Socotra – “Island of Happiness”
Socotra Island (part of a group of four islands) was geographically isolated from mainland Africa during the last 6 or 7 million years. Like the Galapagos Islands on the island are 700 species of flora and fauna species extremely rare, of which one third are endemic (can not be found elsewhere on Earth).
The climate is harsh, hot and dry, yet even the most incredible plants grow here. Situated in the Indian Ocean 250 km from Somalia and 340 km from Yemen, great beaches limestone plateaus continues in full of caves (some 7 km in length) and mountains with heights up to 1525.The name Socotra is derived from Sanskrit and means “island of happiness.”
Trees and plants on the island have been preserved in the geological isolation, some species aged 20 million years. An example is Dracena cinnibaris and Dragon Blood tree or a source of valuable resin for varnishes, paints and drugs used in medieval rituals of magic and alchemy.Desert Rose (Adenium obesium) looks like a blooming elephant leg. Dorsten gigas which does not need ground and rooted directly in the rock.
The movement is very difficult because the island has almost no access road. Although the island has about 40,000 inhabitants, the Yemeni government access roads built in the first two years ago after negotiations with UNESCO, which declared the island as part of world heritage. Island is a quiet heaven from the rest of the world.
The island is a paradise for birds with 140 different species of birds of which 10 are unique in the world of Socotra such as cormorants Socotra is one of those “lost islands” (separate from the world six million years ago), visited by few tourists. Known for decades as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean, is the tenth in the world in endemic plant species. Is the largest island in the Middle East, with 125 km length and 45 km wide. The landscape is full of contrasts, unspoilt nature and sandy beaches.