Short expedition to the island of Dragon's blood trees

SOCOTRA

February 9 - 13, 2024
March 8 - 12, 2024 (1 place left!!!!)
March 22 - 26, 2024 (sold out)
ToSocotra Island, Yemen

Socotra is an island of an extraordinary oddity, with its bizarre trees and rare animals, traditional nomadic life of local pastoralists and fishermen, and unearthly mountainous landscapes, merging with sand dunes and sliding right into turquoise ocean waters.

Socotra is considered to be the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean. Located off the coast of Yemen in the Indian Ocean, the island of Socotra contains some of the world's most astonishing and unique plant forms. More than a third of some 800 can be found nowhere else on our planet.

Probably unlike anywhere on Earth, Socotra has to be seen to be believed.


tour to to Socotra expedition to Yemen trip to the island of the Dragon's blood trees tour to the island in Indian ocean Galapagos of Indian ocean Arher Qalansiya beach Hadibo Hadibu

©️ MZUNGU EXPEDITIONS / Alexey Kolbov, 2021
Drone pilot and director: Alex Kolbov aka Mzungu
Music: Hans Zimmer "Now we are free" from Gladiator

Socotra 2022
©️ Maria Kolosova

Socotra is an island of an extraordinary oddity, with its bizarre trees and rare animals, traditional nomadic life of local pastoralists and fishermen, and unearthly mountainous landscapes, merging with sand dunes and sliding right into turquoise ocean waters.
Socotra is considered to be the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean. Located off the coast of Yemen in the Indian Ocean, the island of Socotra contains some of the world's most astonishing and unique plant forms. More than a third of some 800 can be found nowhere else on our planet.
Probably unlike anywhere on Earth, Socotra has to be seen to be believed.

SCHEDULE & COST:
Dates:
– February 9 - 13, 2024
– March 8 - 12, 2024 (sold out)
– March 22 - 26, 2024 (sold out)

Free spots availaible on April 2 - 9
https://www.mzunguexpeditions.com/socotra_april_20...

Duration: 5 days / 4 nights

Number of participants: 7 – 12

Cost of participation per person
:
– 1 450 USD subject to 11 – 12 participants,
– 1 790 USD subject to 9 – 10 participants,
– 1 690 USD subject to 7 – 8 participants

10% early booking discount (in case you book before September 8/October 12/October 22, 2023)


Everything is included (also full board, accomodation) except for:
- international flight to/from Hadibu (Socotra)
- Yemen visa full support: documents, visa fees and processing (150 USD)
- international medical insurance.

Estimated cost of flight Moscow – Dubai /Abu Dhabi/ Sharjah roundtrip: USD 400 - 600 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).

Estimated cost of flight Abu Dhabi – Hadibu (Socotra) roundtrip: USD 1 160 (We arrange and buy it for you, you reimburse).

Single supplement: 40 USD (single accommodation is provided upon request in the hotel in Hadibu. Single accommodation in tents is included by default)




TRAVEL PROGRAM: TOUR TO SOCOTRA
Day 0. February 8/ March 7/21, 2024. FLIGHT TO ABU DHABI / DUBAI (UAE)

International flight from your city to Abu Dhabi or to Sharjah or to Dubai (UAE).

* Recommended flight from Moscow to Abu Dhabi / Dubai/ Sharjah (UAE):
- by Etihad Airways, departure from Moscow at 11:55, March 7, arriving in Abu Dhabi at 18:35, or
- by Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, departure from Moscow at 14:40 arriving in Abu Dhabi at 21:35
- any flight arriving in Abu Dhabi / Dubai or Sharjah(UAE) or not later than 3:00 am on February 9/ March 8/March 22

Accommodation included: no
Meals included: no


Day 1. Friday. February 9/March 8/March 22, 2024. ABU DHABI (UAE) - HADIBU (SOCOTRA, YEMEN) - CITY OF QALANSIYA - DETWAH LAGOON

We begin our journey with a two-hour morning direct flight from Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Hadibu on a government-chartered flight (exact time will be confirmed later). Upon arrival at Socotra Airport, Yemen, we will be greeted by a local guide who will accompany us throughout the trip.
Welcome to an enchanting adventure on the beautiful island where the sun and sea dance harmoniously. We hop into all-terrain jeeps and head straight to Qalansiya, the second-largest city on the island. Near the city, we will set up our camp in Detwah Lagoon. Our talented chef will greet us with a delicious lunch.
Then we will put on our coral slippers and take a walk in the vast Detwah Lagoon, accompanied by the Cave Man, a local fisherman famous in Qalansiya for his skill in catching stingrays with bare hands!
We will explore the enormous lagoon, renowned for its sandy beach, picturesque landscapes, sea turtles, giant octopuses, needlefish, pufferfish, stingrays, seashells, squids, and other peculiar creatures.
The Cave Man will attempt to catch stingrays, oysters, sea urchins, or mussels. We can taste some of these delicacies right by the sea, while others will be taken to the fisherman's cave, his temporary abode.
As evening approaches, we will climb a little higher to witness a breathtaking sunset that will leave an unforgettable impression in our hearts.
In the evening, we will have a welcome dinner featuring the freshest seafood prepared by our talented chef. Accommodation for the night will be in individual or double tents, as per your preference.

