Socotra is one of the most unique places in the world! With other-worldly plant species, surreal scenery and unspoiled lands, there is no doubt that you should travel during the best time to visit Socotra to experience the most value from your trip.
The island of Socotra is situated south of Mainland Yemen between the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. In fact, even though the island is part of Yemen, it’s actually closer to Somalia. It has over 70,000 inhabitants in an area of 3,796 square kilometres. Most of the island is barely inhabited as most of the population lives in the main town of Hadibo next to Socotra Airport.
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What is the Best Time to Visit Socotra?
It’s important to align your visit to Socotra with the appropriate season because there is so much to explore! The climate of Socotra Island has two distinct harsher seasons; cyclone and monsoon. Make sure you don’t find yourself amongst these less forgiving climates!
The following is an overview of the average monthly temperatures and the amount of rainfall...
|Month||High / Low (°C)||Precipitation (mm)||Rainy Days|
|January||26° / 20°||3||3|
|February||26° / 20°||3||1|
|March||28° / 21°||11||1|
|April||30° / 23°||0||1|
|May||33° / 25°||3||0|
|June||32° / 25°||31||1|
|July||31° / 25°||0||0|
|August||31° / 25°||0||0|
|September||31° / 24°||2||1|
|October||29° / 23°||11||3|
|November||28° / 22°||52||8|
|December||27° / 21°||83||5|
Continue reading for a monthly breakdown of the typical weather you could expect on the island…
The first month of the year marks the beginning of the dry season. Rain showers become less frequent, but they leave the island’s landscape well-nourished and lusciously green. The disadvantage of January is that the previous seasons’ rainfall might be evident along the dirt roads as they may have been damaged as a result.
February to March
The months of February and March are the best time to visit Socotra because the weather is generally dry and relatively cool, plus, the seawater is also calmer and clearer. This combination of perfect conditions is great for typical island activities; snorkelling, hiking and camping. As an added bonus, the iconic Bottle Trees also begin to bloom in March, revealing their pretty pink and picturesque flowers.
April to May
Both April and May are still great months to visit the island of Socotra. As April brings warmer temperatures, it also marks the end of the dry season on Socotra. Temperatures could reach up to 38 degrees celsius near the coasts, but the mountainous regions would experience a slight chill during the evenings. The winds will gradually increase, also.
June to August
June, July and August are subject to the island of Socotra’s cyclone season; you could experience strong winds, especially along the north coast. Regardless, flights still operate (albeit with frequent cancellations), but most tour companies do not run trips at this time.
RELATED: THE 13 BEST Things to See on Socotra
September to October
As the island vacates the windy season, it is still somewhat windy, and more so in the north. Typically, there would be no rain and the temperature could still be quite warm. Therefore, the travel season begins on the island once again, starting in October.
November brings a higher chance of rain, although this may only be infrequent and scattered showers. Since the weather is fairly stable at this time, tour companies will still organise trips throughout the month.
December is the wettest month of the year! For context, Socotra can typically receive almost half of its annual rainfall in December alone. Some roads may become impassable and off-roading is likely to be impossible, with snorkelling and trekking conditions not being ideal either. So generally speaking, December is not the best time to visit the island.
When Should I Go To Socotra?
The travel season on the island of Socotra is typically between October and May. Any month other than those can yield difficult living conditions, especially for camping. My preferable time to visit Socotra is between February and May whilst the weather is pleasant; temperatures are not too hot, there will be little rainfall and the sea is generally more calm and clear.
What should you bring? See the Preparation Guide & Packing List.
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