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Yemen's Socotra Island: Ecologically diverse

Listed under Islands in Yemen.

  • Photo of Yemen's Socotra Island: Ecologically diverse
  • Photo of Yemen's Socotra Island: Ecologically diverse
Photo of Yemen's Socotra Island: Ecologically diverse
Photo by flickr user UncleEddy
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Socotra Island is the largest of the Sheba Islands. It's an interesting destination because of its blend of African and Arabian cultures and its isolated location which has provided a safe haven for a diverse range of plants and animals, many which are found nowhere else in the world.

The island has no indigenous mammals, suggesting to scientists that it was split from the mainland before mammals had evolved. This would mean that plants and animals on the island are the direct descendants of those who lived on the ancient land mass Gondwanaland, which gradually split and submerged.

The ecology of Socotra is surprisingly diverse with the mountainous region supporting snow and alpine meadows and the lower regions featuring jungles of the iconic Dragon’s Blood Tree, an umbrella shaped tree with bright red sap, and beaches. The climate is that of a tropical desert with turbulent monsoon regions which until recent years shut the island off from the rest of the world for their duration.

As well as natural beauty and rare ecology this is an interesting island culturally. It’s also large and there are a variety of towns to stay in from the cosmopolitan to the rural.

Travelling to Socotra.

Written by  Lindsay Drury.

Other expert and press reviews

“Excerpt from 'The land that time forgot'”

By Mike Carter for The Observer First published April 16, 2006 If first impressions are so important, what to make of an island where the luggage from the twice-weekly flight takes more than an hour to come through because the drugs are unloaded first?… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from The Guardian

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Question regarding safety

When coming to Socotra Island, you have a stay over in Sana'a, one night,coming and going. What are my safety concerns with staying that one night in Sana'a ? I am from the USA, AND, has this island been effected with the problems the county of Yemen has today. Is this island safe ?

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