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Book Cover for: Socotra, Hilary Bradt


Hilary Bradt

The new, thoroughly updated second edition of Bradt's Socotra remains the first and only guide available to the largest of the four islands that make up the Socotra Archipelago in the Arabian Sea, 390 km offshore from their mother land, Yemen.

A UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site packed with dramatically varied and essentially undisturbed landscapes (mountains, forest, ravines, sand-dunes, beaches, caves...), Socotra is unique. Sometimes known as 'The Galapagos of the Indian Ocean', the archipelago has an exceptionally large number of species found nowhere else in the world ('endemic') in an area barely the size of Wiltshire. Accordingly, wildlife-watchers love Socotra: of 220 bird species recorded, 11 are endemic, while more than 300 plant species are endemic, as are all the land snails, 90% of reptiles and about 60% of spiders.

Socotra offers much to fascinate the adventurous traveller. Visitors may snorkel from boats or pristine beaches; camel-trek into mountains formed by volcanic activity; gawp at bizarre plants - dragon blood trees that resemble huge, fuzzy-topped umbrellas and giant desert roses; engage with Socotra's rich history, which stretches back to the Stone Age and includes ancient cave art; and lunch at delightful fishing villages.

Bradt's full-colour guide covers everything needed for a successful visit, including pre-departure planning, getting there, tour operators, where to stay and what to see. Background information on history, people, language and culture is followed by an easy-to-follow geographical breakdown covering all parts of the island, from the capital Hadiboh to Ayhaft Canyon National Park, Qaria lagoon, Rosh Marine Nature Sanctuary, Homhil Nature Sanctuary, Terbak village, Hoq Cave, Qalansiyah, Diksam plateau and Firmihin Forest.

To preserve its fragile environments, the recent growth in tourism - enabled by recent improvements in transport links and resulting in expansion of tourist infrastructure - is being handled with extreme care. Strict regulations are in force to preserve the island's natural heritage and nearly three-quarters has protected status. This pristine and relatively unknown little island, so full of natural treasures, may be on the brink of a very different future. Responsible tourism is paramount, so let Bradt's Socotra be your guide to this captivating island.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Bradt Travel Guides
  • Publish Date: Feb 1st, 2025
  • Pages: 192
  • Language: English
  • Edition: - 0002
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9781804692240
  • Categories: Middle East - General

About the Author

Hilary Bradt founded Bradt Travel Guides accidentally in 1974 while backpacking with her then-husband George through South America. Though semi-retired she is still involved with the company, mostly in trying to persuade sceptical staff to publish guides to places no-one has heard of. She assumed that after 30 or so years of roughing it, and an MBE, she had finally earned the right for some comfort, and even managed a stint as lecturer on a luxury ship. But then along came Socotra... Ever since seeing images of Socotra on a David Attenborough programme, Hilary had wanted to go there. Socotra meshed perfectly with her interest in off-the-beaten-track destinations and enthusiasm for wildlife, so visiting - and writing a Bradt guidebook to the island - became a no-brainer. When not travelling, Hilary lives in Devon, UK.

Until her death in February 2023, Janice Booth's working life included professional stage management, archaeology, working for a Belgian NGO, compiling logic-puzzle magazines and travelling widely. She drove Land Rovers in Timbuktu, walked with water-buffalo in Tamil Nadu, waded in the breakers of Namibia's Skeleton Coast, and edited many Bradt guides to various far-flung places. Having seen the positive effect that guidebooks can have on countries recovering from war - particularly through personal experience of writing Bradt's Rwanda and editing Bradt's Mali - Janice was keen to visit and write about Socotra in the hope that this guide may also help to encourage visitors. After moving to Devon, she co-authored (with Hilary Bradt) Slow South Devon & Dartmoor and Slow East Devon & the Jurassic Coast.

Praise for this book

A much-needed guidebook--Tony Wheeler, Founder, Founder: Lonely Planet