Yemen · November 16 - 23 2024

8 Day South Yemen Expedition

Across the Ancient Frankincense Trail

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Overview

Journey along old frankincense trade routes through Central Yemen's Hadhromaut region. Highlights of this once-in-a-lifetime journey include the ethereal Wadi Daw'an and its fairy tale village of Haid al Jazil, the Hadhrami coastal city of Mukalla, exploration of Yemen's mystic heart in Tarim, the lovely palaces of Seiyun, and the enigmatic ancient mudbrick city of Shibam.

Highlights

Daybreak at Haid al Jazil

Daybreak at Haid al Jazil

Catch an unforgettable sunrise over the beautiful hamlet of Haid al Jazil, perched in Wadi Daw'an.

Ambling the Living Museum of Shibam

Ambling the Living Museum of Shibam

Experience the magic of wandering the narrow pathways in the ancient labyrinth famously known as the 'Manhatten of Arabia'.

Shop the Souks and Learn About Sufism

Shop the Souks and Learn About Sufism

Tarim is largely Yemen's Sufi hub, giving us the opportunity to learn a bit more about Sufism and mysticism.

Explore Beautiful Palaces

Explore Beautiful Palaces

The Hadhromaut region is scattered with beautiful palaces that we'll have the opportunity to visit in Wadi Daw'an and Seiyun.

Itinerary

Previous

Next

WadiHadhramautYemen

Cairo | Seiyun

Day 1

Board your flight from Cairo in the morning, arriving in Seiyun in the mid-afternoon. Once you have cleared immigration and customs you will be taken to your hotel for the evening. 

Included

Dinner

HawfAlMahrahYemen

Seiyun | Mukalla

Day 2

Today you will begin the journey from Seiyun to the coastal Hadhromaut city of Mukalla, making scenic stops en route. 

After reaching Mukalla, we'll break for lunch before setting out to explore a bit of the city in the late afternoon.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

SurfeetAlMahrahYemen

Mukalla

Day 3

Today we will explore the Old Town of Mukalla, Mukalla Souk, and the beautiful Khoor Mukalla.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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Mukalla | Wadi Daw'an

Day 4

Departing Mukalla in the early morning, we'll make way for one of Yemen's most beguiling and beautiful destinations- the ethereal Haid al Jazil of Wadi Daw'an. This stunning stretch of the canyon will be our home for the next two nights.

After having lunch at Haid al Jazil and taking in the views, we'll head over to the colorfully painted Buqshan Palace and the stunning little hamlet of Hawfa nearby.

We'll return to Haid al Jazil for sunset and to relax for the evening.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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Wadi Daw'an

Day 5

After breakfast, we will drive a short distance from our hotel and begin our trek down to Hawfa village in Wadi Daw'an. 

The one hour trek meanders down the wall of the canyon, offering stunning views of the mesa-like village of Haid al Jazil sat atop a prominence.

Our vehicles will meet us in Hawfa, from where we will continue onto the teetering fortress of Qarn Majid, in addition to visiting the villages of Rihab and al Kharaiba.

Once again, we will return to Haid al Jazil in the late afternoon.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

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Wadi Daw'an | Hawta

Day 6

Saying our goodbyes to Haid al Jazil, today we make way for Hawta, making stops along Wadi Dawa'an along the way- including the picturesque villages of Hajarain and Sif.

In the later afternoon, we will drive over to the famed city of Shibam, known as the "Manhattan of Arabia". 

After taking some time to meander through the maze-like streets of Shibam, we'll make a walk up to a stunning viewpoint over the city and stay there until the sunset call to prayer. 

As the sun sets, we'll walk back down to our vehicles and continue onto Hawta for the night.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

TarimYemen

Hawta | Seiyun | Tarim

Day 7

Today we depart Hawta toward the Sufi center of Tarim. 

En route, we'll stop off in Seiyun to visit the Sultan al Kathiri Palace Museum, al Handhal traditional market, and Alfalas before breaking for lunch in Seiyun.

Following lunch, we'll make a stop for the Aynat Shrine before reaching Tarim.

Tarim is a stunning desert city, home to several madrasas, serving as Yemen's Sufi center. In the afternoon, we'll take some time to explore the town, the Tarim Souk, and the blinding white al Mihdar Mosque.

We will return to Hawta for the evening once again.

Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

TarimYemen2

Hawta | Seiyun | Cairo

Day 8

We'll make an early departure from Hawta to Seiyun today after a quick breakfast to catch our flight out of Seiyun and on to Cairo. 

Included

Breakfast

What's included

What's Included

English speaking guide

Driver and transportation

Meals as noted on itinerary

Yemeni visa fee

Permits and security clearances

Entrance fees

Accommodation based on double occupancy (option for single supplement available)

Flights in and out of Yemen

Travel insurance

Personal spending

Tips for local staff

Hosts

Nicole Smoot

Nicole Smoot

Expedition Lead


Despite being born and raised in the mountains of Alaska with plenty of backyard adventures that could have kept her busy for a lifetime, the unusual dragon blood trees of Socotra, the truly bizarre landscapes of Iran’s far-flung Sistan and Balochistan Province, the gingerbread-house-like architecture of Sana’a, and the dazzling turquoise lakes of Tajikistan’s Fann Mountains lured Nicole to the other side of the planet and on to get to know these locations extremely well. 

the.adventures.of.nicole

Next Departures

8 Day South Yemen Expedition

8 Day South Yemen Expedition

FROM$3,675.00/pp

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Extras & Options

Single supplement

Single supplement

Opt for a private room in South Yemen. Subject to availability.

