Drachenblutbaum in Dixam, Socotra Island
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Socotra Photography Tour

Ready for an unforgettable adventure on a unique island in the Indian Ocean? Then the Socotra Photo Journey is just right for you! The perfect vacation for those seeking something extraordinary! Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of this remote island. Socotra houses an astonishing diversity of endemic plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. The main attraction is the striking Dragon’s Blood Tree, majestically towering over the landscape with its red resin and umbrella-shaped crown. It is the symbol of the island.

During our week-long journey, we will explore the most impressive landscapes of this island and capture the incomparable beauty of nature with our cameras. From gigantic white sand dunes to majestic mountain formations, mysterious caves, and a forest full of Dragon’s Blood Trees, an abundance of impressive photo opportunities awaits.

Socotra is located at the Horn of Africa between Yemen and Somalia. Politically, it belongs to Yemen but is a safe and peaceful travel destination. The island is far removed from the political unrest and conflicts that may occur in some parts of Yemen. We will arrive via Abu Dhabi and will not set foot on the mainland at any point. The Socotris will welcome us with open arms.

Short info

Date: 02.04-09.04.2024

fully booked

NEW Date: 03.12 - 10.12.2024

 Available

NEW Date: 01.04. - 08.04.2025

 Available

Landscape Photography

7 participants

Overnight stays in nature

3x daily meals incl. drinks

Incl. flight from Abu Dhabi

Incl. Visa Yemen

Incl. all transfers on site

Also for "non-photographers"

Price: 3600€ (1500€ deposit)

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Flaschenbaum bei der Detwah Lagoon Socotra
Dragon Blood Tree Forest Firmihin Socotra Island
Sunset Zaheq Dunes Socotra Island Yemen

The most extraordinary adventure of your life.

Prepare yourself for adrenaline-filled rides in Land Cruisers. These rugged off-road vehicles will take us to the most remote locations on the island, providing us with the opportunity to explore spectacular landscapes that few have seen before. Socotra is one of the most extraordinary travel destinations and still a hidden gem known to only a few. Join us on this journey and discover Socotra before mainstream tourism arrives. This week is packed with adventures you will never forget.

Landscapes that will blow you away.

An island full of diversity, look forward to:

  • gigantic white sand dunes
  • surreal dragon’s blood trees
  • mysterious caves
  • magical beaches
  • breathtaking canyons
  • beautiful lagoons
  • pristine coral reefs
  • diverse wildlife
  • endemic plant species
  • and much more

Arher Sand Dünen, Socotra

Time off. Life on.

Treat yourself to a full week to unwind and escape from the daily grind – experience true living on our Socotra journey! During these unforgettable 8 days, you will be offline, without the internet and without stress. Socotra + YOU – an unbeatable combination for your break!

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Shoab Beach, Socotra

We organize everything for you.

So that you can enjoy your Socotra vacation completely carefree, we’ll take care of everything for you. Flight, visa, accommodations, driver, chef, and much more. You can relax completely and simply let the adventure unfold.

Nick Schmid, Photography Coach & Guide

As a landscape and nature photographer, I will show you how to successfully capture the unique landscape on Socotra with your camera. I have explored the island extensively and know where the best photo spots are.

Salem AlKeabany, Local Guide

Few people know Socotra as well as Salem does. As a native, he spent his childhood here and has dedicated his entire life to the island. With passion and dedication, he will show us the most beautiful places of Socotra.

Day 1: We will meet at Abu Dhabi Airport. The flight to Socotra departs in the morning, so I recommend arriving a day earlier and possibly staying at the airport hotel. Together, we’ll fly to the island (flight tickets included in the price) where our local guides and drivers will welcome us. We’ll have lunch in the capital, Habiboh, and visit a shipwreck before spending the sunset at Di Hamri Beach, where red rocks provide a fantastic photo opportunity. Overnight camping in tents.

Day 2: We’ll start the day with a sunrise at the beach, followed by an exciting snorkeling experience. This place is renowned for its diverse and untouched coral reef, offering fascinating insights into the underwater life, with a chance to spot turtles. In the afternoon, we’ll head to the east end, where the Indian Ocean meets the Arabian Sea. Overnight at Camp Arher.

Day 3: Once again, we’ll climb the dunes to photograph the sunrise overlooking the Arabian Sea. In the afternoon, we’ll explore Hoq Cave, a mysterious cave not yet fully explored, where we can admire fascinating stalagmites and stalactites. Later, we’ll make our way to Dixam, the home of the Dragon’s Blood Trees, to capture the sunset from the plateau. Overnight in Dixam.

Day 4: We’ll spend the sunrise on the edge of a canyon, photographing Dragon’s Blood Trees standing on the cliff, with a fascinating view of the gorge. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Dragon’s Blood Tree conservation project. For the sunset, we’ll take an adventurous road to the Firmihin Forest to capture the sunset.

Day 5: Sunrise in the Dragon’s Blood Forest. In the afternoon, we’ll head south of the island to visit the stunning Zaheq Dunes. Those who wish can ride camels through the dunes. Sunset at the dunes.

Day 6: Sunrise at the Zaheq Dunes. Next, we’ll travel to the west of the island, stopping at the fishing village of Qualashia and climbing a mountain to enjoy a breathtaking view of the lagoon from above.

