How to travel to Socotra

The island of Socotra is one of the ecological jewels of the world.

The Yemeni island, in the north-west Indian Ocean, has been coined the Galapagos of the Middle East, due to its rich biodiversity and vast array of rare and endemic species of plant and wildlife.

Socotra’s remote location means very few people have the opportunity to reach this truly unique part of the world.

Knowing how to travel to Socotra can be a confusing process, but that’s where we come in to help.

In this how to travel to Socotra guide, we’ll highlight all you need to know so you can visit Socotra and enjoy everything it has to offer.

Here is all the key information you need to know about visiting Socotra….

  • Where is Socotra?

Socotra is an island 210 miles south-east of Yemen, in the north-west Indian Ocean, near the entry to the Gulf of Aden.

It’s controlled by Yemen and covers an area of around 1,400 square miles.

  • What is it like in Socotra?

Socotra has one of the most impressive and varied natural habitats on earth. It comprises of vast expanses of remote white beaches, crystal blue waters, mountains, fresh water lagoons, sand dunes, dramatic gorges, forests, caves and beautiful coral reefs.

It’s a truly stunning location, which is teeming with an immense variety of wildlife, bird life and plant life – many of which are rare and endemic to Socotra.

More than 300 of Socotra’s 830 plant species are endemic to the island, 90% of its reptiles can only be found in Socotra, along with 95% of its insects (including spiders and scorpions).

There are also 192 species of birds, many of which can only be found on the island and the waters off Socotra’s coast are as rich as anywhere on the planet, with large expanses of protected coral reefs and a bountiful supply of marine life.

  • Do you need a visa for Socotra?

Yes you do need a visa for Socotra.

You aren’t able to apply for a visa online or independently, it has to be organised through a registered tour operator.

Untamed Borders is one of the few international companies which organises visas to Socotra.

The Socotra visa process is open to most nationalities, however, it isn’t open to Israeli citizens.                                                                                                                                                             

All you need to do is provide a copy of your passport and a few other personal details to your travel agent, such as Untamed Borders, who will then work with the Yemeni authorities.

Your travel agent will do the rest, including booking your flights and paying for the visa, with the costs including in the cost of your overall Socotra trip.

  • Can you fly to Socotra?

Yes you can fly to Socotra. Almost all international visitors fly to Socotra from Abu Dhabi.

  • How many flights are there a week to Socotra?

There is only 1 charter flight a week to Socotra from Abu Dhabi.

These flights almost always leave Abu Dabi on a Tuesday and also leave Socotra the following Tuesday, back to Abu Dabi.

  • How do you book flights to Socotra?

Due to the scarcity of flights to Socotra, with the flights being specially chartered, you have to book flights to Socotra through a tour operator.

Untamed Borders offers assistance with the flight booking process to Socotra.

For more details about the Socotra visa process and for help with Socotra visas you can email –

  • What is there to do in Socotra?

The natural wonders of Socotra are the main attractions – the island has immense biodiversity, with an astonishing amount of wildlife, plant life and marine life.

Its varied landscape includes beaches, mountains, canyons, caves, lagoons, sand dunes, gorges, forests and many other types of terrain.

On an Untamed Borders trip to Socotra you have the chance to go snorkelling around pristine coral reefs, swim in crystal blue waters and fresh water lagoons, go hiking and also fishing.

You’ll also have the opportunity to explore deep caves, see many aspects of local wildlife and plant life, enjoy remote beaches and climb sand dunes.

A truly stunning and unique adventure.

Untamed Borders has two trips to Socotra now live and bookable on our website:

  • 28th November 2023 – 5th December 2023
  • 30th January 2024 – 6th February 2024

To join us in Socotra you can book via the above link or email – – for more details.