The aim of this expedition is to complete a camel-supported trekking traverse of Socotra’s main island.
Described as ‘the most alien place on Earth’ and isolated for years due to its extreme location and then civil war, few travellers have reached the archipelago. As a result, major developments have largely bypassed the ‘Galapagos of the Indian Ocean’, and so preserving the unique flora, fauna and terrain which is now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
This varied route bisects Socotra, encompassing the Hajhir Massif mountain range, dramatic gorges and rolling plateaus, bracketed by the azure blue of the Indian Ocean with its expanse of sandy beaches, allowing the intrepid trekking team to experience first hand the wild beauty of this remote island.
- Discover the UNESCO World Heritage listed flora and fauna
- Cross the island on foot over a variety of challenging terrains
- Summit the highest non-technical peaks in the Hajhir Massif
- Keep an eye out for dragon blood trees and blue baboon spiders
- Meet the vibrant communities who call Socotra home
Why you'll love this adventure
- Trek 120km with camel support across Yemen’s isolated Socotra island
- Explore gorges, plateaus and high peaks before descending to untouched beaches
- Swim in natural rock pools before camping for the night
13 March 2023
20 March 2023
This trip operator runs expeditions with framework itineraries, rather than guided tours with set daily plans. A fuller itinerary is provided in the handbook which is available on request or upon application to join the team.
- Trip operator leader with full communications and medical kit
- Local support team and camels
- Accommodation throughout in tents
- All food (snacks and meals) and soft drinks
- All transport once on Socotra island as outlined in itinerary
- All permits and permissions required
- Visa support documents, Visa fee and processing
- 24 hour UK-based Operations Room
- International flights/travel to and from Socotra Airport (Hadibu)
- Travel insurance (obligatory)
- Tips for the local team – discretionary but appreciated
- Personal equipment (full kit list is provided in the Handbook)
- Any activities, accommodation or arrangements outside of the itinerary
Who is this trip for?
Although dwarfed by the surrounding landmasses of Yemen and Somalia, what Socotra lacks in size, it makes up for in diversity. The transect trekking route devised by the trip operator will see the team travel from the beaches and marine preserves of the coast, into the heart of the Hajhir Massif. In the shadow of Socotra’s highest peak – Mashanig (1503m) – the team will trek to the summit of the highest, non-technical mountains on the island before dropping into expansive wadi gorge systems. The rest of the trek encompasses broad plateaus, river valleys and forested hills before returning to the coast, home to sand dunes towering hundreds of metres high. With shorter trekking days planned to avoid the worst of the heat, and support from camels and local herders, this trek will be challenging but ultimately rewarding.
Minimum fitness requirements
- Trek: up to 25km per day
- Daily activity: from four to ten hours’ trekking
- Carry: up to 8kg per person in a rucksack (daysacks only with camel support)
- Terrain: rugged, exposed, mountainous terrain including steep slopes, soft wadis and rocky surfaces
- Elevation: from sea level to a maximum altitude of 1500m.
- Climate: tropical desert with temperatures averaging 30C
- Swim: beneficial but not required – the expedition starts/ends at the coast and natural pools are available en route
- Age: 21+
When it comes to getting off the beaten track these guys can’t be beaten. They lead pioneering expeditions to some of the most remote regions on earth. The organisers are dedicated to creating imaginative experiences for adventurers around the world and their team of expert military guides are some of the most experienced in the industry. Nowhere is off limits and no idea is too crazy. They have achieved ground breaking world firsts such as mountain biking in Afghanistan and mountaineering in Iraq and their first ever expeditions to walk across Madagascar and pioneer white water rafting in South Sudan both made the headlines…. and a bit of history.
Being wild and wacky is one thing but with their background as commanders in the British Army and experienced team of specialists in every kind of terrain and environment means that all of their adventures are thoroughly planned and the safety and security of teams is always their highest priority. Expeditions can be inherently risky, but they do everything possible to minimise potential hazards and for that, and the utterly extraordinary trips they put on, we salute them.
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