Get Ready! 10 Easy Points You Need to Know Before Travel to Socotra Island

Get Ready! 10 Easy Points You Need to Know Before Travel to Socotra Island

You have decided to visit Socotra Island, but you got stuck because you do not know what to prepare for it. When a tourist has decided to visit Socotra Island, they should know how to prepare themselves well on Socotra Island. It is a different Island, so preparing for being there is different from other places that tourists get used to. Being on Socotra Island opens the door for a unique journey; therefore, knowing what you can prepare in advance to enjoy your time perfectly. Get Ready! 10 Easy Points You Need to Know Before Travel to Socotra Island

One – What Documents Do you Need when Traveling to Socotra Island?

What Documents Do you Need when Traveling to Socotra Island, Passport. Get Ready! 10 Easy Points You Need to Know Before Travel to Socotra Island

1- Passport:

Getting a passport is a must for being on Socotra Island. However, it needs to be taken into account that Israeli passports are prohibited. Any evidence in the passport that proves that you visited Israel makes your passport unacceptable to enter Socotra Island. Therefore, you have to obtain a new passport.

2- Travel Visa:

Travel Visa, ministry of interior, Entry visa, Socotra Island
Travel Visa, Ministry of Interior, Entry visa, Socotra Island

Getting a visa to enter Socotra Island, which costs $150, is considered the first and the essential phase tourists should consider. You have two ways to get a visa. Booking a tour is the first and preferable way that tourists always choose. The second way uncommon is to contact with tourist agency in Socotra Island to prepare only the visa for you without the tour. The visa will be emailed to you for booking the flight, valid for 30 days to stay in Yemen. After arrival, they will stamp the lower slip of the paper and give it to you.

3- Travel and Health Insurance:

Travel and Health Insurance , Socotra Island
Travel and Health Insurance , Socotra Island

Before heading to Socotra, Yemen, you must apply for travel and health insurance. The travel insurance will protect the cost of your trip when you might face a flight delay or cancellation situation.

Two – What to Bring Camping for Socotra Island?

Camping Detwah Lagon lake , Qalansiya Socotra Island
Camping Detwah Lagon lake , Qalansiya Socotra Island

There are a lot of attractive places which let tourists camp there. Therefore, your tour operator will prepare all the essential camping equipment. Camping in nature is one of the best activities you can enjoy. There are six eco-campsites to stay overnight outside Hadibo, Socotra island’s capital city, Omek, Di Hamri, Detwah, Homhil, and Rush. They are run by local communities who generate income by providing eco-tourism services for their development.

When camping outside with 2Socotra tour operator, maximum comfort will be prepared for you, including freshly cooked lunch/ dinner, drinking water, tea/ coffee, dessert, a relaxing area with mattresses on a large mat, and tents, gas or solar lamps. All stuff, including your baggage, will be brought by a 4WD car to the place of Camping. 

Accommodation in an eco-campsite provides only essential comfort. Still, you are in the middle of nature and can fully indulge in the island’s beauties. Therefore, it is more convenient to stay overnight in eco-campsites located around the island than to drive every night back to Hadibo. 

Three – What to Wear on Socotra Island Vacation?

What to Wear on Socotra Island Vacation, clothes
What to Wear on Socotra Island Vacation

There are such kinds of clothes that tourists should prepare to match the weather and the climate changes on Socotra Island. Getting light, breathable fabrics to explore Socotra Island is a good idea. A light jacket is recommended because it is excellent in the evenings ( 16 – 22 ).

Different beliefs about wearing clothes that tourists should be in consideration. As a woman, being conservative, especially in villages, is a must, but it is not expected for women outside of the main towns. A light headscarf covers the hair. And they are making sure that shoulders and knees are covered, too. On the other side, as a man, legs should be covered while t-shirts are fine in villages. Hats or other head coverings are good alternatives to protect yourself from the sun. Sturdy shoes are a great idea, keeping in mind the coats are sandy, and there are also lots of fun dunes to climb. 

Socotri men typically wear a t-shirt paired with a fouta ( a long wrap-around skirt similar to Bangladeshi men), while women are almost entirely covered in niqab and abaya. If you want to wear such kinds of Socotri Clothes, you can purchase these items in Hadibo City, the capital city of Socotra Island. It does not cost only $ 10- $20 for each item. 

Four – Cash is Matter When Traveling to Socotra Island

Cash is Matter When Traveling to Socotra Island, 100 Dollars
Cash is Matter When Traveling to Socotra Island

There are no ATMs on the island, and credit cards are unavailable. Tourists should bring clean and unworn banknotes USD cash to the island, and you change it on the black market once in Hadibo City or Mainland Yemen. The official exchange rate is no longer helpful and not accurate. Yemen has two black market prices for the exchange rate in the south and the north of the country, so you have to check with your operator the daily rate for the south. If you have any concerns about your safety due to moving with cash, don’t worry; the island is very safe, and there is no indecent reported by any tourist.

