Photographs by Jamie Hawkesworth

Politically a part of the war-torn country of Yemen while geographically a part of Africa, everything about the archipelago of Socotra is unique. The island’s ecosystem is teeming with remarkable wildlife populations that include 700 endemic species, like the prehistoric-looking dragon’s blood trees.


Caught in a tug-of-war between the Yemeni government and the United Arab Emirates, the mythic “Galapagos of the Middle East” finds itself at a particularly interesting (and difficult to reach) latitude. Since war broke out in Yemen in 2015, Socotra has existed largely in isolation from the rest of the world—until recently. From the ineffable flora and fauna to the cerulean and crimson colored sunsets, see for yourself what makes Socotra unlike anywhere else on Earth.

12°27′48.3120″ N, 53°49′25.4568″ E
Socotra, Yemen