Socotra Island: The Land That Time Forgot

The Dragon's Blood Tree

This otherworldly place is actually for real and it is right here on the big blue marble.  It’s a place called Socotra Island and it is part of a 4-island chain off the coast of Africa that has been geographically isolated for the last 6 or 7 million years. Like the Galapagos Islands, this island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are endemic or as the layman would say,  “found nowhere else on Earth.” The name Socotra is derived from a Sanscrit name, meaning “The Island of Bliss“.

Despite a climate that is unforgiving, hot and dry, the most incredible plant life thrives there. Situated in the Indian Ocean the wide sandy beaches rise to limestone plateaus full of caves (some 7 kilometers in length) and mountains up to 1525 meters high.

The Desert Rose - adenium obesium

Also found in Socotra's landscape is the extremely rare Cucumber Tree (dendrosicyos socotranum) - and yes, it's related to what's sitting in a pickle jar in your fridge:

Getting around on Socotra Island is difficult at best since there are practically no roads to speak of. Despite the fact that this island has around 40,000 inhabitants, the Yemeni govenment put in the first roads just 2 years ago – after negotiations with UNESCO, which has declared this island a World Natural Heritage Site.  If you decide to visit there, you can forget about beachfront hotels and restaurants; this island is geared towards eco-tourism and sustaining the local economy and way of life.  (Does that mean no coffee ice cream?  If so, I’m out!)

Given its isolation, this island is a birder’s paradise as well, with 140 different species of birds; 10 of which are not found anywhere else in the world.

Tours are given to the extensive cave system, the most popular being Hoq Cave.

Get out your pen and your bucket list and add this one to it.  It truly is not of this world.




About blurppy

Blurppy is a constantly changing, always evolving web entity that features articles, reviews, interviews and such from my perspective. Who am I you ask? I'm DT and if you see it on here, I like it, have it, want it, need it, lust it or simply can't afford it. How about you take a gander at my lil part of the massive web universe and if you see something that appeals to you, share it with your friends.
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