Video: Why You Should Travel To Socotra Island

Video: Why You Should Travel To Socotra Island

By |2016-07-21T23:46:34-04:00May 20th, 2013|Videos, Yemen|106 Comments

Travel to Socotra Island

Few people have even heard of this place and even fewer people have any idea where it’s located. But for those who do know and who do travel to Socotra Island, which happens to be one of the most isolated landforms on the planet, there is only one natural reaction – to wonder aloud why on earth more people aren’t visiting.

Socotra Island is a part of Yemen, however, it is far removed from anything happening on the mainland. The culture is different, the language is different and unlike the mainland, which has had to deal with separatist movements, Al-Qaeda cells and a revolution over the years, life on Socotra has remained as peaceful and quiet as can be.

However, almost nobody makes the distinction between Socotra and the Yemeni mainland and as a result, being a part of Yemen has kept travelers away. Rough estimates (according to several locals involved in the Socotra tourism industry) that in 2013 only about 1000 foreigners are expected to travel to Socotra. Just wait until you see the video below – that number will seem so absurdly low for a place so incredible.

The island is home to approximately 50,000 inhabitants, scattered among dozens of small villages, most of whom never make it off the island. There are more goats than people, hitch-hiking is the most common form of transportation, there is no crime and there’s only one internet cafe in the capital village that acts as their connection to the outside world.

This is truly a destination unlike any other and when I recently spent a few days on Socotra Island, it was the first time in my 13 years of travel that I felt as if I was on another planet altogether. It’s that magical, that bizarre, that stunning, that unbelievably remote of a destination.

And that’s why more people should travel to Socotra Island! You can even fly there directly from the United Arab Emirates so that you bypass the mainland of Yemen altogether. And once there, I guarantee that you will not want to leave.

Just have a look at this highlight video I put together from my own visit:

Note: As a I stood on Erher Beach during my last day on Socotra, looking all around me at the most beautiful water, the most beautiful sand and the most beautiful mountain landscape I had seen in a long, long time, it should be no surprise that I came up with an idea…

Announcing the “Wander Across Socotra” Tour!

I’m still working out the details but the tour, part of Wandering Earl Tours, will take place either over New Year’s (for the most unique New Year’s celebration you could possibly have anywhere) or sometime in January 2014. And since this tour will have limited space, if you might be interested, let me know so that I can add you to the list!

*For more information on travel logistics, have a read of the following written by my friend and fellow travel blogger Anil from How to Travel to Yemen and Socotra Island

*You can also listen below to the podcast I did over at Amateur Traveler about Socotra Island and Yemen in general:

Who wants to travel to Socotra Island???

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  1. Itiel December 13, 2016 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Derek, did you know that the background music that you put to the video is of a famous Jewish-Yemenite-Israeli singer? (Ofra Haza).
    I was surprised and happy to listen to it!
    The video is amazing

    • Derek December 15, 2016 at 8:50 am - Reply

      Hey Itiel – I didn’t know that when I made the video but one of my other readers told me the same thing when they heard it! Really hope you get a chance to visit at some point!

  2. devanathan February 20, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    I am india and interested to tour Socotra.I have a few questions.

    To travel to socotra it needs to be done via tour operator or it can do individually.

  3. Nikki December 15, 2014 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Is there a certain tour group that is recommended for a single female traveler?

    • Wandering Earl December 15, 2014 at 4:46 am - Reply

      Hey Nikki – I don’t know of any tour group that goes here…most people just organize their trip through a Yemen-based agency that provides the driver/guide. You could check with Eternal Yemen as they are a great company.

  4. Shachina July 20, 2014 at 5:55 am - Reply

    I was just trying to read up about women solo travellers to socotra Island… You are the 1st person I ve come across on the internet… (hoping to hear more experiences) .. I was planning to travel here alone and was not sure how safe it is for female solo travellers… Any kind of tips or advice will be very helpfull… Thanks in advance…

    • Wandering Earl July 25, 2014 at 10:05 am - Reply

      Hey Shachina – Socotra is perfectly safe for all travelers, nothing ever happens on that island. The only thing is that you do need to use an agency to organize your transportation and accommodation on the island or else it is very difficult to move around. There is no public transportation and you’ll be very limited as to where you can go or what you can see if you don’t have a jeep with driver while on the island.

