Hoq Cave

Useful Information

Location: Northeast side of Socotra Island, about 5 km from the coast. (12°35'11.58"N, 054°21'15.44"E)
Open: after appointment [2006]
Fee: yes [2006]
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: headlamps provided.
Dimension: A=350 m asl, L=3,000 m.
Guided tours: L=2,500 m.
Bibliography: (): Soqotra Karst Project (Yemen) 2000-2004, BHB Band 20, pp 21 & 66
P. Weygoldt, H. Pohl (2002): Arabian whip spiders: four new species of the genera Charinus and Phrynichus (Chelicerata: Amblypygi) from Oman and Socotra, Fauna of Arabia, 19: 289-309.
P. De Geest, S. Verheyden, E. Keppens (2002): Explorative karstological research on the island Soqotra (Yemen), Journe?es 2002 de Spéléologie Scientifique, Ferme du Dry Hamptay - Han-sur-Lesse, Belgique, 2002. (Poster abstract)
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1999 UNDP-GEF expedition.


Hoq Cave is a sort of semi wild show cave. Explored by the Belgian Soqotra Karst Project, it became famous among cavers, scientists, and tourists. In order to protect the cave, the Belgian cavers laid a path through 2,500 m of the cave. They also trained local villagers to guide visitors. The idea was to protect the cave by offering the locals a living and teach them about the dangers. So they are aware how to protect the cave and they are motivated because they want to protect their business.

There have been various expeditions during the last decade to this cave. Most of them concentrated on the content of the cave, like archaeological remains, troglobionts or climatologic research with speleothems. There were the Belgian caving expeditions which concentrated on the speleologic aspects.

The cave has a huge main passage running WNW-ESE, with a mean width of 50 m and a mean height of 20 m. Two side galleries are oriented WSW-ENE. The huge passages are fulll of speleothems. There are stalagmites of all sizes, between some centimeters and

Hoq Cave is one of the most ancient metropolitan cave sites of the Middle East. The archaeological remains are impressive. There are also numerous endemic troglobionts living in the cave. Hoq Cave is the type locality of several invertebrates, among them the Whip Scorpions.