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  4. Aldabra Island in the Seychelles : all about relaxation

Aldabra is the most remote territory of the Seychelles state. Distance from Mahe more than a thousand kilometers . This is one of the most unique reserves of the Indian Ocean, where there is nothing from the modern world, but only the wild nature of a green oasis. Aldabra is home to the giant tortoises that are so popular in the Seychelles . You can also see animals in parks on nearby developed islands, but the authenticity of Aldabra has a special charm.

In 1982, Aldabra was listed as a unique wilderness site by UNESCO . It is under strict security, subject to control over activities on the atoll.

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Geography and location

Aldabra is the second largest coral atoll on the planet, after Christmas Island. It is located in the Indian Ocean, 1,150 kilometers west of Mahe and 360 kilometers north of Madagascar. Consists of four main islands: Grande Terre , Malabar , Picard and Polimni , as well as about 2 dozen small islands.

  • Total area: 155.4 km²
  • Lagoon area: 224 km²
  • Length: 34 km
  • Width: 14.5 km
  • Maximum height: up to 8 meters above sea level

Over the past couple of million years, the atoll has sunk into the ocean and reappeared above the surface about six times, which is associated with changes in water levels in the world's oceans, transitions to the ice age and back to warming.


Ebbs and flows on Aldabra

In the huge lagoon, which is ringed by islands, hides the crater of an ancient, long-extinct volcano. It is noteworthy that the composition of the water in the bay differs from the water in the ocean that surrounds the atoll from the outside.

Another feature of the Aldabra Lagoon is that during low tides it practically runs into the ocean, and during high tides it returns. This action has been happening every day for thousands of years. During the day, the lagoon practically turns into a desert, where thousands of birds and turtles, Seychelles crabs and other living creatures roam. Bare-rooted mangrove trees are the main attraction of the sandbanks. Everything changes with the arrival of water. The flora and fauna of the islands have long been adapted to such unusual living conditions.


The underwater world of Aldabra

The waters of the atoll are home to some of the most ancient corals, which are more than 120 thousand years old. The reefs contain an incredible diversity of Indian Ocean fish species. In addition, Aldabra boasts the world's largest population of green turtles.


Flora and fauna of Aldabra

Plants . The island is home to more than 250 species of flowering plants and ferns, some of which are endemic . Mangroves and coconut palms are the main green decorations of Aldabra .

Animals . As for the fauna, a unique species of animals is known all over the world, which are primarily identified with the distant atoll. These are the largest testudo turtles on the planet. gigantea . There are about 150 thousand of them here. Giant tortoises are witnesses of prehistoric times. Animals can reach up to 120 cm in length and weight up to 350 kg. The lifespan of Aldabra tortoises is up to 200 years.

Birds . Here you can observe huge populations of birds. Among them: motley sunbirds of different subspecies, white-eyed bulbuls , doves, foodies, coucals , great flamingos, red-footed boobies and other species.

Aldabra is a paradise for explorers. To this day, the nature of the remote land has not been fully studied. A few expeditions periodically live on the island.


Aldabra for tourists

This place may well become a cherished dream, because getting to Aldabra as a tourist will not be so easy. It is worth noting that among all the uninhabited corners of the Seychelles , Aldabra is the most difficult to reach , taking into account the time it takes to arrange a trip and the financial costs. First of all, you need to obtain permission from the Seychelles Special Environmental Fund , because the island is a nature reserve and a scientific station. This will be far from an excursion in the usual sense of the word. So-called responsible tourism is established here. However, Aldabra attracts with its exclusivity. This is practically the last coral atoll on the planet untouched by civilization.

Visits are strictly limited. Guided tours only, independent walks are prohibited.


How to get to Aldabra

When all the organizational issues and paperwork are over, there is still a road to the atoll. There are two options - by water and by air.

  • By cruise ship or yacht, the journey to Aldabra will take about 2 weeks.
  • By plane only to Assumption Island (30 km from Aldabra ), then by boat.



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