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How Safe Is Socotra?

Dubai, United Arab...
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27 posts
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How Safe Is Socotra?

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). We have contacted the British Embassy in Yemen who recommend against ALL travel to anywhere in Yemen due to rises in the number of kidnappings and the increased trend of hostage trafficking to terrorist networks on the Arabian Peninsula. 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. We wouldn't set foot outside of Sana airport and would be flying to Socotra a few hours after landing. 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. Is it safe to spend a few hours from early evening until early morning inside of Sana Airport.

2. Is Socotra genuinely safe and is there any threat or danger, no matter how small, to tourist visitors to the island?

Thanks

80 replies to this topic
Dubai, United Arab...
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27 posts
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11. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Having heard the direct opinion of people travelling with Socotra Dream I wouldn't term this a 'rumour' as you put it - this was a direct account, straight from the mouth of someone using that company - so this isn't any more of a 'rumour' than your or my opinion about our experiences - it was a first hand account based on these people's experiences, not 'hearsay' passed from person to person. So essentially what I received was a 'personal experience' from three separate lots of 'real travellers' in the flesh about a travel experience that they were actually in the moment of. You even refer to your own direct experience as 'hearsay' when it actually happened! So I think what you meant was not 'balance my hearsay with your hearsay' but that you would balance the direct accounts that I was told in person from people using Socotra Dream with your actual experience of both Socotra Eco Tours and Socotra Dream!

I think people probably 'heard' - as in saw the truth- about the Red Cross worker who was seized through her car window in Sanaa two months ago, and probably 'heard' about the Finnish couple and Austrian tourist who were kidnapped in broad daylight in Sanaa in December, or maybe 'heard' about the Swiss teacher who is still missing and completely unaccounted for having been seized in March in Hodeida. Travel on mainland Yemen does come with considerable risks - this is not heresay or something that people have 'heard' and misrepresented it is a fact that tourists and ex-pats have been kidnapped and killed or injured in the immediate past on mainland Yemen - I think your presentation of this as hearsay and conjecture is insensitive to the victims and also unhelpful for travellers who may receive the view that mainland Yemen is entirely safe. Socotra may be absolutely safe, but travelling on the mainland remains unpredictable in terms of its security.

So let's, as you suggest, stick to the facts:

Fact 1 - You were disappointed with elements of your experience with Socotra Eco Tours.

Fact 2 - You witnessed Socotra Dream tourists receiving a better meal and treatment than you after your guides had given away good food.

Fact 3 - I travelled with Socotra Eco Tours for 2 and a half weeks and enjoyed everything about it apart from the hotels in Hadibo.

Fact 4 - I met one individual and two groups who all complained about elements of their trips with Socotra Dream.

Kyiv
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12. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

I don't think this useless amount of words (let alone the word play assigning to the opponent what has not been said) with no new information is of just about any help to the readers of this forum so I won't go on.

You stated your case, I stated mine, it's up to the others to decide.

But I now see that you don't know too well what you are talking about and only stick to the media stereotypes. I doubt you have even visited the mainland Yemen and have at least a simple idea of what is behind what you prefer to call "truth". And I'm not interested in discussing rumors.

Edited: 08 May 2013, 20:02
Dubai, United Arab...
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13. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Yes - the media stereotypes perpetuated by the Yemeni media and dangers accepted by Yemeni journalists living and working in Yemen, not just westernised CNN or FOX bias - look on the Yemen Observer website and search kidnapping and murder. The fact that the vast majority of Yemenis are wonderful and hospitable people doesn't change the fact that a sad but dangerous minority exists that do pose a threat to tourist safety, something accepted from within Yemen - not a conspiracy theory from outside it.

http://www.yobserver.com

Kathmandu, Nepal
5 posts
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14. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Socotra Island is extremely safe, despite all of the unrest in mainland yemen. Socotra recieves many western tourists every year, although it has few hotels.

I can guarantee you that your trip to socotra will be amazing, with pristine beaches and amazing terrain.

I wouldn't go to Sanaa though, unless just changing flights in the airport.

Aurora, Colorado
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15. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

OKAY GUYS.. AT THE END OF THE DAY...am I to gather from all of the above that BOTH OF YOU

#1. Would go back

#2. Would use a tour company

#3 Would be careful what hotel you chose

Is this all correct? If so here are the questions

#1. Any place in Yemen you would absolutely NOT miss

#2. How long would you stay minimum.

Thank you!!

Kyiv
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21,670 posts
324 reviews
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16. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Hi EBWgirl,

Sorry, whose feedback you are interested in, please? - there were more than two persons posting here, with different experience. It occurred to me that no one but me has ventured into mainland Yemen. Or are you interested in Socotra only?

Thanks!

Edited: 21 May 2013, 09:01
Kyiv
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21,670 posts
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17. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Seems like there's no more ground for the argument on which company is better for Socotra tours.

Following the warning on another travel forum, I just checked the web-site of Socotra Dream, and it says that the agency is closed from April 2013, and they encourage travellers not to trust e-mails from abdullah@socotradream.com

Just smth worth knowing.

Edited: 24 May 2013, 15:40
18. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

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abu dhabi uae
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19. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

hi, why don't you come with us we are going in a big group, skipping sanna - direct to socatra

UAE Trekkers

www.meetup.com/uaetrekkers

The trip is planned for septe 25-28. Safety in numbers.. Another group went in may and said it was amaazing!

amy

20. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

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Removed on: 11 November 2013, 00:47
 
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