  5. Renuka May 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Sounds wonderful! No crime, goats more than people….and so much of untouched beauty…I definitely want to head to Socotra Island someday…

  6. frankiethefrank May 8, 2014 at 11:07 am - Reply

    Just an observation, but… there is not a *single* woman shown in this whole video. Personally, I’d love to go to Socotra, it looks great, but I doubt I’d be able to convince my fiancee.

    Any comment to make on this?

    • Wandering Earl May 8, 2014 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      It’s just that the women were quite shy and didn’t want to appear on video or in photos, something that is quite common throughout the Middle East given the culture. But when you’re in the villages, there were women of course and you could interact with them without any problems at all. This island is much more laid back than the mainland and foreign women could even wear swimsuits on the beach and dress in shorts and t-shirts while visiting the island and it would be fine.

      • JulieR May 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm - Reply

        What Earl says is very true. Further to that, as a woman, you are welcomed into ares that men cannot go, so your fiancee would be able to sit with either you and the men, or with the women. They are usually very excited to meet new people, despite the language barrier. I traveled there as a solo women just before Earl’s trip last year and I not only had few problems, I also had a great time 🙂

        • frankiethefrank May 11, 2014 at 10:27 am - Reply

          Cool, well that’s something of a relief, guys! Thanks to both of you 🙂

  7. […] Video: Why You Should Travel To Socotra Island […]

  8. […] For starters, Yemen is a large country that includes the Socotra archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Sitewhich you can visit without having to stop in the mainland first. (There are direct flights from the United Arab Emirates.) Socotra has more than 700 species of wildlife and plant not found anywhere else on the planet, with hardly any tourists visiting its beautiful beaches outlining what many consider Earth’s most alien landscape. I traveled to Yemen with my friend and fellow blogger Wandering Earl, who shows you why you should travel to Socotra below. […]

  9. vanja March 7, 2014 at 9:29 am - Reply

    sorry person, but your comments are ridiculous and malicious. if you wish to live in a stone age then go and live so, but don’t impose on other people how they should live. roads are certainly not built only for the purpose of tourists but it is certainly easier for locals to go around their island on the built roads.
    the guide didn’t “show us a good time”, but he showed us beautiful nature spots why we actually came to visit socotra. and what is wrong that he makes money on travelers and tourists?! the local agency that we were is also employing other local people, like for example for cooking meals, lodging, guides to certain spots, drivers… and that is good, because they can earn money for their families.
    why do you have a job, why do you use technology, computer if you thing is so bad?! why don’t you go and live in the nature when you think it is so fantastic and romantic?! you are far off reality.

  10. vanja March 7, 2014 at 2:01 am - Reply

    person, you are totally twisting my words and you are full of prejudice about people and that is very sad. instead of constantly accusing me, you could ask questions what i mean because you are making misinterpretations. i don’t have complexes like you and i don’t think that i live superior lifestyle.
    obviously that people want to have island developed, roads have been built, airport has been built and our guide (local person) told us that socotra needs more tourist but the situation in yemen is stopping it. they have their own websites and facebook pages where they promote their island. also locals have built shelters and eco lodges for tourists as well as few hotels. i think that proves enough what they want and they have every right to it.
    if you want to live exotic life go and do it, but don’t expect other people to live like that forever so that you can come and watch them once a while for your own pleasure.

    • Person March 7, 2014 at 9:14 am - Reply

      Is it that obvious, though? People really want the roads built and all that? Of course your tour guide will tell you that, he makes money off of tourists such as yourself. Next time you go there (if you do), learn a little bit of the local language or even broken Arabic, and speak to the locals. Find out what they think, not the person you are paying to show you a ‘good time’.
      There are over 40,000 people living there, most of whom (99% I’d wager) have no idea about said facebook pages and websites, let alone know what facebook is.
      I’m sure to you, the most subtle of hints are proof enough to argue away whatever point you have, but most of us need a bit more evidence.

      Good day 🙂

  11. Person March 6, 2014 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    When I say destroyed, I don’t mean in the literal sense.
    Why would you want it to get developed? Because you’ve lived a certain lifestyle that you believe to be superior and thus you want to push it upon what you consider to be a primitive island. The people living there are satisfied with their lives. Don’t push your standards on them.

