yemen explorer

Plateaus, Caves, Canyons

Dixam Plateau

Dixam Plateau is located in the center of Socotra, and can be reached by the main road that goes through Noged.

When you leave the main road, you will drive by a small village where you can buy Dragon’s Blood, the name  for a red resin obtained
from Dragon Trees. It is a good immuno-stimulant and has wound-healing remedies.

After passing by the village is the beginning of Socotra’s most beautiful canyon (Wadi Dirhur). Late afternoon is the best time to come here, when early evening bathes the trees in beautiful light. Visitors often use this place and nearby areas for camping. At the brink of the canyon, there are areas still inhabited by mountain shepherds.

Homhil Plateau

Homhil Plateau is located over Mumi Highlands on the northeast side of Socotra. The primary attraction here is the wide variety of trees:156 kinds of plant species grow in the reserve, 86 of which are endemic, and 20 species of birds are present, 4 of them are endemic to the island. This area is rich with reptiles, insects and other animals. The protected area is  especially known for Dragon’s Blood Trees, Bottle trees, Frankincense trees and Maryah trees.While there is no campsite here, it is a beautiful place to view the land, drink tea,
and enjoy the afternoon.

Mumi Plateau

Mumi Plateau is off the beaten path, but some tourists looking for more remote views journey here.

Ayaft Canyon

Ayaft Canyon is the greenest place on Socotra. Its unique moist microclimate is created by numerous springs and streams. The canyon is protected from summer monsoons by Skand Mountains, so vegetation remains lush year-round. In addition to the vegetation, there are a number of freshwater pools, suitable for swimming at times.

Ayaft Canyon National Park is one of the most attractive and important place of interest.  Considered as a natural nursery due to its abundance of endemic trees, plants and birds, the landscape is truly beautiful.

This is the main place where frankincense trees grow. With a thin smooth body and long branches with small narrow leaves the tree is
difficult to find and not much to look at – but this is the tree that made Socotra famous in the ancient world.

Frankincense, also called olibanum (Arabic language: لبان, lubban), is an aromatic resin obtained from trees by slashing the bark and
allowing the exuded resins to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. With special skill it is quite possible to harvest a handful of frankincense for an hour. Over 2000 years ago, Socotra’s frankincense was valued high above gold.

Hoq Cave

It takes about 1 hour and a half to climb to the entrance to Hoq Cave from the village below, it is best to take a local guide. The route is not difficult, but tiresome, so remember to take drinking water.
The entrance of the cave stretches 3-4km along the edge of the cliff, and is easy to enter. Like all caves, Hoq is cool and moist inside.  The ground of the cave is water-free, there are only terraced plots filled with water at the end of it. The pathway inside the cave is marked by a reflective tape, so you will not loose your way, but a flashlight is still important.