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Preparing for your Socotra Trip

After deciding what tour to choose and when to go to the Socotra Islands, there are still a few things that need to be settled before your vacation.

  • International flights: are not included in quoted prices and must be purchased separately.
  • Flights to and from the Socotra: Flights from mainland Yemen (Aden ) can be arranged through us. Keep in mind that “Tour package only prices” do not include the cost of flights. Especially during the high season, is often difficult to find availability on flights to Socotra. Therefore, an option of flights booking is available in our booking process as extra services. However, we advise reserving as early as possible to guarantee availability.
  • Health insurance: We strongly advise acquiring travel insurance that includes trip cancellations, baggage, and medical protection.
  • Vaccinations: There is no vaccination requirement for traveling to the Socotra regions of Yemen. However, when traveling you should  ask your doctor about vaccines like typhoid, hepatitis A, diphtheria, and yellow fever. Keep in mind that some vaccines, like diphtheria, need to be administered three months prior to your trip!
  • Yemen visa: Yemen welcomes tourists and travelers from every country. Citizens of the United States, Canada and most European countries traveling to Yemen for tourism, business or to study do require a visa. A color copy of your valid passport (At least 6 month from departure date) must be sent for application.

IMPORTANT: You can’t have an Israeli stamp on your passport. Should you have visited Israel with your passport, and there be evidence of it, your visa will be denied.

  • What to pack? Since there is a weight restriction of 44 lbs. or 20 kg on flights to the Socotra, we recommend bringing only what you strictly need to the islands. Check out our travel tips page to get an idea of what should finally land up in your suitcase.
  • Get US dollars: Cash is king on the Socotra Islands – American cash, that is – as credit cards are not widely accepted, ATMs have a reputation for being unreliable, and many international cards are not accepted (particularly those from the UK and Australia). How much you bring depends on your style of travel, but regardless, make sure to have plenty of small bills. Many places won’t accept anything less than a $50, and you’ll want plenty of $20 bills for tips. Common sense dictates to never keep all your cash in one place. Carry what you need for one day somewhere discreet and store the rest in a safe place (or several safe places).
  • Buy a good reusable water bottle: Tap water isn’t safe to drink in the Socotra Islands. As contaminated water can cause an upset stomach and traveller’s diarrhea (and, in some cases, more serious conditions like cholera and hepatitis A), drink only purified, filtered water. This also means avoiding drinks with ice, fruit that can’t be peeled, and sadly, freshly made juices and shakes (unless you’re sure they were made with purified water). Bring a good reusable canteen with at least a 1.5 liter capacity. While many hotels and boats provide filtered water, it’s a good idea to pack some purification tablets, just in case.
  • Call your mobile phone provider: A Socotra trip practically demands that you unplug from the outside world. Though if you need to stay connected, many larger Hotels on the Socotra offer Wi-Fi on board, while the Socotra Islands have mobile phone reception. Just make sure to call your service provider before leaving home to activate global roaming. Keep in mind, most providers charge a hefty fee for international calls and texts. If you have an unlocked quad-band GSM phone, it’s often cheaper to buy a pre-paid SIM card in Yemen instead.

If you have any questions, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions section or contact us.