- The easiest way to travel around Socotra is with the local tour agency, who will provide the visa/airticket and services (cars, drivers, guides, all services).
- There is no tourism as such so that travelling on your own is almost impossible. There are no car rentals or any other tourist facilities. Shops offering groceries and drinking water are rare and available only in few places on the island.
- Hadibo, the capital of Socotra, is the only place where you can find a hotel. Although the quality of the hotel is below European standard, it is a possibility for those who do not prefer camping or staying in the wilderness.
- A 3* quality Hotel is newly built - opened 2022, price availability on request.
- Complicated transport of most food to the island makes prices higher than on the mainland. Due to the imports, prices are approaching and somewhere have already exceeded normal food prices in Europe. Also, the price of gasoline has more than doubled in the last few years.
- Usually, the tour program is designed like full services ( All inclusive ) - 4 x 4 cars, drivers and guides, accommodation, full board including drinking water, soft drinks, camping equipment rental, complete cooking equipment, nature reserve entrance fees and fees for camping, a boat trip to the most remote place on the island.
- Socotra food depends on local options. Nevertheless, we provide an above-standard service! We have fresh fruit and vegetables available every day! The food is always prepared from fresh ingredients and, if possible, without the need for transport. It is mostly fresh high-quality fish (tuna, king fish, grouper), meat (goat, mutton, chicken) served with boiled vegetable sauce, rice, pasta and flatbreads. For breakfast, boiled beans are usually served - foul, eggs, fresh bread rolls, honey, cheese, marmalade, Nutella, tea with milk or coffee. Drinking water, soft drinks (if possible we provide chilled ones), tea/coffee are available throughout the day.
- Clothes to wear. The religion of the island is Islam. Since you are going to meet and communicate with local people and the programme includes visits to aboriginal villages it is necessary to respect local rules regarding clothes and behaviour! Although the locals are now used to meeting tourists and clothes such as swimsuits are acceptable on the beach, they are unacceptable on the streets! On the other hand, knee-length shorts are now tolerated. Women should wear loose-fitting clothes covering their posterior, T-shirts and blouses are allowed but sleeveless tops are not. Please, do show your respect for local traditions by, for example, wearing headscarf and you will be rewarded by friendliness and warm hospitality.
- The program does not include extra services and special requests, such as fishing boat rental and scuba diving gear rentals. These requests require extra payment.
- Please note that it is always recommended to ask permission before taking a photo! Do not take photos of strategic places and people - the port, government buildings, soldiers and also local women, especially men should not contact local women in any way or start a conversation.
List of necessary things on Socotra/basic info
- Camping: we have all camping equipment available.
- Tents, mattresses/pillows, blankets are provided. If you prefer your own, bring a sleeping/summer bag or self-inflating mat.
- Flashlight, ideally a headlamp, sunscreen, repellent
- Backup source for charging, power bank (possibility of charging in cars), I recommend an adapter for sockets in Hadibo
- Drugstore/cosmetics, 100% biodegradable wet wipes for intimate hygiene
- Travel first aid kit, medicines as needed, diarrhea, broad-spectrum antibiotics
- For movement in Hadibo/airport/city - women: long dress/trousers, long sleeve, headscarf (optional), men: long pants
- For movement outside Hadibo: comfortable sports clothes, light sweatshirt/jacket, sports shoes/sneakers, headgear, sunglasses
- Suitcase or backpack? Both are possible, it depends on the preference. Small sports backpack/small bag for treks.
- Mobile network: They have already set up a GSM network on Socotra, but it works very sporadically! Wi-fi connection is only available in Hadibo, it is enough to send an email, WhatsApp or Messenger message. The driver/guide will have a local sim card/sometimes it is possible to use a personal hotspot. However, in most places there is no connection.
- Dollars/Cash/Payment: There is no ATM or bank transfer available on the island. All banknotes ($20,50,100) must be new and from 2008! 100$ with a blue stripe and all without the slightest damage, watch out for torn corners, scratches, etc., these bills could not be accepted!
- Toilets/hygiene: In the hotel, mostly only cold water flows, each room has its own bathroom with a shower, which is shared with the toilet, and sometimes only a Turkish toilet.
- When camping in protected areas, basic showers/Turkish toilets are set up in most places, but for 2-3 days we will camp in places where this option will not be available, but only access to fresh or salt water.
- Couples sleep together in one tent, other solo travelers each have their own tent. Sleeping outside is also an option.
- Program/itinerary: The 8-day program is compiled according to my long-term experience, so that the TOP of Socotra can be done at a leisurely pace and something extra. It is not necessary to burden yourself with an exact itinerary of when, where, what and which day. We will see everything! We negotiate on the spot and mainly try to avoid large groups of 15-20 people from other companies. The plan is to spend 2 nights in a Hadibo Hotel, but if you want to exchange Hadibo for a campsite or a nearby Eco Lodge, that's no problem, everything is by agreement.