Welcome to my article on Socotra Island! My name is Mikhail from the Instagram account @michail_vorobyev. I started photography 15 years ago. At that time, I used to travel a lot and bought my first Olympus camera.
The first photos I took were mainly of places and landscapes that interested me. But over time, I became more and more passionate about the artistic side of photography. I went on to buy a professional camera and began to study photo techniques, as well as the possibilities of post-production.
My work began to appear on the pages of magazines and people started to invite me to participate in exhibitions. Photography has now become my profession and it’s closely connected to my travels. Most of my time is spent traveling, leading photo tours, and working with magazines and galleries.
Leading Photo Tours to Socotra Island
I first found out about Socotra by accident actually. In 2010, I was planning a trip to Yemen and while planning the route, I had been advised to visit a unique place that is little known to most tourists. After seeing photos of Socotra Island, I immediately perked up with the desire to visit for myself.
Since my first visit in 2010, I have been to Socotra eight times. I love this place with its unique flora and unspoiled nature. Today, I want to share my love for this island with like-minded people who share my vision. I organize trips to Socotra for groups of six to eight people and show them my favorite spots. Every time I see people get excited about Socotra, it fills me with joy!
Socotra has many beautiful places. Each one of them is unique in its own way. My favorite place on the island is Kalancia Beach located on the west side of the island. Here there is a multi-kilometer coastline with lovely white sand and turquoise waters surrounded by high sand dunes. You won’t find many people on this beach and the photo opportunities are endless.
Why Socotra is Yemen’s Garden of Eden
Socotra has this unique atmosphere and harmony with nature that makes you feel like you are in the Garden of Eden. This is one of the few places in the world that has not been touched by mass tourism. Visiting the island is like starring in an adventure movie – discovering an unknown world.
The island has unique and varied landscapes, alien forms of dragon trees, fantastic bottle trees, and amazing beaches and sand dunes. It truly feels like you are on another planet. The best way to experience the island is to travel with a knowledgeable guide who can show you the most incredible and inaccessible places. Paying for this will take your trip to the next level.
Need to Know Before you Go
Not many people live on Socotra. The main population lives at Hadibo – the capital and second largest city of Kalansiya. The southern part of the island is home to small fishing villages. Locals are very friendly and welcoming.
In terms of accommodation, there are practically no organized campsites and hotels. You can find a few basic hotels in Habibo but I recommend camping in nature if you can. Local guides will help you organize everything and ensure your stay out in nature is safe and enjoyable.
Since the island is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the main dish for guests is seafood. You can find some of the freshest fish, lobsters, squid and shrimps in the world. Goats also live on the island and can be eaten but I realize that won’t be everyone’s first choice when it comes to eating meat!
All in all, Socotra is an amazing place. The only problem that is difficult for tourists is the political situation. There is a war happening on the mainland and Yemen is often closed for tourism because of this. However, on Socotra the situation is very different – it’s absolutely safe and calm there but flights can be hard to come by. Booking in advance is crucial.
Therefore, my main travel advice is: as soon as there is an opportunity to visit the island (when flights resume) immediately book your trip to Socotra. Incredible landscapes and memories are guaranteed for everyone.