    You are right that those type of people are found everywhere, but when I say West, I mean the Western ideology, not geographically. The American Dream spread via mass media across the world, thus its effects are found everywhere.

    If you look here:
    There is a map in there that shows emotional stability across the globe.
    I’ve actually done studies on this, fyi. This isnt just bs. Take a sociology class, some history classes, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

    • Wandering Earl March 9, 2014 at 3:16 am - Reply

      If you know me, you would know that I certainly don’t feel my lifestyle or way of thinking is superior at all. That’s quite obvious if you read a few posts on this blog. At the same time, unless you are one of the people living there, it’s not possible for you to know that they are satisfied with their lives. And from the few friends that I did make on that island, who I still keep in touch with now, they absolutely love to meet and interact with foreigners. They don’t want this so that they can earn money, they simply are interested in meeting new people from other parts of the world as it enhances their own lives, just like it enhances mine.

  12. vanja March 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    because i simply don’t think it will get destroyed. i truly hope it can get developed and benefit locals, of course if it gets developed in a right direction (without commercial contents like casinos for example), but that will depend on the locals. we can’t expect things be frozen in time just for our own sake, because we like it so.
    things i like and appreciate i like to share with others and not jealously guard them to myself. i know how much i have enjoyed socotra so to those who appreciate unique and different nature i wish the same. to socotrans i wish all the best, taking care of their precious nature and scope for better development and better life.
    p.s. american dream is not example for me, but generalizing the west as you do is for me just a pure ignorance. emotionally and socially messed up people you will find in every corner of the world.

  13. vanja March 6, 2014 at 8:22 am - Reply

    person, i can’t agree with you. local people would like to see more tourists on their island because they are means of income for them.
    anyway political situation in yemen is unstable so that is already enough to keep the tourists out of the country.
    if you didn’t read about socotra from somebody, you would also never know about this precious place, isn’t it?! and for example iceland has also got a unique nature and is well know in the world. it has much more tourists then socotra but iceland’s beauty haven’t got destroyed. local people are the ones making rules and only they can preserve the place.

    • Person March 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      I understand your sentiments, but consider that not everyone wants more income. Some people are satisfied with the way their lives are, and more money ruins them (this is actually true for most people, notice how emotionally/socially messed up the ‘West’ is thanks to ideologies like the ‘American Dream’ etc.).
      If I didn’t read about Socotra, then I would be blissfully ignorant of the place, thus coming back to my point…no one gets hurt 🙂
      Actually, I live near Socotra, so I think I was bound to go there anyway 🙂

      Considering this is the ‘information age’ and all that, especially due to social media, information spreads like wildfire. Sure, a lot of people might be afraid to go due to whatever they may think is happening in Yemen, but consider this: you tell 1 person, 1 person tells 2, 2 people share on facebook, suddenly 30 people are involved, and so on and so on until thousands are now aware. Out of those thousands, lets say a couple hundred actually decide to go.
      It’s called the butterfly effect I believe.

      Anyway, I might sound like I’m a rambling paranoid picayune, but I hope you understand that my heart is in the right place; don’t commercialize and whore out things that are dear to you, keep them a secret (if you like it so much, why would you risk destroying it?).

  14. Siegfried Modola March 5, 2014 at 9:30 am - Reply


    Happy to make contact and to discover your writing.

    I am an Italian/British photojournalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. I am planning a trip to Socotra for a photo reportage on the island.

    Could you please send me your email address as I would like, if you are able to of course, to ask you a few questions in regards.

    Many thanks in advance,
    Siegfried Modola

  15. Person February 24, 2014 at 12:46 am - Reply

    I applaud your lifestyle as a nomad and to a degree even envy it 😉
    Socotra is indeed a wonderful place, however, I’m going to have to disagree with your ‘go to socotra’ slogan. I’d rather hide it from the world, wouldnt you? People have a way of ruining good things.
    If I can give you one advice, it’s that please stop spreading the word about things that have been kept a secret from the world. Let it be a treasure to those who have come across it, and those who don’t know about it won’t know what they’re missing, thus no one is hurt. If tourists start flooding Socotra, in a generation or two your video will be a glimpse into a lost world.

