Memo about staying on Socotra island

Flight

The flight to Socotra will depart from Cairo with Yemenia Airlines. All group members meet at the registration desk. Please do not register until all the group members get together.

Registration for an international flight ends one and a half hours before departure! Be careful, the departure time can be changed to an earlier time.

Entry visa

All international citizens need a visa to enter Socotra. An electronic visa is requested on the island, so you simply print out the visa scans that were sent you earlier, preferably in triplicate, since one copy can be taken in Cairo during check-in, the second one in Seyun landing and third when passing passport control at the airport Socotra. Also you need electronic Egypt multivisa. Don’t open Egyptian visa in airport, better to make it in advance online in your country.

Customs

The importation of alcoholic beverages is prohibited and is subject to confiscation. Cigarettes to 600 pieces or 60 cigars. Perfume or eau de toilette - 1 bottle, gold jewelry is allowed only for women by weight not more than 350g. The number of imported gifts or souvenirs should be no more than $ 450 in total.

It is forbidden to import any items of Israeli origin.

Gold bullion and products made of precious metals cannot be imported without the permission of the Central Bank of the country. Prohibited the importation of any products of erotic content, firearms, weapons for underwater hunting, drugs (except for products necessary for the time of the trip personally to the tourist).

Antiques, weapons, products made of precious metals are subject to mandatory customs control at the exit.

It is strictly forbidden to take out plants, seeds, stones, corals, shells from Socotra island.

About money

Yemen's monetary unit is RIAL, which is attached to the US dollar. In circulation, there are banknotes in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 rials, as well as coins in denominations of 1, 5 and 10 rials.

Exchange rate:

Yemen Riyal (YER) / United States Dollar (USD)

100 USD = 53,000 YER (the rates are changing every day)

Information on the latest exchange rates can be found on the website of the Central Bank of Yemen (http://www.exchangerates247.com/currency-converter/?from=USD&to=YER).

Whatever the prices, for example, the euro, the British pound or the Swiss frank, the Yemeni prices will always be in dollars, but you can pay in any currency.

Problems with currency exchange on the island do not arise, it can be done in the bank, large stores, and hotels.

Banks usually work in the morning (from 8am to 6pm on weekdays, closed on weekends, Friday and Saturday).

Credit cards are not accepted. So it is better to carry cash (dollars). There are few ATMs and they either do not work, or the maximum can give $ 300 in riyals.

It is very important - MasterCards do not work on Socotra, only VISA, and then, only if the ATM is connected to the system in Sanaa. It so happens that it is switched off without warning and it will be simply impossible to withdraw money.

Prices

Even if Yemen remains one of the poorest countries in the world, prices are high here - snacks cost 1.5 Euros (tea and flatbread), lunch at a regular cafe is 6-10 Euros per person, lunch at a restaurant is 10-15 Euros per person.

Tax refund (5%) is not possible, because the tax-free system is not developed.

It is better to carry the exchanged money with you, especially in Socotra, and it should also be noted that it is not customary to bargain in Socotra on the market, as is customary in other Arab countries.

Since the trip, you have almost all included, so that money can be taken cash in the amount of $ 500-800, if you want to buy souvenirs, scarfs, local cigarettes, cat, gourmet seafood.

Food

Paid full-board meals will include products such as meat (except pork), fish, rice, beans, vegetables, bread, water, and fruits.

If you don’t have enough of the offered fruits or drinks, you’ll have to order them for an extra fee. Cost: 1 kg of fruit is about $ 10 and 1 half-liter bottle of cola costs $ 1.5. You can order apples, oranges, bananas, while other fruits will be unsuitable for storage for a long time.

About communication

Mobile communication operates throughout the island. The Internet will be very slow and only in the hotel.

What to take with you

Of course, it is entirely up to you what to take and how much. If you have been to the tropics before, you should already know which type of clothing will be most comfortable.

Here we note only the "mandatory" things for traveling to Socotra, staying in hotels of the middle class and camping. And this does not always mean that you have to carry it all with you: most of these things you can buy directly on the island (and it may even be cheaper), if necessary.

These include:

A hat, a cap or something like that. And you should always wear them from the first day of the trip if you do not want to end the day with a burnt nose and forehead, which may cause you inconvenience in the further journey.

Flashlight (forehead and normal!) - it can be useful not only in the campsite but also in cases of power failure or shutdown in order to save some time. It is quite normal in rural areas to save gasoline for an electric generator.

If you like coffee in the morning, it is better to take instant with you. Although Yemen was once the main producer and exporter of coffee (“mocha” = Al Mokha is the name of a dusty fishing village on the Red Sea coast), it’s still a national drink (very tasty with proper preparation, spicy and very cheap), coffee but relatively expensive, not always tasty and difficult to get. Good coffee beans you cannot buy on the island.

 To charge electrical equipment you will need an international adapter. Yemen connectors are different from European or American, for example. In addition, the voltage in Yemen is 220, at best, it can sometimes drop to 170, depending on the generators.

If you plan walking or even hiking, you will need comfortable shoes (special trekking shoes or lightweight sneakers). Especially when descending on rocky terrain there is a risk of dislocation. Accompanying usually wear ordinary sandals, shale or go barefoot. But do not think that you can do the same.

