Any Americans Been To Socotra Recently(9/12)? Is It Safe?
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Oct 12, 2012 9:44 PM Last Post By: fluffy_bunny
Sep 30, 2012 8:24 PM
Any Americans Been To Socotra Recently(9/12)? Is It Safe?I am an American female who is very interested in visiting Socotra next month, but given the recent unrest and shaky relationship between the US and Yemen, I am wary. I understand they are not giving out any Yemen visas in the U.S. either. Has anyone been there recently, and is it safe to travel there? Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.
Sep 30, 2012 9:20 PM
1The thing is nobody really goes to Socotra during the summer (June-September) as there are sustained gale force winds. So you are unlikely to find someone who has been there that recently. I (a Canadian) live in Sana'a, i have been to Socotra, i have a number of friends who have and i'm going again in November.
"Shaky relationship?" Clearly someone uses CNN as a travel guide. Firstly, the "muslim Rage" crap posted all over western media is just that, crap!. But even if it were true, Socotra is so far removed from the events on the mainland. There has never been an attack of foreigners on the island. They have even petitioned for more autonomy to support the only industry, tourism. They have been granted an immigration station so travellers no longer have to disembark in Sana'a or Mukalla.
Oct 1, 2012 5:41 AM
2Thank you for your reply. No, I don't use CNN as a travel guide. I don't even watch CNN. However, the ONLY news we get here in the U.S. regarding Yemen is the negative stuff, and a friend of mine at the Yemen embassy told us that they have stopped issuing visas to U.S. citizens. I know the media exaggerates a great deal which is why I posted the question. I don't know if the U.S. travel.gov site is considered "media", but it also posts travel warnings to Yemen. I am not sure if Yemen views Canadian passports the way they would U.S. passports. Someone (a blogger) recently posted that they were secretly building a military base on Socotra. Not sure where he got that information from. Maybe CNN.
Hope it's not true.
Anyway, I am glad to hear that it is safe to go. Also, thanks for letting me know that summer is not a good time to visit.
Oct 1, 2012 6:30 AM
3That's not true. Socotra is a small island, you can't build anything "secret" there. What is true is the airport on Socotra has been used for US jets, but that hardly makes it a secret base.
Furthermore, I have 2 American staff members here in Sana'a. Although understandably work visas have nothing to do with tourist visas. That said, hardly any embassies around the world (not just the Americans) are issuing tourist visas to independent tourists. The vast majority of travellers who come here (dare i say all) have to use a tour agency. The tour agency arranges for visa on arrival at the airport meaning you neither have to visit nor mail anything to an embassy.
So it has absolutely NOTHING to do with being American.
Oct 6, 2012 5:45 AM
Oct 11, 2012 2:29 PM
5I am glad that this beautiful spot on this earth is safe for travel. I've already booked my flights to Sanna and then straight to Socotra late December so I hope that the situation stays as it is. The media are to inform you about bad stuff and it only put people off making up mind whether to go or not.
Could I ask anyone to update us if the situation start getting dodgy please?
Oct 11, 2012 3:17 PM
Oct 11, 2012 11:51 PM
7#6, let's clarify that statement. The employee was a local, not an American. He was not killed at the embassy, but at the other end of town. And Houthis are being blamed by the local media, not al-Qaeda.
Oct 12, 2012 6:10 AM
Oct 12, 2012 9:23 PM
9Let's not talk about what is going on in Yemen. I guess the island is too isolated to be affected by whatever is happening in the mainland.
People are travelling there and coming back safely with unbelievable experiencies. If there is any evidence or if there is any incident reported that actually happened on Socotra then I will have concern about the safety.
If I am here totally wrong please correct me.
Oct 12, 2012 9:44 PM
10No, you're not wrong. Not only is the island isolated from the issues on the mainland, but the Socotri people realize that tourism is the lifeblood of the island. They would never do anything to jeopardize that.
Actually, they want to distance themselves so much, there have been pleas for more autonomy. And to some extent, they've received it. The airport on Socotra can now deal directly with immigration as opposed to making travellers go through immigration on the mainland, before flying to Socotra.
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