All travellers will require a visa to enter Yemen. However at the moment few embassies issue visas. We obtain the visa for you, and to facilitate this you need to send us a scanned colour copy of your passport. We then send you the scanned visa approval which you must print and take with you when you travel. Then, when you arrive, the physical visa is issued in your passport. Entry to Yemen will not be allowed if you have evidence in your passport of a trip to Israel, even if you have a visa for Yemen. This includes not just Israeli border stamps but stamps issued by the Egyptian and Jordanian authorities at borders with Israel. Visa regulations can change however and so we recommend that you contact your nearest embassy for the most up to date information.
Health and vaccinations
We are not medically qualified and so we recommend that you speak to your doctor or nearest health professional for advice concerning recommended vaccinations. For more advice on vaccinations you can also visit www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.
It is a condition of joining our tours that you have suitable travel insurance in place, and we cannot accept travellers without insurance. All policies differ in terms of what they will cover, but as a minimum you need medical and health cover which will cover you for the whole time that you are away. Most policies will also include cancellation cover, which will cover you if an unforeseen circumstance obliges you to cancel your trip. We recommend that you obtain your insurance as soon as you book your trip.
Please note that government travel warnings often affect the validity of your travel insurance, and you should check this with your insurance company
The local currency in Yemen is the Yemeni riyal. It is best to bring US dollars for exchange purposes and these should have an issue date of 2006 or later, otherwise you may find it difficult to exchange them.
It’s not difficult to change money in Yemen, either at banks or the hotels and your guide can assist with this. However on Socotra it is more challenging – you need to either change money at Sana’a airport or in Hadiboo when you arrive. Yemen is very much a cash society – credit cards are not widely accepted, and there are few ATMs
When travelling to some of the destinations we offer you need to bear in mind that things won’t always work here as we’re used to them working at home. Travelling in underdeveloped and untouristed destinations requires both patience and a sense of humour. There may be problems with infrastructure, attitudes may be different, and maintenance may not be as high a standard as we would always like, but this is very much part and parcel of travelling in such a place. We aim to resolve any issues as quickly as possible, and thank you for your patience.
Please be aware that Socotra only really started to receive tourists from around 2006, and even now numbers are very small. This means that most Socotris are not particularly used to tourism, and while not unfriendly, can be rather reserved. Generally speaking, local people don’t appreciate the sort of casual exploration of their villages that is common in many parts of Africa, for example – your guide and driver, being sensitive to this, won’t generally promote village visits.
We keep a very close eye on the travel advice issued by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office so that we can keep you up to date with any warnings. At the time of writing the FCO advises against travel to all parts of Yemen, including Socotra.
Should you have any concerns over safety please do not hesitate to contact us and we can address your concerns. Socotra is isolated from mainland Yemen by several hundred kilometres of sea and does not experience the same problems although is usually not differentiated (rather unfairly, in our eyes) by government advisories. Socotra is a rural society that is quite different from the mainland in terms of social issues. We work very closely with our local team and are fully confident that we can operate tours safely in Socotra.
This relates to advice from the British government – other nationalities need to check the stance of their own governments.