SPECTACULAR SOCOTRA ISLAND, YEMEN

Described by anthropologist George Huntingford as “the most alien-looking place on Earth”, Socotra Island in the northern India Ocean and far from any other landmass needs to be included high on the list of any keen travellers must see locations.

Its position and isolation, has ensured that a high proportion of the plants on the island are endemic, more than 37% at the last survey giving rise to comparisons with other remote islands such as Galapagos, New Zealand, Hawaii and New Caledonia. Our journey to this unusual Island will help fund a more detailed flora and fauna survey.

Ranging in from our luxury yacht or dive-boat accommodation, we'd propose a combination of near-shore and deep inland activities. From the boat we would explore the coastal areas, in particular the spectacular landscapes along the north eastern coast, near Homhil and the Rosh Marine reserve. High in the hills of Homhil, the otherwise rocky landscape is covered with intriguing Dragon blood, Frankincense and Myrrh trees, all very unusual, offering a terrific contrast ranging as far as the ocean far below. Towards the ocean there are magnificent sand dunes, offering a chance for sunset dune boarding from the rocky escarpment straight to the sea shore. Other inland forays will be to one of the Island’s vast cave systems.

Deep inland, we'd intend creating a bespoke luxury African safari-style adventure camp, from which we can better explore the fascinating interior. Based on the Diksam plateau surrounded by seemingly otherworldly trees, our adventures will take us deep into the rugged Haghier mountain range, for hiking, and a chance to climb or abseil within its highest peaks. Being ocean based options for diving the best sites in the area are unlimited, and with no other tourists around, the waters will be uncrowded. Due to the distance from major fishing areas, the waters around these islands are abundant, offering fantastic diving conditions, especially in spring and autumn with the less turbulent seas.

With such unique rewards inevitably come some risks, all of which we believe can be mitigated. There is however no doubt that Socotra Island ranks amongst the most interesting, and beautiful places on our planet. The team we can pull together to ensure the success of this particular venture are world leaders at delivering unique journeys, in the utmost comfort and security, in some of the worlds most unusual places, including having previously worked and delivered expeditions on Socotra Island.

Below is a great video illustrating the unusual beauty and fascination of this remote Island, filmed in 2010 by photographer Perter Franc.