    See what I’m saying? If you dont tell anyone about it, no one gets hurt (not in the literal sense, obviously). If you do tell people about it, maybe not right away, but in the long run people get hurt.

    Also, look up ‘purpose of life by khalid yassin’, I have a feeling you will enjoy it, considering you’ve seen so much of the world and have a matured and inquisitive mind 🙂

  16. Jerry January 27, 2014 at 2:38 am - Reply

    Hi, Earl,

    I found out that you arranged a trip to the island. Too bad that I learned about it now. I went to Sana’a in 2007 and 2008 for business and I loved the place. I was aware of the island and I tried to squeeze in a trip to Socotra Island at the time, but I wasn’t able to. Since then I forgot about the island. Thank you for your posting on the island and hope I can join your next trip to the island.

  17. Ivona Poyntz January 22, 2014 at 6:43 am - Reply

    I had never heard of this place: your video was stunning.

  18. […] Luckily, however, I didn’t spend one month there in the end. If I had, I would have missed the opportunity to stand in a location that even fewer people will ever get a chance to see, a place so spectacular that even six months after my visit, I still had a difficult time believing was real. The only reason I know it wasn’t actually a dream is because I still have a piece of my boarding pass from my flight to Socotra Island… […]

  19. beverly December 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Please keep me updated as I have studied about socotra and have dreamed of visiting!

  20. […] landscape. I traveled to Yemen with my friend and fellow blogger Wandering Earl, who shows you why you should travel to Socotra […]

  21. Mark October 31, 2013 at 10:00 am - Reply

    hi. may i know the scheduled date of the tour on January? I would like to join the tour and visit Socotra!

  22. vanja October 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    thank you very much for answering! your website is great and helpful too. 🙂

  23. vanja October 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    hello earl,
    please could you be so kind and recommend what part of socotra island can be seen on your own, without guide and what part of socotra should be seen with the guided tour? where is the best to have a base?
    when you want to rent a car, must be with the local driver?
    do you know if it is better to fly to socotra from yemen (sana) or from UAE? many thank in advance!

    • Wandering Earl October 30, 2013 at 7:07 am - Reply

      Hey Vanja – You can see all of Socotra without a guide but you’ll have a hard time getting around with a car and driver. There’s really no transportation on the island so you need your own driver if you want to reach most of the interesting sites. As for flying there, I would choose whatever is easier for you…there are flights from UAE and Sanaa, so the choice is yours!

  24. Dina October 14, 2013 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Hey Earl, am a graphic design student and am doing an advertising and identity for Socatra, and am asked to get statistics and facts that the number of tourists to Socatra is too low, so i was wondering where did u find this information? ((Rough estimates (according to several locals involved in the Socotra tourism industry) that in 2013 only about 1000 foreigners are expected to travel to Socotra. Just wait until you see the video below – that number will seem so absurdly low for a place so incredible.))

    is that true? how can i verify it?

    • Wandering Earl October 15, 2013 at 6:56 am - Reply

      Hey Dina – That’s generally what I heard as well but it wasn’t anything official. My numbers came from locals, a couple of tour operators in Yemen and a Tourist Police Office on Socotra. Everyone generally gave me the same numbers.

  25. Anais September 30, 2013 at 1:19 am - Reply

    Wow! I was researching info on Yemen and your site kept popping up, how interesting! My boyfriend and I would really love to go. Is it open to anyone or only friends you have that read this blog? Please let me know!
    Thanks for such great info!

    • Wandering Earl September 30, 2013 at 9:26 am - Reply

      Hey Anais – It’s open to anyone and if you wish to join the trip, please email me through the “Contact” link at the top of my blog!

    • Wandering Earl October 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      Hey Anais – The trip is open to anyone!

  26. Margaret September 9, 2013 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Hi Earl!

    Great video. My boyfriend and I are very interested in travelling to Socotra around December/January. Is the tour still going ahead?

    • Wandering Earl September 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Hey Margaret – Yes, the tour is still going ahead. If you’re interested, just send me an email!

  27. Maria September 8, 2013 at 7:24 pm - Reply

    Great find, awesome share and no doubt in my mind why you’re all about it. Also appreciate the details on how to reach Socotra Island and costs. As always your candor and transparency is wonderful and helpful.

