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.

Druher Wadi
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.
wadi Druher
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.
Natural pool in Socotra

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).
Flowers of Adenium
Adenium obesum in full bloom from wadi Druher canyon.
Adenium obesum socotranum Adenium obesum

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 subsp. socotranum)
Young 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.
Dendrosicyos socotranus
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.
Caralluma socotrana
Photo of Aloe in Socotra.
Scavenger bird Egyptian vulture
Photo of Egyptian vultures, a scavenger bird widespread in Socotra, which often approaches the camps in hopes of finding a few scraps of food.
Lizard in Socotra
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 in bloom.
Approaching the southern coast of Socotra, I see several camels.
Crab den Crab dens
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.
Limonium sokotranum
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.
Amak beach
Amak Socotra Oamak
Oamak beach in Socotra has small sand dunes created by wind.
"The Pattern"

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