Unforgettable Holidays - Socotra Eco-Tours
Red Sea and Socotra are Yemeni diving hotspots. There are five main diving locations in Socotra: Dihamri Marine Protected Area with more than 80 kinds of corals and 150 fish species, Rosh Marine Protected Area with a reef drop off about 1 km from the coast, Adho with deep dives, and the eastern tip of the island called Ras Irsil and western Shouab coast both with shipwrecks.
Dihamri: there are 5 diving sites. The underwater relief is very interesting with a mountain. This is the place with deepest dives up to 50 meters. Night dives are possible there.
Adho: there are 2 diving sites with dives up to 30 meters.
Rosh: there is one big diing site with dives between 10 and 15 meters. Night dives are possible there.
Ras Irsil: there are 7 diving sites with numerous shipwrecks. The ships sank due to an underwater mountain. The shipwrecks are up to 50 years old and it is possible to enter them. Ras Irsil has been pronounced a Protected Area.
Shouab: there is a single diving site with a shipwreck. It is a steel ship, the biggest shipwreck in Socotra waters.
There is a diving center in Dihamri eco-campsite. The center is managed by a professional diving instructor who got his training from the UNDP Socotra Conservation and Development Programme in 2003-2009. At Dihamri Diving Center you can hire equipment for all diving locations on Socotra. People without PADI course can go for an adventure dive up to 10 meters.
Naseem, Dihamri diving master.
The best time for diving is March – April when the sea is crystal clear with wonderful visibilty and waves are very calm. However, get proper information and a diving briefing since sea currents around Socotra are very strong.
There is a number of beautiful beaches around Socotra with white sands and pebbles. The shores stretch in more than 300 km. The longest continuous sandy beach is located on the northern coast at Ghubbah, where it extends over 20 km and provides the main nesting site for Loggerhead Turtles Caretta caretta. A well known long sandy beach is located on the southern coast of the island neighboring with an area of magnificent sand dunes. Cobble beaches occur along parts of the Noged Plain on the south coast, on the north coast near Hadiboh, Qadheb, Ras Qadama and south of Qalansiyah and Shu’ab in the west.
The local society has got used to tourists in recent years therefore you can enjoy swimming and lying on the beach wearing a swimming suit or bikini. Topless sunbathing or even nudism are however out of question. Apart from eco-campsites, beaches are without any infrastructure and necessary equipment such as mats and refreshments will be brought by your local guide.
Snorkeling equipment can be rented in Dihamri eco-campsite and from Socotra Eco-tours for any location around the island.
Socotra is a paradise for trekkers. There are many trekking paths in Haghier mountains for people with all levels of walking experience. Depending on the time of your visit, Socotra Eco-tours will recommend you favourite treks such as wadis with natural water pools after the monsoon season or climbing the highest mountain Skand to cool down in the hottest part of the year.
On Socotra, there are no marked walking trails. Guides from local villages are hired to lead you on paths visible olny to them through charming landscapes. The fees for such guiding services go to the guide’s village to support the whole community. Most of the services provided by local villagers are based on the benefit sharing principle.
You can choose various treks depending on your strength. Socotra Eco-tours offer 5 days treks crossing the whole island through wadis, canyons and mountains from the North to the South. May you be not such a kind of walker, you can go for easy one/two hour treks to Homhil, Hoq cave and many other beautiful spots.
For trekking in the nature, you can hire a camel that will carry your luggage so that you can fully enjoy beautiful landscapes and views. Camels are usually used for carrying things but you can also ride one if interested. On Socotra, camels are used rather than donkeys because of the extent of load they are able to carry and because the terrain is more suitable for them.
Camels can be rented just outside Hadibo for a trek from the northern coast to the south. In the southern plain of Noget there are herds of camels which you can also hire for trekking or just for a short romantic ride in the sunset.
Out of 205 bird species recorded on Socotra, ten are endemic. The BirdLife International recognizes 22 Important Bird Areas on the Socotra archipelago as the key sites for conservation. Socotra Eco-tours will arrange a trained birdwatcher to accompany you to the birdwatching hotspots depending on the time of the year.
Favourite birdwatching areas on Socotra are west coast with cormorants, Ghoba around the meteor crater lake, hights of Dixam plateau, Qaryiah lagoon with flamingos, Arher and Suq with sea birds.
Fishing in the wonderful island of Socotra is a unique experience for wild fishing anglers (popping, vertical jigging, light spinning, fly fishing)
Our fishing program will include:
§ Ministry fishing fees and agreement with local fishermen/villages
§ Accommodation at your choice in hotel (Hadibo) or camp-sites (Socotra Eco-Tours Fishing Camp: private tents, cooking service and ice boxes for your drinks; main tent for meals, table and chairs, umbrellas; fresh water for shower; technical toilet)
§ Food prepared by our cooks at camp-sites or in local restaurants (rice or pasta, vegetable soups, fish, lobster, goat meat, eggs, cheese, local bread, milk, coffee, tea, honey or other spreads for breakfast, soft drinks)
§ Transfer to fishing sites: 4x4car (Toyota land cruiser) and pick up for your equipment
§ Local boats (7/8m, engine 40cv), 2pax/boat
§ English speaking guide, Arabic speaking captain
Fishing day: Breakfast will be served very early (5:00am) to exploit the best part of the day on the sea. After a short transfer you will reach the most interesting fishing spots, not so far from the coast. Fishing trips in the mornings last about 6 hours: boats are coxed by local fishermen very well skilled in this sea/ocean and traditional fishing but not such well trained in modern fishing techniques since popper has been introduced here just recently, in 2010. Most of anglers prefer to practice popping; vertical jigging is possible but not so common. After lunch, served on the beaches in the shadow of a comfortable tent, it is possible to relax and enjoy the nature of the island. Later you can do more fishing as spinning from the cost (at your choice white send beaches or cliffs) or from the boas, ready at your service all the time.
Fish: Giant Trevally, yellow fin tuna, sail fish, spanish makerel, red snapper, blue fin trevally, yellow fin trevally, grouper, coral trout, sharks, dog tooth tuna, emperor, rusty job fish, green job fish, rosy job fish, bonefish, treadfin.
Fishing trips can be arranged as a part of your afternoon programme or you can make it the main activity of your stay. Usually, tourists go fishing with a small fisherman’s boat . You will be provided with a fishing rope and bites. After coming back, you can have your catch cooked for dinner in one of the eco-camps.
It is also possible to join local fishermen for their common fishing expeditions. A great adventure is fishing sharks overnight with setting out in late afternoon and coming back the next morning. Using nets and relying only on traditional navigation methods will be the ultimate experience of your holiday.
Another possibility is to try fishing during the boat trip from Qalansiya to Shouab beach, which is generally included in most of the programs on the island. Meanwhile dolphins watching, you will have a chance to catch a fish that you can eat later for your dinner while camping on the Shouab beach.