Travelers to Socotra must understand that Socotra is an eco-tourism system and fairly new to the international tourist market, hence the Socotra hotel accommodation standard, though good, may not be up to the same international accommodation standards that you would expect in a more developed atmosphere. We at DBT Socotra Adventure Tours believe that this only adds to the appeal of the island of Socotra.
Getting to Socotra Island:
Yemania Airlines offers two flight per week: Sana’a - Mukalla - Socotra Island (Friday). And Aden – Mukalla – Socotra island (Monday). Flight duration is almost three hours. A new airline is about to take over all flights to Socotra, providing flights once a day to the island. You can find more information on this exciting endeavor here:
When to go:
Climate is an important consideration. And this depends on your interest. Nature enthusiasts should go from early October to late April. The monsoon occurs in July till mid August (during July in the south east and south west of the island, wind surfing activity can be arranged). Generally, wildlife and natural viewing is most rewarding from the end of January through May. You can see more information on the island's weather HERE.
Visa and Money matters:
You can obtain a three months visa on your arrival at Sana’a airport (the capital of Yemen). As soon as you have cleared through customs, change some money into Yemeni Riyal (YR.) at the airport, or when in Sana’a, at the any money exchanger (recommended) or you can exchange money at national bank on Socotra .There are about 190 Riyals to the USD and 230 to ERO. Take cash hard currency with you; USD is acceptable on the island with ERO as an alternative. MasterCard, Visa Card, Cheques are not acceptable.
What to pack:
Comfortable, light, casual clothing.
Some thing warm to wear at night in winter and in the high altitudes.
Comfortable walking shoes with good grip or sneakers.
Protective clothing and sun lotion for the tropical sun.
Personal toiletries and any personal medication such as, some headache tablets, some things for digestive upsets, disinfectant, etc.
Film and spare batteries for your camera.
Torch/ flashlight with spare batteries.
Strap-on water bottle for day hike.
Money belt for valuables (you don’t have to take expensive or expensive-looking jewelry to Socotra).
While Socotra is not a malaria region, there are some mosquitoes in some places, so a malaria prophylactic is recommended. Cholera is not present on the island at all. Drink only bottled mineral water; it’s readily available in Hadibo and Qalansiya. Consult your doctor and dentist or travel health clinic for advice and preventive measures. The hospitals on the Island offer less than adequate service. Pharmacies are presented around Hadibo,
GMT + 3 hours
220v AC; plugs are generally two-pin and multiple plugs.
Socotri is the local language, Arabic is the official and formal language; English is spoken by the people working in the tourism industry.
All the people follow Islam.
Telephone lines are available to major town of Hadibo, country code: (+967), followed by a one digit number for an access provider (5). After the international and access codes, number should be six digits including three initial digits for the geographical area (660).
The cheapest way to make international phone calls is to use a telephone card and call from booth telephone line or mobile telephone. Telephone cards can be purchased at most shops in the main market. GSM system is not working on the island. Hitherto, only CDMA cavers north and west of the island remain in Hadibo, Dicksam plateau, and Qalansiya.
Internet access is slow and expensive (It costs about $5 per hour.). There is no internet cafés on the island, but public internet access exists in the large town of Hadibo.
The post office is located at the at the center of the town Hadibo, in Socotra Telephone Central building.