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Socotra Island the Most Exotic Nature and Wildlife in the Earth

Updated on March 31, 2016
Giant Desert Rose of Socotra (Adenium socotranum) - Endemic Rose in Socotra Island
Giant Desert Rose of Socotra (Adenium socotranum) - Endemic Rose in Socotra Island | Source

Socotra the Most Exotic Island in this Planet

Have you ever going to Socotra Island? This island is the most naturally unique and wonderful tourism destination today. Socotra is “lost world” with exotic nature and wildlife in tropical climate. Socotra separated from the world six million years ago. Socotra is a journey to a prehistorical episode of earth evolution. Socotra has been describing “prehistorical” island and most “alien-looking” place because of a third of Socotra’s plant life is found nowhere else in the earth.

Socotra is a small archipelago of four Islands in the Indian Ocean. The Socotra is the largest island and lies of 240 km east of the Horn of Africa and 380 km south of the Arabian Peninsula.Socotra Island is part of Republic of Yemen, a country located in the Middle East. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east. Yemen has a land area of 555,000 square kilometers and a population of approximately 24 million (2010). Its capital and largest city is Sana'a. Yemen's territory includes over 200 islands, the largest of which is Socotra, about 415 km to the south of mainland Yemen, off the coast of Somalia.

Socotra as most beautiful island in the Middle East, almost everything is strange in different: wildlife, nature, flora and fauna, bizarre of rock and stone formation. Socotra also has beautiful beaches. Scuba divers and snorkel will be surprise with amazing untouched coral reefs with many endemic species in the warm of Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.

Map of Socotra Islands
Map of Socotra Islands | Source

In Socotra, you will touch and see many things which is seldom found anywhere else in this planet. All of that makes your holiday in Socotra is perfectly a new tourism destination in the world. Socotra is the real of exotic garden in the world with prehistorical landscape and wild life. So amazing and fantastic holiday destination!

Socotra the Happiness Island

Socotra name from the word of Sanskrit “sukhadhara dvipa” which meaning as “Happiness Island”. The archipelago consists of the main island of Socotra, and three smaller islands of Abd al Kuri, Samhah and Darsa. There are also small rock outcrops like Ka'l Fir'awn and Sābūnīyah that are uninhabitable by humans but important for seabirds. This island is a perfect destination to explore. You will found unusual feature of island, hiking the mountains, and relaxing in tropical beach.

Sands of Noget South Coast - Socotra
Sands of Noget South Coast - Socotra

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) were recognizing Socotra Island as a world natural heritage site in July 2008. The European Union (EU) also has supported such a move. Now there are calling on both UNESCO and International Organization of Protecting Environment to classify the island archipelago among the environmental heritages.

Endemic Flora and Fauna of Socotra

Socotra is the jewel of biodiversity in the Arabian Sea with many endemic of flora and fauna. The long geological isolation with drought and fierce heat has created unique and wonderful plant, animal, and landscape. Botanical survey indicated that 307 out of the 825 plant species are endemic in Socotra. Endemic means that they are not found anywhere else on Earth.

Dragon Blood Tree, endemic tree species (Dracaena cinnabari) Socotra Island
Dragon Blood Tree, endemic tree species (Dracaena cinnabari) Socotra Island | Source
Dragon Blood Tree
Dragon Blood Tree | Source

One of famous Socotra’s endemic plants is Dragon's Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari) which is a strange-looking, umbrella-shaped tree. It was used by Cleopatra to redden her lips, the Gladiators in Rome to heal wounds, and people on the island to color pottery. The trees can live to be over 800 years old. There are many others endemic likes giant succulent tree Dorstenia gigas.

Socotra Dolphins
Socotra Dolphins | Source

About 145 species of birds have been recorded here, 10 of which can be found nowhere or endemic species likes Socotra Starling, Sunbird, Sparrow, and endemic monotypic genus of birds Socotra Warbler. As with many isolated island systems,

Bats is the only mammals’ natives to Socotra. From total amount 31 terrestrial invertebrates are about 28 endemic. Socotra Sea is surrounded with whales and dolphins, Sperm Whales, Short-finned Pilot Whales, Spinner, and Bottle-nosed dolphins. They all have been spotted close to shore.

Birds, insects and underwater life which are considered very poorly explored areas of this fascinating island have received relatively little attention from the scientific community. There may be also undiscovered species of insects on Socotra.

Qalansiya Lagoon, Socotra Island
Qalansiya Lagoon, Socotra Island | Source

Fascinating Nature of Socotra

Socotra is a natural wonderland from aqua lagoon, dunes, alpine meadows, limestone plateau with caves, Hog Cave and Moomi Cave. Socotra is land of exotic nature, from aqua lagoon at Qalansiya, Nowgad desolation, alpine meadows of Haggier Mountain, and white dunes of Ras Romi.

Socotra Island is composed of two landscapes: limestone plateau of Cretaceous and the rugged Haggier Mountains in the east. Low coastal plains are consisting of alluvial deposits of stone and sand as well as areas of dune field.

The long geological isolation of the island from neighboring Arabia and Africa has resulted in very high levels of endemism, which make the archipelago a site of global importance for biodiversity conservation. The island has in fact been historically known for its unique and spectacular vegetation.

Travel Tips to Socotra

The population of the entire archipelago is estimated at 70,000, with most people living on Socotra Island. The inhabitants are of Arab, Somali, and South Asian origins. They follow the Islamic faith and speak Soqotri, a Semitic language. English is spoken by the people working in the tourism industry. Primary occupations are fishing, animal husbandry, and cultivation of dates.

Bottle tree - Socotra Island
Bottle tree - Socotra Island

You are not allowing to import or export any biological material or alien species from or to Island. Do not leave or discard any litter. Don’t raise your voice or speak loudly inside cave, but whisper! Don’t touch or damage corals.

Because this is a Muslim country, open gay and lesbian lifestyles are not allowed and sexual interactions of any kind are forbidden with the locals. Foreign women advised did not dress in sexy styles. Ask permission before taking photographs of locals, especially women. Do not bring or drink any alcohol because Islam prohibited it.

Socotrans people are friendly and are just curious to see the tourists. I would be nice to communicate and interact with local people. Respect their culture and values. Be a wise and nice person with Eco-tourism attitude. Have a nice journey to Socotra Island.


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    • profile image

      ahmed allahabi 6 years ago

      I wish if I could see the name and photo of the animals in socotra.


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What an interesting sounding island and from what you said Socotra should be protected as the nature found there and wildlife are unique. Thanks for sharing this with us. Voted useful and up.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      What a beautiful hub and thanks for sharing.

      One of my pastimes on a wet and cold day is 'Armchair Travelling.'

      I have a great imagination.

      I push all the buttons on this one.

      Take care