I had to work in Sanaa for a couple of days in April 2007. Warnings about security meant I didn’t venture outside of the city though in hindsight I think Yemen was probably safer than I’d been advised (at least that is what all the locals assured me) and that there are more mammals to be seen than I had thought. I went back in 2010 and it seemed rather more dangerous. But Socotra Island sounds good and if I ever go back I will try to visit there.
One nice species I could have seen quite easily in 2007 were Hamadryas Baboons. At the last minute I tried to arrange a trip to see them but it required an overnight stay and I didn’t have time. They are easily seen at dawn or dusk at somewhere called Burra Mountain, just after Tihama at the edge of the foothills on the road between Hudayda and Sanaa.
I wrote to several local tour operators but got a reply only from Yemen Explorers who knew about the Baboons and were willing to take me, though I didn’t have time in the end.
An interesting country and somewhere to return to if there security risks ever improve.
Yemen and Socotra, 2007: Hugh Buck, 10 days & 5 mammals including a King Jird.
Please email me if you have tips for mammal watching in this area.