Day 7: Today, we have an exciting boat trip planned to a secluded beach, with a chance to spot dolphins along the way. In the afternoon, we’ll return to Habiboh, where we can explore the city and buy souvenirs.

Day 8: Sunrise at a large shipwreck. Transfer to the airport, farewell, and return flight.

*Provisional program, subject to change.

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Travel Information:

  • Travel Date: 02.04 – 09.04.2024
  • Meeting Point: Abu Dhabi Airport, UAE
  • Maximum 7 participants
  • Team: 1 Local Guide, 1 Photo Guide, 4 Drivers, and a Cook
  • Accommodation: Camping in tents for 7 nights, sleeping outdoors in nature
  • Suitable for beginners and advanced photographers
  • Non-photographing partners are also welcome to join this trip

Price: 3600€

Included in the price:

  • Photographic support and guidance by Nick Schmid
  • Local Guides, Drivers, and Cook
  • Round-trip flights from Abu Dhabi to Socotra
  • Yemen visa
  • All transfers on the island in Land Cruisers
  • Full board, including three meals a day
  • Drinks
  • Accommodations at camping sites in nature
  • Tents and foam mattresses provided
  • Boat tour to a deserted beach
  • Photo reviews during the trip
  • Pre-trip information session via Teams/Zoom
  • Packing list
  • Voltage converter for charging devices
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Travel insurance certificate according to § 651s (BGB)

Not included in the price:

  • Travel to Abu Dhabi
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses

Payment:

Payment is required in advance via bank transfer. To book the trip, a deposit of 1,500€ is necessary to organize flights, visas, and other arrangements. The remaining balance must be settled no later than 30 days before the trip starts. The details for the final payment will be provided via email after receiving your booking.

Refunds and Cancellation:

If a participant decides to cancel their reservation, they can do so at any time. Once the 1,500€ deposit has been paid and the flights to Socotra are booked, they are non-refundable.

For the remaining balance, the following cancellation options apply:

  • If the cancellation is submitted more than 60 days before departure, a refund for the remaining amount can be provided.
  • If the cancellation is submitted less than 60 days before departure, no refund can be issued.

Requirements:

  • Basic physical fitness for hikes lasting up to 2 hours.
  • A spirit of adventure and an interest in experiencing a foreign culture.
  • A willingness to camp as we will be sleeping outdoors without always having access to sanitation facilities.
  • A camera or smartphone for photography.
  • A passport with at least 6 months validity.

Notes:

  • The flight schedules for April 2024 have not been officially confirmed yet. In the case that flights are not available, all payments made will be fully refunded.
  • Flight connections to Socotra can be unreliable, and changes may occur at short notice.
  • I recommend obtaining travel cancellation insurance and international health insurance for the trip.
  • Equipment insurance is also recommended to financially protect your photo equipment against damage or loss.
  • A WhatsApp group will be created with all participants for ongoing communication and coordination.

Frequently Asked Questions:

No, Socotra is an extremely peaceful travel destination. Although the island belongs to Yemen, its remote location makes it safe. Socotra has a friendly atmosphere, and the people are warm, hospitable, and there is no crime. We will reach the island via Abu Dhabi and will not set foot on the Yemeni mainland at any point.

Yes, although you may encounter fewer local women in public on Socotra due to cultural norms, female tourists can feel completely free and safe at all times.

Electricity will be available only in the city on Socotra. Therefore, I recommend bringing enough camera batteries. We will charge the batteries during our car rides using the cigarette lighter. I will provide voltage converters. It is advisable to bring additional power banks and possibly solar panels. I’ll be happy to assist you if you have any questions regarding this.

In Socotra, payments are made in Yemeni Rial, but USD is often accepted as well. It’s a good idea to bring some USD with you if you plan to make purchases. We recommend exchanging USD to Rial, and we can do that on-site in the capital, Habiboh. There are no ATMs, and credit card payments are not possible.

You don’t need a professional camera to join! The main requirement is to have a camera that you can manually adjust. Cameras from any manufacturer are welcome.

If you don’t have a camera, I can lend you one for this trip, please contact me in advance!

My personal recommendation:

  • DSLR or Mirrorless Camera
  • Wide-angle Lens
  • Travel Zoom Lens
  • Telephoto Lens
  • Tripod
  • ND / Polarizing Filter
  • Power banks

Absolutely! You don’t need to be a photographer to join the trip. The Socotra journey is open to all, regardless of your photography skills or experience. While the itinerary is designed with photographers in mind, you are more than welcome to join and enjoy the beauty of nature without a camera.

If you are looking for a good internet connection, this is not the right place. There is only a slow mobile network connection in the city and at certain places. We will spend most of our journey in nature, enjoying life and being offline. 😉

The flights are included. Currently, there is no online option to book flights to Socotra. I am in close contact with the locals and will organize round-trip tickets for you from Abu Dhabi.

The visa for Yemen is also included in the price. You will receive a digital copy shortly before your departure. The original visa will be obtained on-site. Please make sure to check the validity of your passport.

Any other questions? Feel free to contact me!

E-Mail: nick@nickschmid.com

WhatsApp: +49 15223146108

Instagram: @nickschmid

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