FROM$525.00/pp

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FAQs

The security situation in the Hadhramaut region has remained relatively stable over the past few years. Of course, there are risks involved with traveling in Mainland Yemen, but we work with an experienced team who carefully mitigates the risks of travel in Yemen. Our team receives routine security reports for the areas we will visit on the mainland and will alter the itinerary as they see fit to keep the group safe. 

This 8 Day South Yemen Expedition will begin by catching a flight from Cairo to Seiyun. The trip ends in Seiyun with us catching a flight from Seiyun back to Cairo.

Yemenia provides a flight from Cairo to Seiyun on Saturdays, however, it isn't possible to book this ticket online as it is a charter flight. Get in contact and we will facilitate the booking process. 

Nearly all nationalities require a Yemeni visa in order to visit. We will handle the Yemeni visa process for you. All we need is a scan of your passport info page. We will apply for your visa and once it is approved we will send you a document of visa approval. This visa approval document should be printed and brought with you to the airport in order to board your flight to Seiyun. On arrival in Seiyun, this document will be exchanged for a stamp in your passport. We will need approximately 3 weeks to get your visa secured for you. 


Additionally, you will need security clearance for traveling in Mainland Yemen. We will attain this document for you.

To join any Safar Expeditions departure you will need to carry an active travel insurance plan. Be aware that Yemen's remote nature and limited medical facilities pose very real challenges in the event of medical emergencies and serious illness. Because of this, it is recommended to select an insurance plan that covers both medical care and evacuation. 


We recommend using IATI travel insurance for medical coverage and an evacuation plan from Global Rescue. Prescriptions and even some over-the-counter medications can be difficult to find in Yemen, so make sure to bring any meds you need or may need with you.

Officially the Yemeni Rial is the currency used in Yemen. Note that the Yemeni Rial is quite volatile to fluctuations. The Rial can vary between 500-1500 Rial to the US dollar. 


There are simple money exchange offices in Seiyun where money can be exchanged for Yemeni Rials. US dollars seem to net the best rates and bills must be new and crisp without any markings, folds, tears, etc. You may want to exchange a small amount into Rials on arrival for smaller purchases. 


Credit cards are not accepted anywhere.

Yes, we do provide a suggested packing list and preparation guide for our Yemen expeditions that can be viewed here

The cuisine in South Yemen is flavorful and delicious. You can expect meat dishes along the way such as chicken, goat, and camel, and fresh seafood in coastal areas. Typically meals are accompanied by a simple salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and yogurt. Rice and bean dishes are common sides served at lunch and dinner, and no Yemeni meal would be complete without flatbread and shai (tea). 


Please let us know of any dietary restrictions or allergies in advance so that we can accommodate your needs. 

Yemeni society is very conservative. While in Mainland Yemen you will need to dress in local garb for security purposes. 


For men, this means long trousers and shirts that cover the shoulders, or even better the Yemeni traditional outfit of a fouta (a sarong-like fabric wrapped like a skirt) and a button-down shirt. Foutas can be purchased on arrival in Seiyun.


Women visiting Mainland Yemen are expected to be fully covered while in public, even foreigners. Black abayas and hijabs are required while we are out, and in certain areas, you may be expected to wear a niqab. 

Yemen Mobile has coverage in the Hadhramaut region and SIM cards can be purchased by foreigners in Seiyun. Most foreign mobile companies do not have a relationship with Yemen Mobile, so your home plan likely will not work.


In Mainland Yemen, we will have electricity each evening but note that rolling blackouts aren't unheard of.

Alcohol and illicit substances are not allowed in Yemen. Drones are not allowed into Mainland Yemen without obtaining a media permit that includes a drone on your gear list. This must be arranged well in advance of arrival and will incur an additional cost.

Yemen forbids all Israeli nationals, people born in Israel, and any traveler with proof of travel to Israel in their passports (including border stamps from Egypt and Jordan) from entering the country. 

While some of the distances covered on this South Yemen itinerary aren't long, road trips in Yemen are slow going owing to rough roads, checkpoints, and roadblocks. You can expect drive times to vary between most destinations on our itinerary between 1-5 hours but are always subject to delays.

While some of the distances covered on this South Yemen itinerary aren't long, road trips in Yemen are slow going owing to rough roads, checkpoints, and roadblocks. You can expect drive times to vary between most destinations on our itinerary between 1-5 hours but are always subject to delays.

Yes, a minimum of 4 passengers will need to be on this expedition in order to run. If the minimum isn't reached, we will contact you about the potential to still operate the trip but at an additional charge or you will be given the option to cancel and your deposit/payment can either be returned to you or applied toward a different expedition of your choosing.

8 Day South Yemen Expedition

Yemen · November 16 - 23 2024 · 7 nights

FROM$3,675.00/pp

ENQUIRE