Clothing for men: Shorts are not above the knees (light pants are better, for example, linen or shorts below the knees), upstairs a T-shirt with sleeves (it is better to do without T-shirts). To avoid sunburn, a long-sleeved top is recommended.

Clothing for women: If you are going to be in public places, unlike some other Muslim countries, women do not need to wear the burqa, hijab, niqab, or cover their faces. This does not mean that you can wear miniskirts, short shorts or bare shoulders, not to mention neckline. Just dress as if you were going for a walk in your own country, but with local rules. No one throws stones at you, but the lustful looks of Yemeni men and the disapproving local women will quickly make you feel uncomfortable. The legs should be covered as much as possible - to the ankles, hands on the elbow, nothing tight! On my head, I recommend grabbing a large scarf (besides a cap or hat), which can be useful where many (for example, it can be tied like a skirt at the entrance to a mosque). It should be borne in mind that these rules are strictly followed in Hadibo, Socotra capital. On the beaches, both men and women can wear anything (bikinis, T-shirts, etc.)

I advise everyone to take a jacket or a light jacket (preferably waterproof), because, despite the fact that it will be hot during the day, at night the temperature can drop significantly, especially in the mountains.

On the island only in Hadibo there is electricity, so that, while in the fields, there is no place to charge the equipment, the only thing you can buy adapters for charging in the car.

What to bring to the campsite:

1) Sunglasses

2) Sunblock cream (at least 30 SPF, generally better than 30-50 depending on skin type)

3) After Sun Cream

4) Hat or cap, panama

5) Anti-mosquito cream or spray

6) Light sandals (shale) for beach walks

7) Swimwear

8) Sleeping bags (optional)

9) A set for snorkeling (who plans to do it), on the island you can rent them for $ 5-10 per day

10) Head torch

11) Normal flashlight

12) Garbage bags just in case (we will not pollute this wonderful island!)

13) Wet sanitary napkins

14) Binoculars for observing animals at will.

15) Spare batteries for vehicles

16) Raincoat (recommended)

17) Towels

18) Beach mat (mats for seating during meals or rest are not needed, they are at the campsite, there are mattresses for tents)

From personal experience, I still advise you to take backpacks, I even strongly recommend !!! There will be no roads on the island so you can carry a suitcase!

With regards to clothing - it should be light, a lot of clothing is also not required.

The weather in October-January is +30 degrees during the day, there is no rain, but at night the temperature can drop to +20 or even less. In April and May, the weather will be hotter, in the daytime to 42 Celsius degrees, at night 27-29 degrees.

Health care

Caution: Although we will do our best to take care of your health, we cannot be held responsible for your physical condition. Consider the following elements as recommendations, but whether you follow them is completely up to you.

In general, any special vaccinations or courses of prophylactic drugs are not required.

During the camping, you will sleep in tents equipped with an anti-mosquito net. In many hotels, this grid is also on the windows, but often they are not there or they are damaged, so repellents (or closing windows) are the best solution.

If you have doubts about the hygienic conditions in restaurants, order only well-prepared dishes and no fresh vegetables in salads (only food cooked on the fire and not stale!). During the camping, we cook our own food and we will always wash the vegetables thoroughly before serving or preparing salads.

When buying fruit in the markets, always wash them before eating !!!

Water should be drunk only bottled.

If you are on a special diet or you need to take medications, please let us know and take these pills or prescription for them with you. There are many well-equipped pharmacies on the island, but they may not have all the necessary medicines available.

  • • In general, if you do not drink dirty water and observe dietary precautions, it is very unlikely that you catch intestinal disorders, hepatitis or salmonellosis.
  • • Malaria prophylaxis is very harmful in itself, especially the one that is sold to us, it can cause hallucinations, headaches, etc., so it’s better again just precautions - repellent! Although, in recent years not a single case of malaria has been recorded on the island.
  • • This information is strictly advisory in nature, we are not doctors and we cannot say for sure, for official information is always better to contact the relevant Health Authority. These are, in general, all common diseases that are possible in a given region, unless precautions are taken.

It is necessary to take with you only a first-aid kit (remedies for headaches, for the stomach, disinfecting, antipyretic, etc.).

Souvenirs

The greatest interest in buying on the island are such goods as myrrh, incense, silver, forged chests, dried fruits, various clay products, incense, honey, dragon blood tree resin, fabrics, scarfs, forged lanterns, and carpets.

People on the island are very friendly and friendly, men and children love to be photographed. If you want to do a good deed, take notebooks, pencils, and pens with you, children and schools of the island will be grateful to you for any stationery. In any case, I ask you to take into account that this is an underdeveloped Muslim country, and the above rules of conduct must be strictly observed, as we are still more strangers, sources of income, and for ordinary locals sometimes also a source of inconvenience. Please also behave very politely with the locals, always greet them in response, respect their elders, do not take the initiative in dealing with women, do not discuss loudly and do not look closely at people. Children can and should bring school supplies as a gift if there is a desire (pens, writing utensils). You can take pictures of local residents and their homes only with their permission and in no case should you take pictures of women and the military!!!