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Exploring caves

Socotra has many caves, more than 50 (Samha, Qa’ra, Motol Gharba, Asra Election, De hasie, De Gizaigiz, Saba’ Jamjahm, Gailah, Dagub…)  but one of the biggest and the most famous is Hoq cave.

Hoq cave:  Hoq Cave was the first cave to be surveyed by the Belgian Socotra Karst Project-team (SKP) in December 2000-January 2001, initiated by the geologist Peter De Geest. This discovery was the start of a complete cave inventory study of Socotra Island by the SKP-team providing detailed information concerning the islands geodiversity, biodiversity, climatic and human history. We now know that the Socotra cave-systems offer us big fresh water possibilities, eco-touristic assets and refugees for unique endemic fauna. 

Together with SCDP, EPA and SES Hoq cave is a protected area under the law. Hoq cave offers an overwhelming beauty and variety of crystal decorations, like the huge hundreds of thousand year old speleothems (stalagmites, stalactites, calcite floors, etc…). To conserve the cave for future generations a pathway has been constructed that leads to a nice water basin. Here the tour stops. The end of the cave is still under study for future archaeological investigations. Thanks to the efforts of many international researchers we know that around the first centuries AD, people from east Africa, the Arabian mainland, west India, up to Palmyra (today Syria) visited this cave, sailing the trade routes between the 2 continents. Because of the fragility and sensibility of this part of the cave, only scientists are allowed to visit this part under strict protective conditions. For more information contact the website www.speleo.be/socotraHoq

Hoq cave is a more than 3km long unique cave system which offers a stunning inside view of the secret world of the caves. After a walk of about one hour through some magnificent scenery, ascending 350m, you reach the mouth of the cave. A well trained team will guide you through the crystal wonders of nature during an easy, approximate 2 hours long underground visit. The temperature is constant during the year and varies between 25-27°C, while the humidity is higher than 95%.

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Map of Hoq Cave: