Socotra by luxury camps: the Yemeni Galápagos

Special access to this unique Indian Ocean island

This secretive Arabian island has – like the Galápagos – evolved in near-isolation. That means its UNESCO alien landscapes host one of the highest levels of species endemism, plenty of opportunity for adventure thrill and an enthralling cultural past and present.

And, given its remote setting, you’ll be one of the only people to have visited. So, we’ve extensively recced the destination, bringing along the Financial Times’ Africa editor, scouting exclusive beaches for your luxury camp and gaining special access to local sheikhs and conservation opportunities.

Throughout, we’ll organise truly special experiences for you, from dramatic beach dinner setups and searching for dolphins with a marine biologist to archaeologist-led special access to ancient cave structures.

Icon camera All media taken on Cookson Adventures trips

That makes camping — in Cookson’s case, in style of course — the only real option for exploring the island’s heroically dramatic landscape

The Financial Times' Head of Africa at our Socotra camp, June 2023

This Indian Ocean archipelago offers a rare glimpse into the primeval wilds of a landscape left to evolve in isolation for millions of years.

As such, with its lack of access and infrastructure, Socotra is often best appreciated from the air. From taking you flightseeing by heli to bringing in gyrocopter teams, our crafted routes mean its dramatic wadi gorges, giant sand dunes and mountain peaks can be perfectly showcased.

Then, among the hypnotically blue shores and white-sand fishing villages made of driftwood, you’ll explore based on your interests. There’s everything from wild fishing and kitesurfing to SUPs, swimming with spinner dolphins and diving among abandoned wrecks.

Footage taken on a past Cookson trip to Socotra

Heading inland, discover a hiking wonderland of giant wadi canyons and rugged caves. Here, evidence of ancient civilisations sit side by side with vultures living among dragon blood trees, famed for their seeping blood-red resin.

What’s more, just because you’re in an off-grid location, we’ll ensure that you don’t compromise on comfort. Alongside private-chef picnics and dinner setups, you’ll retire to exclusive tented camps, created just for you. We’ve scouted what are the island’s most beautiful beaches and even set up tents right among the world’s only dragon’s blood tree forest.

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