Socotra Photo Tour April 2024

April 5 – 12 2024

hosted by Isabella Tabacchi and Benjamin Barakat

Socotra photo tour, an incredible and really special island,with dragon trees, bottle trees, deserts and dreamlike coastlines.
All this natural treasure in a photo tour by the award winning Isabella Tabacchi and the astrophotographer Benjamin Barakat, Milky Way Photographer of the Year 2023 winner with his shots of the bottle trees under our galaxy.
This photo tour will be an unique experience and we will take incredible sunset, sunrise and night shots… so don’t miss this photo tour!

  • leaders

    Isabella Tabacchi and Benjamin Barakat





  • Registration

    Deposit: $1690 to confirm your spot in the photo tour.

  • Full payment

    90 days prior to the photo tour’s starting date

  • When

    April 5 – 12 2024

  • Experience Level

    Basic knowledge of your camera and settings.

  • Number of participants

    max 12 spots

  • Included

    • Accommodation (Tents) (All camping gear)

    • All logistics on Socotra island

    • 3 meals per day

    • water

    • Boat ride to Shubab Beach (dolphins sighting)

    • Photographic guides (Isabella Tabacchi, Benjamin Barakat) & Socotra guide

    • Yemen/Socotra Visa & Conservation fees

    • Flights (Abu dhabi – socotra round trip)

  • Not Included

    • Travel & Health Insurance (I recommend you choose a travel insurance that covers trip cancellation costs & Covid-19 health, travel and cancellation costs)

    • PCR tests

    • TIPS

    • Snacks and alcohol

Socotra Photo Tour: reserve your spot!

Socotra Photo Tour schedule

Day 1: Dragon Blood Forest

As soon as you touch down and set foot on the majestic island of Socotra, our local team will greet you and start your journey through this wonderland.

The first stop is the Frmhin Forest home to the biggest gathering of Dragon Blood trees on the island.

The view from up here is breathtaking and will leave you speechless. Here we will camp for the night under the stars and capture the Milky Way above them.

Day 2: Dixam Plateau and Canyon

We will drive down to the wadi to cool down before heading up to the canyon camp site with Dragon trees where we also camp for a night and capture the stars.

Socotra photo tour
Socotra photo tour

Picture by © Benjamin Barakat

Day 3: Detwah lagoon

We head west to relax in paradise at Detwah Lagoon, a protected area between the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean that holds one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet.

Discover endemic species on a sea bed that can only be described as magical, and watch the water retract unveiling a variety of sea life on the shores of this turquoise lagoon.

Nearby is the village of Qalansiya, the second largest settlement of Socotra, which lies at the north/west tip of the island.

Discover the island’s cultural beauty and indulge with friendly locals & children for an authentic experience. In the afternoon we’ll hike to the highest peak for the best sunset view on the island.

We end our evening with dinner and overnight camping at Detwah Lagoon with night photography! If we are lucky we will also witness and capture Bioluminescence.

Socotra photo tour dragon tree

Picture by © Benjamin Barakat

Day 4: Shoab beach

We head out to Qalansiya port, we will cruise with one of these authentic boats for a tour along the cliffs of the western coast towards the beach of Shoab, home of spinner dolphins, you will have a unique chance to swim & see the spinner dolphins.

We will set ashore on this remote and pristine beach that is one of the world’s best beaches.

We then head back for lunch to Detwa. After Lunch, we will relax before spending another night under the beautiful stars.

Day 5: Arher

We will head to Arher, where a breathtaking beach awaits.

Located on the eastern side of the Island, the beach is surrounded by twin White Dunes where water flows right out from a cave.

We will set up camp near the beach, and sit back to enjoy a relaxing evening with dinner under the stars. After we will set up our cameras for night photography.

Socotra photo tour bottle trees

Picture by © Benjamin Barakat

Day 6: Bottle tree paradise

After spending the day at Kalisan River and cooling down, we will head to the Oasis camp site which is home many beautiful Bottle trees.

Here will have dinner and then spend the night capturing the Bottle trees under the night sky. March is the perfect time for the Bottle Tree bloom.

Day 7: Delisha

We will head to Delisha Beach. Here we will have dinner and camp for the night.

Here we have an epic shipwreck that aligns perfectly with the Milky Way.

The morning after we will pack our things and head back to the capital Habido to take our flight back home.

Delisha Socotra photo tour Picture by Benjamin Barakat

Picture by © Benjamin Barakat


In Socotra, hotels are not available at most places & we will be camping at well maintained campsites. All camping gear (tents, mattresses, sheets, & pillow).

