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How Safe Is Socotra?

Dubai, United Arab...
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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

76 replies to this topic
Portland, Oregon
2 posts
1 review
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21. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Hi, can anybody give me some estimates on how much would it cost for one person (tour, accomodation, tips, etc). I really want to visit Socotra. But I usually stay in a hostel. But I think this option would not be possible due to the security situation. Thanks in advance.

Kyiv
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for Kiev, Ukraine
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22. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Hi Jose,

May I suggest you to do a bit of a reading and researching as your question sounds like you are not too well aware of what to expect in Socotra so far.

First of all, “security situation” is nonsense. The island of Socotra is one of the safest harbours in this unstable world.

Second, there are no hostels. Not in the usual meaning you might expect, at least. Accommodation options in the island are limited to a few rather basic hotels in Hadibo (capital city).

Say, I stayed in two:

Overpriced but best in Hadibo Sumerland tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g1420957-d16…

Cheap, basic and not too clean Taj tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g1156345-d43… With a great restaurant tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g1156345-d43…

Hope you find my reviews helpful to get an idea of the places.

But the best and absolutely unbeatable way to explore the island is camping around it! That is staying either in campsites or eco-lodges and sleeping in either a tent, or a sleeping bag, whatever you prefer. This of course implies you should be ready to really rough it, as in some of the accommo places there are no showers and the only toilettes are “natural”. Some of the organized campsites, however, do have “facilities” and even electricity.

As for the cost of tour, which normally also includes accommo and cooking as the latter is being done by your driver and a guide, this largely depends on how many days you plan to spend in Socotra. Local companies can arrange you a programme for anything from 3 days to over 2 or even 3 weeks.

Contact a few tour companies, and you will easily get the quotes from them for the option you prefer.

When planning the length of stay, pay attention to the flights schedule in and out of Socotra. The flights are not daily, and the standard length of tours offered is normally compiled in such a way to fill in the time between the flights.

There is no established tipping culture in Socotra, so tipping amount is entirely to you, and might also differ depending on the length of your stay. Good service surely deserves a good tip. The poverty in the island is striking, and they don’t have that many sources of income other than tourism.

Good luck with your research! :)

Edited: 25 July 2013, 07:16
Abu Dhabi, United...
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23. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Amy, Can you please let us know all here how your trekking trip went once you are back? I am planning to visit with my husband in October Eid holidays and in double-mind because of the current security situation and tensions in the Arabic countries. Can anyone tell me if it is a good idea? I am in touch with Eco tours as well.

Kyiv
Destination Expert
for Kiev, Ukraine
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24. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Hi aVij3,

You are in the UAE, so can benefit from direct flights to Socotra avoiding mainland Yemen, which (rather than the island) can be of some security concern.

I would have visited Socotra any time in a breath…

Beirut, Lebanon
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25. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Hi all,

Im going to Socotra with Socotra Holidays and tours (www.tovisitsocotra.com). i already booked the international and domestic flights, working on the visa with the tour and they have arranged everything so far. im travelling solo from Lebanon and ill be using their monthly package. So pumped and excited and the island seems out of this world. i ll let u know how it goes once im back.

Cheers

Ziad

Bucharest...
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26. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Hello, did you travel to Socotra? Was it safe ? Thank you

Beirut, Lebanon
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27. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Hi rada,

I leave on October 11th till the 20th. As soon as I get back I'll leave a post. I'm sure there s nothing to worry about (concerning safety).

Kyiv
Destination Expert
for Kiev, Ukraine
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28. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

>>>> I'm sure there s nothing to worry about (concerning safety).

Agree wholeheartedly.

St. Catharines...
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29. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

Hey Amy: (Umamira)

I am researching Sacotra and I am just dieing to go. We not too long ago went to Seychelles to get married, then to Amsterdam, Germany and then over to Iceland before going home to Toronto Canada (Niagara Falls) and I have been dreaming of going back to Iceland in the worst way but I think Sacotra may have stolen my attention. I notice you are leaving in only days. How very very exciting.

We as Canadians need approved passports to go to UAE but not until getting plane tickets 1st (then they can deny you if they like) which is intimidating when spending that kind of money. As well from our side of the world we only know what we see on TV or read online.....also a little intimidating to go to the UAE. I want to go there so badly but a vacation and adventure is only good if you stay safe.

If you have any info now or upon your return that would be helpful (any links or websites) I would be very grateful.

We wish you all the very very best. I hope you see things that are so amazing you can't put them into words and have the safest time of your life.

All the best Heidi and Ray

Hampton, Virginia
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30. Re: How Safe Is Socotra?

It sounds like a very nice place to travel. I have a question: did you see many female tourists? Will it be safe to travel for females only?

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