Socotra Photography Tour

Socotra Island Trip Report

Luka Esenko, our founder and photography leader shared this trip report from our recent Socotra photography tour. Check out Luka’s Socotra photos from this recent trip.

Socotra Island is one of the most unique places in the world and is very rewarding for photography. Its endemic flora and fauna, diverse landscapes, and welcoming people will satisfy every photographer’s interests.

I first visited Socotra in 2014. Since then, I tried to organize a photography tour to this island three times, unsuccessfully. It was the war on the mainland and later the COVID-19 pandemic that prevented us from visiting this place again.

This year we finally made it! After ten years, it was great to be back. Our group, consisting of seven clients, Jeremy, and I, along with a local team (guide, drivers, cooks, assistants), ventured around the island for two weeks. This provided plenty of time to experience all the cool places on the island and allowed ample time for photography. We visited all the main highlights of the island, such as Arher Beach, Detwah Lagoon, Diksam Plateau, Homhil area, sand dunes, and caves. We also explored some of the lesser-known places like Momi Plateau, Ras Irisseyl, Ayhaft Canyon, and others.

Overall, this was one of the best trips I have ever taken, and I captured lots of wonderful photos along the way. I am looking forward to visiting this island again.

New Socotra photography tours in 2024 and 2025

We are planning two new trips to Socotra Island led by Jeremy Woodhouse and Luka Esenko. The first tour is scheduled for December 10-20, 2024, and the second for April 1-11, 2025.

The December trip focuses on the lush season in Socotra, when there is more growth, wildflowers, and generally clearer skies for landscape photography. There are also fewer tourists at this time of year, and the temperatures are not scorchingly hot.

The April tour is timed to coincide with the blooming season of the bottle trees. This is also the peak season to visit the island, which means more tourists in popular locations. The temperatures can also be very hot, so wearing a hat, long sleeves for protection, and sunscreen is necessary.

Is Socotra island safe to visit?

At present, Socotra Island is perfectly safe to visit. Although there is still ongoing conflict on the mainland of Yemen and in Israel, Socotra Island is far removed from the troubled mainland and the Red Sea. To reach the island, we fly directly from Abu Dhabi, completely avoiding mainland Yemen. Socotra is a safe haven for travelers, with two flights a week from Abu Dhabi filled with foreign tourists. Next year, three flights per week are planned. The island is governed by the UAE, which places a strong emphasis on tourist safety.

Traveling around the island is also safe. The local population is extremely friendly and pleased to see tourists. There is little crime on the island, and we felt completely safe during our stay.

Join us on one of our next trips!

Behind the Scenes Photos

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