Socotra Caves – HOQ Caves in Socotra

Socotra Hoq Cave:


socotra caves - hoq cave in socotra

Hoq Cave was the first among Socotra caves surveyed by the Belgian Socotra Karst Project team (SKP) in December 2000-January 2001, initiated by the geologist Peter De Geest. This discovery started a complete cave inventory study of Socotra Island by the SKP team, providing detailed information concerning the island’s geodiversity, biodiversity, climatic and human history. We now know that the Socotra cave systems offer big freshwater possibilities, eco-touristic assets and refugees for unique endemic fauna. With SCDP, EPA and SES, Hoq cave is a protected area under the law.

What to see

Hoq cave offers an overwhelming beauty and variety of crystal decorations, like the vast hundreds of thousand-year-old speleothems (stalagmites, stalactites, calcite floors, etc.). A pathway has been constructed (to conserve the cave for future generations) that leads to an excellent 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, and west India, up to Palmyra (today Syria), visited this cave, sailing the trade routes between the two 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, visit the official Socotra website


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%.

Cave map

socotra caves map

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