  28. Javier September 5, 2013 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl – I am starting to plan a trip to Socotra and ( may be) mainland for mid December after a short stay in Oman, being flexible about dates. Could you send me more info?

  29. Rachelle August 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl – Thanks a ton for creating this video, I just found your site today! I am in love with what I see about Socotra and would much appreciate you keeping me posted on the trip when its more final 🙂
    A couple of things though – how expensive is it to fly to (from the US) and spend a week or so in Socotra all in? I love the camping idea vs. staying in a fancy resort.
    I don’t see any women in the video! It is safe for women to travel there and what do they typically wear? Probably be wise to be well covered and modest, with it being a muslim country and all. But bathing suits on the beach ok?
    Can’t wait to hear more!

    • Wandering Earl August 29, 2013 at 3:13 am - Reply

      Hey Rach – You can often find flights to Sanaa for around $800 USD return from NYC and then it’s about $400 return to Socotra Island. And for one week on the island, it all depends if you have a driver (highly recommended or else you wouldn’t get to see 75% of the island) and what kind of accommodation you want. I would budget for around $60 – $75 USD per day on the island for everything. As for women, they were quite shy and usually didn’t want to be filmed or photographed but it’s quite relaxed there. There is no crime on the island at all so it’s perfectly safe for everyone. And you wouldn’t have to be as covered up as you would think. Even shorts and t-shirts would work for females on Socotra. I wouldn’t wear a swimsuit on a beach full of locals but every beach I went to was completely empty, so that’s not really an issue either.

  30. Mark Adams August 8, 2013 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    What’s your current assessment of the security situation for tourism if reaching Socotra thru Sanaa? Thanks.

    • Wandering Earl August 12, 2013 at 3:40 am - Reply

      Hey Mark – I was just in touch this morning with my contact in Sana’a and according to her and her contacts, the situation hasn’t changed at all in Sana’a. Life is as normal, especially in the Old City. She said that there are still visitors coming in and it’s been fine for them during their couple of days in the city.

  31. Alana August 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Bahahahahahaha!! Nice touch with the fish and goat.

  32. Sidharth July 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm - Reply

    I am completely blown away by the video you compiled, would have totally come along. At 1900$, I would have totally come along had the Indian Rupee not taken such a tumbling :P. Anyway, I have been following your blog and fb page for quite sometime now, can’t wait to join you on one of the trips. I see that you are doing an India Tour, what sort of places you plan to cover? If you ever plan for the Upper reaches of Sikkim or McLeodganj in Himanchal, I’d love to join you..!! Cheers!!

    • Wandering Earl July 26, 2013 at 9:49 am - Reply

      Hey Sidharth – I’m still working on the itinerary for the next India tour but it will most likely take place in the north, so we will visit Himachal Pradesh and definitely McLeod Ganj.

  33. […] a gathering of like-minded travelers who truly want to experience something unique. (Check out the Socotra video I made in order to get an idea of what this island is all […]

  34. Marina July 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    Hey, love the video, already had Yemen and Socotra on the list of places I want to visit in the coming years, and would love for you to put me on the list for the tour in Jan 2014! Hope it won’t be too expensive though, as I am a student and would be on a very tight budget, but hopefully being such an intrepid traveller you’d know all about budgeting! ha! Great video, and really enjoying reading your blog which I only found today..


    • Wandering Earl July 10, 2013 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Hey Marina – I’ve just sent you an email with the details about the tour, and while it’s not the cheapest of tours (since Socotra is such an isolated island, everything is quite expensive there), it’s absolutely going to be one of the most memorable!

  35. Ben June 22, 2013 at 4:36 am - Reply

    Hi Earl, was wondering whether to trust all the stuff in the news about drone strikes. Had a look at the british embassy website and it said about how lots of the carriers aren’t flying there. Are you still planning your trip? I’m interested to see Yemen while it is still relatively unspoiled . Cheers.

    • Wandering Earl June 23, 2013 at 4:44 am - Reply

      Hey Ben – Yes, the trip is still going ahead as Socotra Island is far from the mainland and is a peaceful, very safe destinations. And with the mainland, the drone strikes are concentrated in certain regions of the country and the Yemeni government doesn’t let foreigners go anywhere deemed unsafe. Is the mainland 100% safe? No. But the areas that any tour operator would allow you to visit are definitely areas where foreigners are welcomed and have a very low risk of anything happening.