Five – Everything You Need to Know About the Electricity in Socotra island

Night stars Camping at Amak Beach , Noged, Socotra Island
Night stars Camping at Amak Beach , Noged, Socotra Island


Electricity is available in Hadibo. Moreover, it exists in the larger towns as well. But since most of the visit will be in campsites you will not have electricity for the vast majority of the time, so be ready to bring what we recommend. Therefore, as a solution, have your power bank. We highly recommend carrying a solar charger and external battery packs (for charging camera batteries or laptops). You have to check this power bank out for charging phones and tablets. A powerful USB power bank is convenient for charging electronics and bringing several additional camera batteries for photographers that let your journey pass smoothly.

 Some camps have a generator we can run in the evenings, which facilitates your needs, but they may or may not have sockets (Euro 2-prong, and British 3-prong) to charge electronics.

Bringing your USB cables is a must that lets you typically charge electronics when driving between areas of the Island. That period is enough to charge your devices. Most Socotris charge their phones in their cars while traveling around the Island. 

Bringing several camera batteries can also help since charging may prove complicated. Bring more memory cards than you think will facilitate your journey. Socotra is highly photogenic, so you almost have to be ready with your real stuff. You will not want to waste your camera batteries deleting photos while in Socotra. Because Socotra is dusty, protect your camera equipment from dust with a dust-proof camera protector. Furthermore, a dry bag is an excellent idea to protect your cameras and electronics from water damage. All that has been mentioned is a recommendation to feel comfortable while on Socotra Island. 

Six – What to Eat and Drink on Socotra Island?

What to Eat and Drink on Socotra Island, Food , meat, Fish Seafood, Camping Detwah Lagon lake , Qalansiya lunch
lunch at Camping Detwah Lagon lake , Qalansiya, Socotra Island

Different and traditional meals are communal and straightforward, and restaurants do not exist outside of Hadibo. However, some restaurants are available in Hadibo, all located around the main 20 Street. For example, Shabwa restaurant is located on the eastern end of 20 Street. There you can meet many Socotris and international tourists every evening and enjoy simple traditional meals like fresh fish, lobster, or bean meals together.

Typical Socotra cuisine includes flatbread, rice, and pasta. Also, several vegetable dishes with ingredients of potatoes, onion, carrots, garlic, beans, and tomatoes. In addition, you have several protein-based dishes such as goat meat, chicken, and seafood. Most of the meals were served hot.

Most seasonal fruits are grown on the island, such as bananas, melons, oranges, apples, and guavas. Other fruits are imported from outside the island, such as strawberries.

As for drinks, the ideal option for tourists is bottled water. This is what tourism companies provide, along with various juices and soft drinks. Concerning alcoholic beverages, citizens are prohibited from importing or selling them on the island, except tourists, who can bring the quantity sufficient for their personal use. 

ٍٍSeven – Is there an internet connection on Socotra Island?

internet connection on Hadibo, Hadibu, Hadiboh, Hadiboh - Socotra Island
Internet connection in Hadiboh – Socotra Island

Do not expect normal speed to have access to the internet. You can notice that the only Wi-Fi connections found are in Hadiboh hotels and are even unreliable. As a solution, the Emirates 3G is the best shot at getting more reliable internet. Things like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp work just fine, but SIM cards are currently not available for purchase on Socotra. 

Mobile coverage is extremely limited in Socotra, making tourists enjoy their time by nature. Therefore, do not expect your phone to work outside the major towns as in some places. Hadibo and Qalansiah have reliable coverage, working with most major international providers.

Eight – Health and protraction

Zayed Hospital, Hadibo, Hadibu, Hadiboh, Hadiboh - Socotra
Zayed Hospital, Hadiboh – Socotra

What is essential and related to health is that you have to inform the company you deal with about health issues. Most of the treatments for common ailments are available on the island. It is preferable to bring your own treatments that you are used to avoiding surprises. In general, there are hospitals on the island that can be turned to in emergency cases 

Nine – Luggage and Limitations

Socotra airport, Hadibo, Hadibu, Hadiboh, Hadiboh - Socotra
Socotra airport, Hadibo, Hadibu, Hadiboh, Hadiboh – Socotra

There is some information that should be taken into account. First, tourists must know that the maximum total weight for checked baggage in Yemenia is 30kgs per person. Hand-carry baggage is allowed, with a maximum weight of 8 kilos, but they typically do not weigh the hand luggage. Which can let tourists recognize what they should take and whatnot.

One thing that should be considered is what is prohibited from bringing such as drugs, firearms, and sex toys. In addition, upon departure, the tourist is prohibited from taking out marine stones and rare animals or plants.

Ten – Sleeping Arrangements and Showering

shower at Camping Detwah Lagon lake , Qalansiya Socotra Island
shower at Camping Detwah Lagon lake , Qalansiya Socotra Island

Nature of Socotra Island makes most trips to Socotra are camping trips since the hotels only Hadibo. Camping is different from other sites in the world because it consists of a combination of wild camping and camps that local families set up.

As an informing you that there will be no showers on wild camping nights, most nights in Socotra are wild camping on beaches, in the mountains, or in wadis that attract tourists most. Some families run camps that have a basic concrete block shower with rainwater tanks, but many of these have fallen into disrepair since two massive cyclones hit Socotra in 2015.

Reading the ten points before traveling to Socotra Island can help you get ready to travel there appropriately. Therefore, you are a lucky tourist to be 100% prepared for it to obtain such information. Therefore, take them seriously to enjoy your time. 


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