The nature of Socotra in the vicinity of the capital Hadibo

February 2014 - various dates

Socotra island is unique in the world for the beauty of the landscapes and the endemic plants that live on it. Often the amazement begins along the road that connects the airport of Socotra with the capital Hadibo, as well as among the areas close to the capital, where guests can spend the first day of vacation relaxing after the long flight from home.

Socotra
A beautiful bay on the Arabian Sea from the road that connects Socotra airport with Hadibo, the island's capital.

 

Euphorbia arbuscula
Photos of Euphorbia arbuscula. This Euphorbiacea characterized by an arboreal shape, is endemic to the island of Socotra and to the other small islands that are part of the same archipelago. It is a succulent plant without real leaves, where the photosynthesis is guaranteed by the green parts along the tips of the branches.

 

Dendrosicyos socotranus
Two important representatives of the flora in Socotra. On the left, a Dendrosicyos socotranus, a rare endemic tree of Socotra and the only specie belonging to Cucurbitacee family having an arboreal habit (the Cucurbitaceae family is represented by pumpkins and cucumbers, which have very thin stems, usually climbing over tutors). In the photo on the right, an Adenium obesum looks similar to Dendrosicyos, but it's genetically very distant.

 

Leaves of Dendrosicyos socotranus Leaves of Adenium obesum
In these pictures we can see the differences between the leaves of Dendrosicyos socotranus (left picture) and those of Adenium obesum (right picture).

 

Dendrosicyos
Photo of a Dendrosicyos socotranus that, curiously, grows over a large rock without any soil.

 

Hadibo Hadibu
Capital of Socotra
Photos of Hadibo. Once in Hadibo, the capital of Socotra, I find a rather dirty and dusty town, where the waste is often scattered across the roads and where the goats graze among streets and shops.

 

A few kilometers from Hadibo there is a small brackish lagoon, which offers a verdant landscape and, seasonally, the possibility to observe different birds.

 

Pictures of Deleisha beach. This beach is about 20 minutes by car from Hadibo and is the ideal place to relax, maybe the same day you arrive in Socotra or the day before leaving, thanks to its proximity with Hadibo and Socotra airport.

 

Deleisha beach
Picture of Deleisha beach in Socotra.

 

Deleisha beach in Socotra
Socotra Deleisha beach is very long, wide, and offers a beautiful fine sand allowing to hike barefoot for miles.

 

Towards the eastern end of Deleisha beach, there is a beautiful dune built by the violent summer monsoons that pile up the sand along the side of a mountain.

 

Sand dunes
Sea in Socotra
I climb the sand dune for a few meters, to get a more complete view on Deleisha beach.

 

Lobster
The lobster...

 

Cissus in Socotra Cissus
Cissus subaphylla Pictures of Cissus subaphylla. Cissus subaphylla is a succulent plant endemic to the island of Socotra growing almost everywhere on the island at lower altitudes, including some beaches.

 

Crabs
The burrows of crabs.

 

Fossil of coral
The non-sandy areas of Deleisha beach are composed of ancient fossils of coral and other sea creatures.

 

Vulture
The Egyptian vulture is a big scavenger bird widespread in Socotra.

 

Brackish water
Another pond of brackish water near Hadibo offers unusual landscapes which, depending on the season, could accommodate flamingos and other birds.

 

Another popular destination near Hadibo is Dihamri, which literally means "mountains of two colors."

 

The hills around Dihamri are home to a population of beautiful Adenium obesum, which often grow up sheltered in the shade of some rocks.

 

Caralluma socotrana
Another quite common succulent plant in Socotra, is the Caralluma socotrana, a succulent plant belonging to the family of Asclepiadaceae, which, as we will see later, it produces beautiful bright red flowers.

 

Euphorbia spiralis Euphorbia spiralis
Euphorbia spiralis is another Euphorbiacea endemic to the island of Socotra, which consists of dense thorny bushes.





 

Dihamri
Dihamri in Socotra But the main reason for visiting Dihamri is the presence of a beautiful stone beach, where you can snorkel looking for corals and tropical fish.

 

In Dihamri there is also a nice beach with "traditional" fine white sand.

 

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