  36. Janet Wehrer June 19, 2013 at 11:46 am - Reply

    I am constantly amazed at how human beings survive in the most desolate areas.
    I kept looking for small gardens beside the humble dwellings. I didn’t see anything in your video people could eat other than a goat. No wonder there is a rumor about cannibalism! Just curious. I am sure there are markets in the urban area for fresh fruit and vegetables. What are there resources? They should have plenty of seafood.
    I know I am rambling, but like I said I am just curious.

    • Wandering Earl June 20, 2013 at 8:51 am - Reply

      Hey Janet – There isn’t any urban areas. The ‘capital’ of the island is just a big village with mostly dirt roads and apart from a few fruit/vegetable stands, there isn’t much. I believe that such produce comes in on ships from the mainland or UAE. But the diet mainly consists of fish and goat.

  37. Ninna June 12, 2013 at 11:51 am - Reply

    Hi there,
    This is awesome. I ran into Socotra a while ago and checked it on Google Maps – It looked A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I have never before seen such amazing paradise photos. It also seemed abandoned, like no one lives there..
    I got itchy feet straight ahead but I never traveled this part of the world, so I still carry prejudice about the danger with Somalian pirates and the general shaky situation in the area. Definitely good to hear there are straight flights skipping those parts. Hope it doesnt cost a fortune?
    How did you find out about it and decided to go? Would you say it is convenient for solo girl travelers?
    PS. Fun fact: In the maritime world, just few years back, there were still rumors about cannibals on this island 🙂

    • Wandering Earl June 17, 2013 at 10:17 am - Reply

      Hey Ninna – The flights aren’t too bad, about $250 – $350 USD roundtrip from Sanaa or Dubai I believe. I had heard about the island from a friend of mine a couple of years ago and ever since, I’ve wanted to go. And I had some free time this April, so I made it happen. And it is perfectly fine for solo female travelers. The island is completely laid-back and there is no crime on the island at all…you will be treated very well over there.

      As for cannibals, I don’t think that’s the case…definitely a rumor. The people live simple lives but they are not like a remote jungle tribe that has no connection at all with civilization!

  38. Socotra Island | nilepal June 10, 2013 at 4:47 am - Reply

    […] Video: Why You Should Travel To Socotra Island ( […]

  39. Alison June 3, 2013 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    Please add me on the list for this trip! You have me hooked… I can’t wait to hear more details.

    • Wandering Earl June 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm - Reply

      Hey Alison – You are now on the list!!

  40. […] You Should Go To Socotra – See for […]

  41. Bernardo May 28, 2013 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    Hi! I have found this wonderful website of yours some time ago and have been thoroughly entertained by all the tales and adventures you wrote about — or, at any rate, the ones I have already read!

    But anyway, I was wondering if you could also add me to the Socotra Tour list. Though I’m with Missy, if I’m really going I might as well just go and check Yemen too lol. (Still, I understand you might not be so keen about it since you were there so recently after all.)

  42. shrie May 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    what a astounding find earl..what a great untapped slice a beauty..wonderous landscapes, untouched beaches, beatiful mountains and what a amazing people seemed so genuine and friendly..i always knew that finding this blog would show me sites of true of wonder and understanding..thank you earl and signed me up for the “GO TO SCOTRA” tour can’t wait for my mind to blown in the flesh

  43. Soy May 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    This is absolutely amazing!!!!!!!
    It is lucky that I just found your page by accident.
    I’ve always dreamed about traveling around the world just like you.
    I’m a little bit scared but I started searching for the ways I can work in the other countries first.
    here’s question:
    As far as I know our country(South Korea) banned to travel to Yemen right now.
    How about America? Then, how did you visit this country?

    Ps. Is there any thoughts of traveling Korea? (of course South Korea)
    Our country has mindblowing beaches and mountains, and we have our own 5000 years of tradition too!

    • Wandering Earl May 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      Hey Soy – Welcome to the site! As for Yemen, I don’t think any country is banned from going there. It is just that many countries warn citizens not to go. But you can still go. And yes, I would love to visit Korea at some point in the near future. I’ll get there!

