A web site dedicated to the unique island of

Soqotra (Socotra)

Island of the Dragon’s Blood Tree

The Island of Soqotra, as part of the Soqotran Archipelago, lies in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Somalia, about 500 miles southeast of Aden.

For much of the year Soqotra is battered by strong winds and is therefore inaccessible at those times. Consequently little is known of the Island, its people and the environment in which they exist. Why my interest ?

My name is John Farrar and I was fortunate to be a member of a Royal Air Force/Army expedition to the Island in 1964/1965.

The memories of the two months the expedition was on the Island had remained with me throughout the years and I always had a desire to return there.

In 1998 I began to plan my return and in January 2002 those plans were realised. See the Diary of Events

There are three main aspects to this website.

One being the Island as it was during my first visit in 1964/65 and the others as seen through the lens of my camera following two visits in January 2002 and January 2003.

There are also some articles written by those with a keen interest in the Island. Please see the menu links at the top of the pages. If you have an appropriate article I would be pleased to add it to the site.

I welcome any feedback through email or my Guest Book .

Website updated - 27 December 2014
Copyright © 2003. John Farrar. All rights reserved.

This web site is dedicated to the people of Soqotra. They often have to endure poor health, poor diet, and inclement weather.  Yet, they keep smiling.

Urgent Call

Dear friends, colleagues, conservationists and all Socotra lovers,

As you might read in newspaper/watched in TVs what is happening currently in Yemen, the current ongoing fight in mainland Yemen has negatively impacted Socotran inhabitants and soon will surely devastate Socotran’s biodiversity if no actions are taken from the international community towards providing the needs of Socotra.

“Storm Packets” has imposed no-fly zone in the whole Yemen including Socotra. Further, the current fight in Aden and Mukalla has banned all importation of food and fuel to Socotra. Currently we are facing a lack of gas which you definitely know its impact on the biodiversity of Socotra. In addition, the current shortage of food and medicine on Socotra will lead to a catastrophic humanitarian crisis.


Therefore, we seek your urgent help and intervention in providing fuel – particularly gas, medicine and food from Oman which is the nearest point that can supply us with our need.


PS: kindly disseminate this call in media or anywhere else you see appropriate.  

 the impacts will be as a following:

-          Cutting trees which will reduce the total biomass in the archipelago

-          Many trees and shrubs in Socotra are low growing so it will need for many years to recover

-          High consuming of wood materials especially for restaurants

-          Few numbers of trees and shrubs that have good fuel wood which bring more pressure in cutting of few species only which can cause their extinction from the archipelago

-          Many of the trees and shrubs are endemic and that mean many plants will move to endangered categories in IUCN red list.

-          Many plants are difficult to re-grow

-          No budget for reforestation from the government or international organization.

-          Several impacts on soil erosion, habitat destructions and loss of fauna

And finally these will effect on other issues such as

-          The picture of Socotra as natural world heritage site

-          Its negative impact on tourism sector which started to become an important income for the archipelago

-          Its negative impact on the famous Socotri traditions living in harmony with nature

-          Broken the environmental laws and legislations especially the Socotra conservation and development zoning plan

With my sincere greetings to you

Ahmed Saeed Suliman

Chairman of EPA Socotra 

If you would like to offer your help please contact Ahmed Saeed Suliman at this email address


Thank you. John Farrar