airways. It is located in the precipice in the northeastern part of Socotra. And, Is Socotra Safe? There is no change of planes I should add. The only real danger I can think of is the danger of falling in love with it so much that you'll be hesitant to leave :). From Socotra to Dubai and every Monday from Dubai to Socotra has essentially no tourist. Sturdinae grouping quickest, and it was the best holiday of my life per week as well week well... Or sense of hostility small population, and easiest way to reach.. & Conditions for some time going, just listen to the island think that passing on the words travellers! Any foreigner needs to get a visa to enter Yemen them ; please, feel free to me. 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