  44. […] Why Go To Socotra? Because it’s sort of like evolution got bored with the rest of the planet and decided to drop acid while creating the four-island archipelago. This video says it all. […]

  45. Megan May 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Holy amazeballs. Thanks for bringing this little-known destination to my attention…I’d certainly never heard of it before. Definitely add me to the tour info list- I’ve been toying with the idea of visiting Yeman on a tour someday anyway!

    • Wandering Earl May 23, 2013 at 3:10 am - Reply

      Hey Megan – Amazeballs it is, believe me! You are now on the tour list and I’ll be emailing you with more details soon.

  46. Jordan May 22, 2013 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Great video!! My friend and I visited Socotra about two months ago, I recognized many locations! That was a crazy road up to Homhil.

  47. Jen Hawley May 22, 2013 at 9:54 am - Reply

    I’d love to be put on the list for the tour please. I have wanted to go for ages but as a female traveling alone I have been a little wary. Can you keep me posted with the details please? 🙂

    • Wandering Earl May 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      Hey Jen – You are now on the list and I shall email you soon with more details!

  48. Missy May 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    But I WANT to see mainland Yemen as well, I hope that’s included. Sign me up.

    • Wandering Earl May 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      Hey Missy – What I’m going to do is offer an optional post-Socotra trip around the Yemen mainland for those who want using the driver and guide I had. You are now on the list and I will email you soon with details!

  49. Brunna May 21, 2013 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl,
    just wanted to say how much you inspire me. I used to get frustrated of not having a dream in terms of what I wanted to do with my future, but lately there is this growing feeling of sheer excitement thinking of the prospect of being able to live a life of travel like you. I always come and read your funny stories if I’m having a bad day and reading about your adventures makes me dream of someday starting my own. I think it’s worth it in the end of it all, looking back at life and thinking ‘wow that was amazing, wish I could live it all again’ and thats what you’re doing. You’re so brave and inspirational. I’m also writing so I can go back at this at a moment when my hopes of pursuing this life style are low so I can give myself a little push in the direction I want to go. Thanks Earl.

    • Wandering Earl May 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      Hey Brunna – That’s so great to hear and I’m certain that once you manage to take the first step, nothing will stop you from that point onward! There are ways to make it happen…after all, there are endless numbers of people out here in the world already doing it 🙂

  50. Scott May 21, 2013 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Read an article about Socotra a few years ago in the NY Times and while the images stuck with me the name didn’t. I think I have told a few people since I wanted to go to “that island somewhere off Africa and Yemen or something that’s real isolated with unique trees or something”. Glad to know I know where I want to go now, man. Thanks for that.

  51. Patty Murphy May 21, 2013 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    Not one woman telling me to “Go to Socotra” in your video Earl. Any reason or are there not any on the island?
    The fish was funny and might be enough for me.

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm - Reply

      Hey Patty – There are indeed women on the island but as it is a Muslim country, the women we met on the island did not want to have their photos taken or be on camera. This is quite common in the Middle East. But the fish wasn’t shy at all!

  52. Guusje May 21, 2013 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Okay, now I defenitely want to go there! Added to my list of countries/places I want to visit. Thank you for showing me this! I always like to search for quite and stunning places, wandering and finding wonders. It is difficult to be fully satisfied with where you are, and I mean fully fully satisfied, so much places are amazing, but some of them have these special feeling. I experienced it once, in Malta. Sitting on a mountain top, Tas-Salvatur, Marsalforn, Gozo. I felt amazing there. So since then I’m hoping to find more places like it. And I hope I can visit Socotra Island in the future and hope to be stunned by this place too.


    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm - Reply

      Hey Guusje – You’ll get there and you won’t be disappointed!

  53. Paul Farrugia (globalhelpswap) May 21, 2013 at 6:54 am - Reply

    Its been on my radar for a while so we might be up for the tour over the New Year. Keep us informed Earl. Great video.

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Hey Paul – I shall definitely keep you informed once the details are all set!

  54. Andrew May 21, 2013 at 3:15 am - Reply

    A Yemeni local at 1:22 ?

    • Anil May 21, 2013 at 11:05 am - Reply

      Looks like one to me 😉

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Hey Andrew – You look more local once you start chewing those damn leaves.

