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Aldabra Islands, Seychelles

The Aldabra group of islands lie in the outer islands of the Seychelles, in the most remote part of the chain. Here in the Aldabra Group you will find the largest raised coral atoll. It's 34 km long, running east to west, and it has been named a World Heritage Site by Unesco. There are four main islands in the atoll, surrouding a tidal lagoon. It's the Aldabra Atoll, and the whole Aldabra area is managed by the Seychelles Island Foundation, out of Victoria, the capital of The Seychelles. There are over 100,000 giant tortoises here, which may make it one of the most interesting spots in all of the Seychelles, especially for nature-lovers on vacation here. Along with the giant tortoises, visitors will find turtles, migratory birds, frigate birds by the thousands, giant crabs, and the white-throated rail. The white-throated rail is a flightless bird, and flightless birds are highly rare in the Indian Ocean. In fact, the white-throated rail is the only species left in the Indian Ocean area.

Visiting the Aldabra Group of Islands

If you want to see the giant Aldabra Atoll and the giant tortoises and the migratory birds here, you have to get written permission from the Seychelles Island Foundation in Victoria. In the past, only scientists and handfuls of tourists bothered to visit this part of The Seychelles Islands, but the demand is growing, along with ecotourism, and the Seychellois government is now considering building some small chalets and lodges for overnight guests on the islands. The islands will still be accessible only by boat, since no airstrips will be built, so it is hoped that these Aldabra Islands will remain protected and tourism will be developed only along strict environmental guidelines for preservation of natural resources.

Getting There

The nearest airstrip is 17 miles away on Assomption Island. You have to take a boat to the Aldabra Islands Group. There is a government supply ship that visits the Aldabra Islands every few months, and you can try and get passage on this. Ask the Seychelles Island Foundation how you can get a ride on this ship. There's a tour company that runs the Indian Ocean Explorer, but you have to commit to two weeks for this voyage...one week to get there, one week cruising around the islands, and then fly back from Assomption Island. You can shorten the cruise by flying both ways, meeting the boat just for the cruising around the islands part, if you like. These trips run November and December, then from March to May only.

Aldabra Islands || Amirantes & Alphonse Islands || Bird Island || Denis Island || Felicite Island || La Digue || Mahe || North Island || Praslin ||

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