* Recommended flight from Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Hadibu (Socotra, Yemen):

- direct governmental morning charter flight with Air Arabia, departure from Abu Dhabi on 9/ March 8/March 22, 2024 (the exact time will be known later).

Accommodation: tents
Meals included: lunch, dinner


Day 2. Saturday. February 10/ March 9/March 23, 2024. DETWAH LAGOON - SHOUB BEACH - DIKSAM PLATEAU - DRAGON'S BLOOD TREES FERMAHIN FOREST

Early morning departure by boat to Shoub Beach with a local fisherman. The boat ride will be accompanied by birds and long-nosed dolphins, giving us a chance to see them. The rugged coastline provides an excellent opportunity to observe seabirds nesting among the cliffs. Due to its endemic nature, Socotra is often referred to as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean, a name given by a British scientific expedition in 1880.
Fishing with a rod is also possible from the boat.
We will make a stop at the pristine Shoub Beach with its mangrove trees. Relax on one of the most beautiful and deserted beaches on the island, locally known as the "golden beach."
Upon returning to the camp we have lunch, and then travel to the central part of the island, to the Diksam Plateau. This place, known for its dragon's blood trees, is home to the nomadic Bedouin people. We will stop here to take photos from the Shebhan viewpoint, one of the coolest photo spots on Socotra. You can encounter herders and purchase dragon's blood tree beads or woven boxes with fragments of this tree from local children. We will then proceed by car to the Dragon's Blood Trees Fermhain forest. (This depends on weather and road conditions. If it's raining, the road may be impassable, and we can only proceed on foot. It's approximately 12 km, a 40-minute one-way trip, or a 2-hour hike in one direction). This dragon's blood tree forest is the largest on the island. The species here are absolutely prehistoric! Socotra, an island located off the coast of Yemen in the Indian Ocean, is home to some of the most astonishing and unique plant forms. Over a third of the approximately 800 species found here are not found anywhere else on Earth. We will have lunch in the canyon, at a very picturesque location. Then we will continue our journey into the mountains. A few Socotri people live here in the middle of the forest. We will meet them and have a conversation. Dinner and overnight stay in the dragon's blood forest amidst these amazing trees.

Accommodation: tents
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner



Day 3. Sunday. February 11/ March 10/March 24, 2024. FERMHAIN FOREST - HAYF AND ZAHAK SAND DUNES - KELESEHAN CANYON - ARHER GIANT SAND DUNES

After breakfast, we will embark on a visit to the local Bedouins, immersing ourselves in their way of life and witnessing the cultivation of dragon trees. Then we will have a 3-hour journey to Kelesehan Canyon, an astonishing place known for its natural freshwater pools and cascades. On the way we will stop by the big sand dunes of Haif and Zahak, stretching right into the sea (40 minutes). We will climb the dunes of the largest desert of Socotra, walk and take photos.
Kelesehan Canyon has otherworldly landscape, it is one of the most unique on Socotra. It's the perfect place for swimming, canyoning, and... your drone! We will then continue our journey to the giant sand dunes of Arher, where a massive white dune, about 200 meters high, stands between the azure ocean and the black mountains.
Here, fresh and salty waters come together, creating a natural phenomenon. A late lunch from our local team near the sand dunes of Arher - perhaps the most recognizable place on Socotra. Swimming in the ocean, photos at sunset, and a special dinner from our chef. Overnight stay in tents on Arher Beach, with the sound of waves.

Accommodation: tents
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner



Day 4. Monday. February 12/ March 11/March 25, 2024. ARHER BEACH - HOMHIL NATIONAL PARK


Our campsite is surrounded by gigantic dunes, making it the perfect spot to witness the sunrise, which is truly magical here on Socotra. We wake up early in the morning (you can sleep in a bit, but you wouldn't want to miss the most beautiful sunrise on Socotra!) to climb the dune and capture the best photographs. The ascent takes 40-60 minutes, reaching a height of 200 meters. After descending, we have breakfast.
After breakfast, we depart for Homhil National Park, a botanical garden boasting an astonishing natural pool. The park is renowned for its endemic plants, such as the dragon's blood tree and the bottle tree. The dragon's blood trees only grow on Socotra, and the bottle trees and cucumber trees are also prevalent here.
After approximately an hour of trekking, we'll reach a crystal-clear freshwater pool with a view of the entire northern part of the island and the emerald infinity of the ocean. This place is aptly named Infinity Pool, and it's undoubtedly one of the best spots on Socotra. The scenery resembles scenes from prehistoric times, with steep slopes adorned with dragon's blood trees and natural pools filled with freshwater.
The Homhil Forest, with its dragon's blood trees, serves as a second home to Dracaena cinnabari on Socotra. After strolling through the forest and enjoying a refreshing swim in the Infinity Pool, we'll descend (no more than 1 hour) and head to the beautiful palm oasis of Qaria Palm Oasis in the northern part of the island, where lunch will be provided. Then we come back to Arher Dunes.
In the afternoon, we attend the folklore evening pre-arranged local traditional dancing of Socotri people. It will happen at Arher beach, with nice sand dunes and the sea shore. Tonight is our last night in paradise, so it's one last feast. Dinner with lobsters or other seafood, and overnight on the beach.