Additional Information about Socotra Photo Tour

We advise you to be reasonably fit as we will be hiking outdoors every day photographing landscapes.

This itinerary is an indication of what we will do. It is very flexible and we may change things.

Electricity is a rare commodity in Socotra. We will not have it available daily, so bring enough memory cards, power banks and camera batteries for at least a couple of days. We are assured that there will be a generator at our disposal. You will also be able to charge devices in the vehicles. I recommend bringing a power converter for in the car to charge your electronical items.

There is virtually no internet on the island so you’ll have to wait till you get back to Abu Dhabi before you can share your stunning images with the World.

You might be able to check email and use messaging services on the Socotra 3G network when you have a signal (available around most of the major towns). Alternatively, you can purchase a sim card from Etisalat with a data package in Abu Dhabi, its enough to get signal here and there to send what’s app messages.

This month is known as a warm month. The average maximum daytime temperature in Socotra in March lies at 30.7°C (87.26°F). The average minimum temperature goes down to around 20.1°C (68.18°F) (often the minimum temperature is noted at night).

March is a dry month with an average of 15mm (0.6 inches) of rain. There are generally around 2 rainy days.

I reccomend bringing USD currency for anything you want to ADDITIONALLY spend on the island such as souvenirs or for tips.

Visa requirements & flights

A Yemeni visa is required for most nationalities wishing to visit Socotra.

In order to obtain a permit for Socotra as a tourist, you will need to send us a scanned copy of your passport in pdf format which I will then forward to our agency in Socotra where the visa will be issued.

Yemen is one of several Arab League countries that takes part in the boycott of travel to Israel.

If you have any Israeli visas, passport stamps, arrival/departure cards, or Egyptian or Jordanian stamps issued on a border with Israel, you may be deported from Yemen. However, I was informed that stamps from Israel shouldn’t be an issue when travelling to Socotra but it’s not a guarantee so it’s at your own risk.

All passport holders of Israel, Turkey, & Iran are not allowed to visit Socotra.

Once your visa is issued i will send you a copy, which you need to print and bring with you to show at the counter in Abu Dhabi for the check in for the flight to Socotra. Upon arrival in Socotra you will be given your original visa.

I recommend to book your flights to Abu Dhabi one day prior to departure to Socotra and one day after the return from Socotra.

Flights should not be booked until you have a confirmed ticket issued from my agency. Socotra is limited to 2000 visitiors per year so flights are very fast sold out and we have no guarentee.


For non u.s citizens once you have visited Yemen and have a stamp on your passport, you wont be able to apply for an ESTA application to the USA, instead you will have to apply for a regular tourist visa which can cost much more.

Equipment Requirements

·      DSLR or Mirrorless Camera

·      Sturdy Tripod (Rental is availble)

·      Remote shutter release Cable

·      Wide angle lens f-stop (f1.4-f2.8) Preferably

·      Hiking Boots, Sandals, Swim suit

·      Warm clothing

·      Additional Batteries & Memory Cards

·      lens cloth & Blower for dust

·      power converter for the car for charging your cameras and phones & any additional electronics

Refund & cancellation policy

If a participant decides to cancel their reservation, they can do so at any time by communicating it as soon as possible to the official email address of the organisers and

· However, you should keep in mind that the cancellation by a participant would create management difficulties in bookings as well as the risk of not reaching the minimum number of participants for the trip (and consequently the need to search for a new person).

Also the deposit is directly used to pay for your flights & visa from Abu Dhabi to Socotra Return which is non refundable.

For this reasons:

·  If the cancellation request is submitted at any time after the deposit was paid, you may not receive a refund of the deposit due to pre paid flights & Visa.

· If the cancellation request is submitted MORE than 90 days (before departure), you may receive a refund for the outstanding amount(anything paid above the deposit) minus the deposit $ 1690 & a 20% administration fee of any OUTSTANDING amount that was paid above the deposit.

·  If the cancellation request is presented LESS than 90 days before departure, it will NOT be possible to receive a refund for the full booking fee & deposit.

Isabella Tabacchi landscape photographer
Dreams and Nature

Isabella Tabacchi
Landscape Photographer

Isabella Tabacchi is an award winning landscape photographer, internationally recognized for her evocative, emotional, and dreamlike photographic style.

She is Hasselblad Heroine, has been part of the Grand Jury of the Hasselblad Masters 2021, received the title of Photographer of the Year in Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA) and several other awards since 2016.

She won the third price in the International Landscape Photographer of the year 2020 and her pictures were selected in the ILPOTY 2022 book.

Isabella is juror in the Epson International Pano Awards and in several other contests like Annual Photo Awards and Canarian Photo Awards.

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