ADEN, Yemen — The Yemeni island of Socotra offers diverse and unique scenery. It is a place where history and culture meet in a magnificent natural setting with high levels of biodiversity. The island is home to a rich flora and fauna that includes rare species of birds not found anywhere else in the world.
The island’s geographic location has a strategic importance. Located on the international sea lane that links the Indian Ocean to the Arabian Sea through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and just 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the southern shores of Yemen, the island grabbed the attention of colonial states. It was occupied by Portugal from 1507 until 1511 and by Britain from 1886 to 1967, along with other cities in south Yemen.