*For those interested, we have the option to take a helicopter or autogyro flight (a small motorized aircraft with a helicopter-like propeller) over Socotra's landscapes (additional fee of $150 USD applies, prices subject to change).

Overnight stay in tents on Arher Beach with the sound of waves.

Accommodation: tents
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner



Day 5. Tuesday. February 13/ March 12/March 26, 2024. RETURN FLIGHT FROM HADIBU TO ABU DHABI

Today we have a final breakfast on Socotra before we head home.
After breakfast, we will drive to Hadibu and take a short walk around the city, getting into its heart - and buying souvenirs (this is not easy on Socotra).
Transfer to Hadibu airport. Check-in for a flight to Abu Dhabi. Two-hour direct flight by state charter flight.
Transit international flight from Abu Dhabi back home. Or transfer by taxi to Dubai or Sharjah for departure from the international airport home.

Recommended flight from Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Hadibu (Socotra, Yemen):
- direct governmental charter flight with Air Arabia, departure from Abu Dhabi on 13/ March 12/26, 2024, (the exact time will be known later).

Recommended flight from UAE to Moscow:
- by Etihad Airways, departure from Abu Dhabi at 3:00 February 14/ March 13/27, arriving in Moscow at 7:45, or
- any flight departing from Abu Dhabi , Dubai or Sharjah (UAE) not early then 1:00 February 14/ March 13/March 27, 2024


Accommodation: no
Meals included: breakfast



Cost includes:


• Accommodation in tents along the itinerary: SINGLE accommodation or DBL for the family couples
• Full board: three times a day meals throughout entire itinerary cooked by our chef and his assistant, the kitchen moves by their own pick-up car and always on time for meals
• Special dinners, soft drinks and fruits
• Drinking bottled water throughout the whole trip
• All transfers according to the itinerary by 4WD cars (Toyota Land Cruiser or similar, 3 clients in each car), all with air-conditioning, driven by local experienced drivers
• Airport transfers
• Tents, mattresses, cushions and sheets and camping gear and furniture. Possibility to wash yourself with fresh water every evening
• All sightseeing as outlined in itinerary
• Boat trip to Shoub
• Socotra traditional dance (some 15 dancers, 1-2 hrs long)
• All permits for visiting protected areas, National parks
• English speaking local guide throughout all trip
• Russian- and English speaking team leader throughout all itinerary.





Cost excludes (to be additionally paid) :

• International flight ticket Abu Dhabi (UAE) - Hadibu (Socotra) - Abu Dhabi (1160 USD per pax, may be changed)
• International flight ticket from your city to Abu Dhabi / Dubai (UAE) roundtrip, taxi transfers between airports
• International medical insurance
• Yemen visa full support: documents, visa fees and processing (150 USD)
• Tips for local team
• Personal expenses




To take with:

• long sleeve wear set, wear set for hot weather
• very light jacket for cool nights
• comfortable trekking shoes or sneakers with thick soles
• flip flops
• coral slippers (aqua shoes) for walking on a rocky bottom
• swimwear
• cap/hat
• raincoat
• forehead torch
• big backpack/bag for luggage (not more than 80 liters capacity)
• small backpack for radial walks for personal stuff and photo-, video cameras (20-25 l)
• sleeping bag for +15/+20 degrees weather (optional)
• anti mosquito repellents
• sunblock cream
• sunglasses
• personal hygiene items (towel, soap, wet tissues)
• personal medical kit (analgesics, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydrone, court plaster, your personal medications)
• photo and video camera / drone,
• tripod and flash light
• more spare batteries and power banks
• bottle for drinking water

Why with MZUNGU EXPEDITIONS?
  • 1
    UNIQUENESS
    We find the most astonishing places on Earth and speed up to reach them. Our motto is to go ahead of road roller, touch the unique and unknown, before it disappears.
  • 2
    ADVENTURISM
    Wherever we go, we look for challenging activities and adventures, filling the journey with absolutely different spirit and emotions. That is why people join us over and over again.
  • 3
    SAFETY
    In our trips we pay special attention to safety. All our travels are based on personal experience, equipped with the best gear, involving proved providers and experienced local guides who perfectly know local features.
  • 4
    EXPERIENCE
    We have a unique experience of the most offbeat expeditions and ascents, deep knowledge of countries and peoples, and are ready to share it with you. All the expeditions and climbings are guided by Mzungu himself, guaranteeing exciting traveling and your comfort.
  • 5
    REASONABLE PRICE
    All our trips are reach in adventures, with high quality accommodation, transportation and meals included. We do not save on it. Thanks to solid contacts with reliable providers we offer really good prices and high quality.

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