Day tour to Socotra in the wadi Druher canyon and Amak beach
18 February 2014
Tour in Socotra to wadi Druher, a deep canyon very picturesque hosting at its bottom a natural pool of emerald water where you can wash and swim. The canyon walls are home to thousands of blooming Adenium obesum, Dendrosicyos trees and other rare succulent plants. The day tour ends with a stroll among the low dunes of Oamak, before an overnight in a tent.
Wadi Druher is a deep canyon that cuts through the central mountain range of Socotra and is interesting for its spectacular landscape that includes natural water pools, palm trees and a variety of succulent plants.
Pictures of wadi Druher with its palm trees that grow along the banks of the river in the bottom of the canyon, where there is also a beautiful natural pool.
The natural pool in wadi Druher is safe for swimming and is characterized by emerald green waters of the maximum depth of about 2 meters (which, however, varies with the season and the rainfall of the previous months).
Adenium obesum in full bloom from wadi Druher canyon.
Some Adenium obesum
present along the canyon walls in wadi Druher. The Adenium obesum
is also found in East Africa and in some regions of the Arabian Peninsula, but in Socotra it reaches a size out of the ordinary, thus deserving the classification into a dedicated subspecie (Adenium obesum
A young Adenium obesum
growing up in a small crevice in the rocks.
The upper part of the canyon is home to a large population of Adenium obesum
and Dracena cinnabari
A lonely Adenium obesum
growing on a rocky wall of the canyon. In the distance, the forest of Firmin where there are thousands of Dracena cinnabari
Pictures of Dendrosicyos socotranus
. Along the walls of the Wadi Druher canyon, I observe numerous Dendrosicyos socotranus
, an unusual member of Cucurbitaceae
family (then close relative of pumpkings and cucumbers) that, differently from the other plants belonging to the same family, it looks like a tree. The trunk is succulent and is used to store water to be used during the drought periods that characterize Socotra.
More pictures of Dendrosicyos socotranus
. The genus Dendrosicyos
includes only Dendrosicyos socotranus
and is endemic to the island of Socotra (apart from the collections of a few fans and some botanical garden, this plant is not found in any other part of the world). The IUCN, the international organization for the conservation of nature, classifies the Dendrosicyos socotranus
as "vulnerable", because threatened by grazing and other human activities that affect its modest area of distribution, worldwide limited to only a few locations on the island of Socotra.
Some Adenium obesum
growing over a vertical rock wall.
A common shrub in Socotra used locally as a medicinal plant, to disinfect wounds and facilitate blood clotting.
Pictures of Caralluma socotrana
. The Caralluma socotrana
is a succulent plant belonging to Asclepiads family, found in Socotra to lower elevations.
Photo of Aloe in Socotra.
Photo of Egyptian vultures, a scavenger bird widespread in Socotra, which often approaches the camps in hopes of finding a few scraps of food.
A lizard very common in Socotra.
After a nice hike in Wadi Druher, I take the road towards the south coast of Socotra, through vast meadows full of Adenium obesum socotranum
Pictures of Adenium obesum socotranum
Approaching the southern coast of Socotra, I see several camels.
It finally reach Amak (or Oamak) beach, where I can see a large number of crab's burrows dug in the sand as fine as talcum powder.
Amak beach, like other sandy areas of Socotra, is home to numerous Limonium sokotranum, yet another example of botanical endemism of Socotra, this time represented by a low bush with succulent leaves.
The wide and beautiful beach of Amak in Socotra.
Oamak beach in Socotra has small sand dunes created by wind.