Yemen, the crossroads of trade and cultures between the Middle East and Africa. Along the narrow lowland coast you find bustling ports and beautiful white sand beaches looking out into the Gulf of Aden. The highlights of Yemen are however hidden away in the hinterland of the Arab Peninsula. In the dry desert highlands and the narrow wadis that run off them you can find a people and cultures that have remained almost unchanged for centuries. Exploring cities of mud built skyscrapers, the Manhattan of the Middle East, or discovering small villages, situated precariously on rocks surrounded by date palms and lush greenery. Further from the shores of the mainland is the Yemeni island of Socotra. Known as the ‘Jewel of Arabia’, its biodiversity lends itself to the UNESCO world heritage site with swimming, scuba diving and hiking.
The Eastern region of Hadramut contains some of Yemen’s most striking towns and villages. Mud Skyscrapers in barren valleys or perched high on precipices are some of the most iconic sights of Yemen.
The Yemeni island of Socotra is situated just off the coast from the mainland. Known as the ‘Jewel of Arabia’ or the “Galapagos of the middle east”, its biodiversity lends itself to the UNESCO world heritage site. Rich in flora and fauna, it boasts both Frankincense and Dragon’s Blood trees found in the Dixsam plateau and Homhil. Better-known species of birds can be spotted such as buzzards, vultures and flamingos, alongside lesser-known including Bruce’s Green pigeons and Laughing doves. Not to be outshone by the beautiful animals that call the island home, the landscape and scenery are also unique. Huge golden sand dunes line the Aher Beach next to bright blue waters. There is plenty of walking/ hiking, swimming, snorkelling and even scuba diving to see sea turtles and the abundant sea life. Either staying in one of the only hotels on the island and taking day trips, or camping around the island much like the Bedouin nomads who call Socotra home, it is possible to explore all that this island has to offer.
If you are more interested in visiting mainland Yemen we are also available to arrange trips there. Contact us for more details.
Visa required. The visa needs to be obtained before travel.
Tropical climate. Hot all year round with a dry season in winter.
For up to date exchange rates please have a look at www.xe.com
Two prong European style system (type C and E).
Very poor wifi connection/speed.
Cassava is a staple, made into fufu, it is often served with a soup/ stew. Okra and peanuts are common in cooking. Insects are wild meat also regularly eaten.
Alcohol is permitted and is widely available
French and Sangho
Christian. Minority Sunni Muslim
No special dress code.
SAFETY & SECURITY
The FCO advises against travel to Yemen. This is due to anti-government forces operating in the country, the ongoing civil war, government instability and the risk of opportunist violent attacks. We avoid travel to most of the country and take precautions in the areas we do travel. Contact us for information on where we do and do not guide in this region and how we work to minimise risk for our guests and staff
A History of Modern Yemen – Paul Dresch
Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land – Tim Mackintosh-Smith
A Tribal Order – Shelagh Weir
The Graves of Tarim – Engseng Ho
Arabian Sands – Wilfred Thesiger
Trips in Middle East
The trip begins in Baghdad and visits ancient Sumerian and Babylonian sites, as well as medieval souks, UNESCO-recognised minarets, Shia Islam’s two holiest sites, and a boat trip on the Shatt al-Arab. There is an add-on to Kurdistan available directly…explore