Travel to Socotra Island - How to Prepare

If you’ve made it here then you’re considering travelling to Socotra, congratulations! The island is a unique land of deserted beaches, incredible flora, welcoming locals and ecological diversity.  But before you travel to Socotra island, what should be in the backpack? 

Electronics & Charging Gear

On a typical Socotra tour you will be camping – wild camping! This means setting up our tents on beaches and grassy plains. There’s no running water, showers, toilets and little or no electricity. 

Sometimes there will be electric generators at the camp sites, but most of the time you’ll be relying on charging from the car cigarette lighter. 

  • You need to pack a power bank – solar powered is good but charging from the car will likely be much faster.
  • Bring many camera batteries.
  • Pack extra SD cards – Socotra is very photogenic and you don’t want to take up battery life by deleting photos.
  • A dry bag is a good idea to keep electronic gear protected from water and dust.


With wild camping also comes some small hygiene issues. Some family campsites have a bucket shower or squat toilet but a lot of the time you need to be prepared to utilize mother nature.

  • Pack biodegradable cleansing wipes to substitute for a shower on certain days.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Small tissues or toilet paper.


Socotris are somewhat used to seeing tourists on the island so average western clothing is totally fine. When in the villages however, it is a good idea that knees and shoulders are covered + hair for the ladies.

  • Bring sturdy trekking shoes and/or sandals.
  • A hat or scarf to protect from the sun.
  • T-shirts and trekking pants are fine to wear.
  • A light jacket for evenings in the mountains and possible rain showers.
Campsite at Detweh Lagoon

Food & Medicine

The food will be a mixture of rice, flatbread, chicken, fish, tomato, honey, cucumber, beans, goat and pasta. 

  • Bring a reusable water bottle. 
  • Always a good idea to carry diarrhea medication like Imodium in this part of the world.


For any personal expenses, bring USD cash to the island. There are no ATMs and credit cards are not accepted.

Be prepared to go offline for the week. The WIFI in Hadiboh is weak and mobile sim cards are not available. A few other items to pack for Socotra;

  • Sunscreen
  • Daypack
  • Microfiber towel
  • Headlamp
  • Flipflops
  • Insect repellent
  • Female hygiene products
  • Environmentally safe soap & shampoo

As you can tell – when you travel to Socotra island one must prepare for how little development and infrastructure awaits. This is one of the highlights of any Socotra tour – you are truly off the beaten path, with no internet and away from it all. Surely the ultimate holiday destination!

Absullah the Caveman