bear with me on this.I have a pal who has just got back from there after spending a long time in the place and I’m waiting for visa info.
Kevin Rushby’s book “Eating the Flowers of Paradise: A Journey Through the Drug Fields of Ethiopia and Yemen” is supposed to be okay.
There has been nearly constant outbreaks of trouble in the Bani-Muadh suburb of the provincial city of Saada,which is roughly 250 kilometers north of the Sanaa.
The Believing Youth group is the local thorn in the side of the govt and was set up by Hussein Badruddin Al-Houthi, who got zapped in a mega-punch up last September.
Government forces have been all over the Al-Shafiaa and Jabal-Ayoob districts of late,lifting dozens of potential ‘problems’ and word has that they have surrounded rebel positions in the Um-Essa and Al-Ruzamat areas.
This is all high altitude,rocky mountain stuff and it’s tough going for the unfit,so be advised.
You’ll need permits to get access to some areas and going north to where the action is could be difficult.The local guides and tour operators which hang around the hotels in the Old City in Sana’a are good for info. The Arabia Felix, Taj Talha and the Golden Dar are their regular haunts these days,I think.