Socotra Archipelago in Yemen
The Socotra archipelago is situated in the Indian Ocean close to Gulf of Aden between the Republic of Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Somalia on Horn of Africa. In addition to the main island of Socotra, the archipelago consists of three smaller islands; Abd al Kuri, Samhah and Darsa as well as minor rock outcrops. Socotra accounts for 95% of the archipelago’s total area. Around 40,000 people are living on the islands. The locals are very proud of their natural beauty. The island has an area of 3,665 square kilometers and is 132 kilometers long and approximately 50 kilometers wide. Socotra Archipelago is a part of the Republic of Yemen, however it is in many ways very different to the mainland including the culture and language and most importantly it is very safe to travel there.
Most Alien Place on Earth
Socotra Archipelago in Yemen is home for strange animals and plants. Over 1/3 of the local fauna is endemic, which means that almost 700 species only are found on Socotra in Yemen and nowhere else on the planet. 37% of its plants, 90% of its reptiles and 95% of its snails are endemic. For that reason, the island is considered to the most alien place on Earth and represents indeed a jewel of biodiversity. The richness in biodiversity is only exceeded by the island of Hawaii and Galapagos. The island of Socotra is indeed a weird place on earth and is one of the best remote islands in the world.
Socotra Island plants
One of the most spectacular of Socotra’s plants is the dragon’s blood tree (Dracaena cinnabari), which is a strange-looking, umbrella-shaped tree. The red juice was thought to be the dragon’s blood of the ancients, and has through time been used to the production of dye, cosmetics and medicine. Another spectacular tree is the Dendrosicyos socotranus, the cucumber tree. The species is endemic to Socotra Archipelago in Yemen. It grows as a tree and can be over 5 meters high.
The most scenic places on Socotra is Wadi Dirhur Canyon and the Dixam Plateau, which both are hidden gems in the paradise. Overall, the island has three geographical terrains: the narrow coastal plains with huge sand dunes and the wide beaches, a limestone plateau permeated with karstic caves (cf. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia), and the Haghier Mountains. The highest peak on the island rise to 1,503 metres. Yemen Socotra offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Read also: Waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes National Park
Socotra island Yemen tourism
visit Socotra if you want to stay away from the swarm of tourist and discover the beauty of an isolated exotic and alien nature. Due to the scenic setting the island back in 2008 was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Travel to Socotra is definitely on my bucket list.
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Here you can see some Socotra island photos.