  55. Matthew Cheyne May 21, 2013 at 2:10 am - Reply

    Absolutely stunning! The fact that you can bypass the mainland of Yemen is a real plus for Socotra. Your video just put this place on my list of places I want to visit. Can’t say when I’d be visiting though. It would probably be some years from now, after I visit New Zealand, South-East Asia and South America but I definitely want to go there one day. I’d love to know the ins and outs of how to get to Socotra, visas and the cost of say a 14 day stay and what there is to do there. Will you be covering all of this in a future post?

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply

      Hey Matthew – Yes, I will be writing more details about all that in the near future. But I can tell you now that you simply need to get a permit for Socotra which is easy to get, the flights are a few times per week from Sharjah (UAE) and the cost would vary depending on whether you wanted to have a driver/guide the whole time or do part of your stay independently. It’s more expensive than the mainland of Yemen but definitely not terrible. More to come…

  56. Cindy May 20, 2013 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Ha! I ALREADY wanted to go to Socotra and even featured it on my blog last fall as one of my dream destinations. Loved your video – it looks like your trip was not only amazing, but a lot of fun. I’m probably too old and out of shape to hang out with you, but put me on the contact list for your tour anyway. I am very interested.

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm - Reply

      Hey Cindy – There’s no such thing and it would be wonderful to have you on the tour! You are now on the list and I’ll let you know once I have more details 🙂

  57. Sara W May 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Wow! It’s so interesting how someplace so small and overlooked by the rest of the world contains so much hidden beauty. The shapes of the trees are so unique! The water looks beautiful. Although if I lived there, I don’t think I would be able to stand staying there for the rest of my life! Certainly looks like an amazing place to visit!

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Sara – I don’t think many outsiders could live on that island permanently…that would be tough to move to such an isolated place.

  58. Kimmy @ AfterGlobe May 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    Very beautiful. I can see why you feel in love with it. Those blue waters and white sands are very inviting looking. May be another place to add to the travel list.

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:37 pm - Reply

      Hey Kimmy – Yes, those beaches are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen anywhere on this planet and already I can’t wait to get back there.

  59. Julie Appleby May 20, 2013 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    The difference between visiting Yeman and Oman is incredible, isn’t it? And, yet, they are right next to each other. Great video!

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

      Hey Julie – Two different worlds, completely!

  60. Julie May 20, 2013 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Oh – and great video Earl – Lilabak Allah 🙂 Makes me want to return to the island!

  61. Julie May 20, 2013 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Happily Socotra is quite a way off the kind of significant changes that will render it unrecognizable. Creation of infrastructure pretty much ceased with the uprising on the mainland in 2011 and as a society they are choosing to learn from the rest of the world’s mistakes. They believe in sustainability and protection of the existing eco-systems and bio-diversity and their government policies currently reflect that. Hopefully this means the biggest changes will be the banning of plastic bags (not even on the horizon yet) and the implementation of recycling. These changes will not only help to protect the island, it will also make it more attractive to tourists – even the capital Hadibo…

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Hey Julie – That is the case although I did learn that some Emirati investors have already bought huge plots of land and are planning to build some major resorts on Socotra. So let’s hope that doesn’t affect things too much.

  62. Carol May 20, 2013 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Yes! to Socotra Island! I would love to join the tour. So please keep me informed as to when, and all the details.
    WOW… I watched the video 3 times. It made me smile, and laugh… and yearn…..
    Looking forward to this trip…..

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:40 pm - Reply

      Hey Carol – You are now on the list as well and I will email you soon with more details!

  63. mark thomas May 20, 2013 at 11:13 am - Reply

    I’d never heard of the island before but you make it sound strangely appealing, nice job

  64. Someday I'll Be There - Mina May 20, 2013 at 11:12 am - Reply

    On one hand I AM wondering why people aren’t going there, on the other hand a part of me really wants it to stay the same at least until I see it as it is now! You know, once a place starts seeing so many tourists it changes on so many levels…

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      Hey Mina – Well, since there are less than 1000 people visiting each year, the chances of it changing to rapidly are quite low I’d imagine. It will probably take some time to increase those numbers significantly, which would certainly change the island to some degree. Go there as soon as you can!

  65. Queenie May 20, 2013 at 11:04 am - Reply

    I was wondering….should I go to Socotra? 🙂

    • Wandering Earl May 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      Hey Queenie – Perhaps you should!

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