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  4. Aride Island in the Seychelles: All You Need to Know

Aride​​ Island - a tropical corner, one of the most unique on Seychelles . Since 1975, it has been a protected area, and since 2004, Aride has been under the management of the Islands Conservation Society. No more than 10 people permanently live on it. These are the reserve employees who protect and preserve the natural heritage of the unique wild island. You can only get here on a guided tour. There is no usual resort infrastructure on Aride, but there is tropical nature, wild landscapes, a clear ocean and numerous populations of all kinds of birds.

General characteristics:

  • It is part of the North-East group of the Inner Seychelles Islands.
  • Area: 68 hectares.
  • Length: 1.6 km.
  • Width: 600 m.
  • Highest point: 135 m.
  • The northernmost granite island of Seychelles .
  • Location: 10 km north of Praslin .


History and name of the island

Aride received its current name in 1768, on the day Marion’s expedition landed on its coast. Dufresne . In translation, Aride means “dry,” which is true, because there is no running water on the island. In 1868, Aride was visited by the Irish botanist and zoologist Edward Percival Wright, in whose honor the local endangered skink and the unique gardenia, which grows only here, were named. It is noteworthy that before Aride became a reserve, it was privately owned. English industrialist Christopher Cadbury bought the island for the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature.

Works of several decades on the study of Aride are collected in the book " Aride Island , Tread Lightly ", published in 2018.


Flora and fauna

Aride is the island of birds. There are more of them here than on the 40 other granite islands of the Seychelles combined. Among the birds, there is the largest population of roseate mallards and frigatebirds in the Seychelles , and the largest number of thin-billed mallards and petrels in the world. The island is also home to Seychelles blue pigeons and sunbirds . The fauna is not so rich: several varieties of geckos , snakes and skinks . Green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles lay their eggs on the coasts of Aride .

The most unusual plant of Aride is Wright's gardenia. On other Seychelles islands it disappeared for unknown reasons. It is considered the most beautiful flower of the archipelago. Gardenia blooms twice a year and has an intoxicating aroma reminiscent of mimosa.

The underwater world of the reefs around Aride is very impressive. The ecosystem includes more than 400 species of fish, including pelagic ones, 300 varieties of mollusks, about 30 corals of different shapes and colors, humpback whales and several species of dolphins.


Excursions to Aride

The island is regularly visited by eco-tourists, naturalists and ornithologists from around the world. The landscapes of Aride fascinate with their pristine nature. The rangers offer a walk through rolling landscapes and coastal forests, during which you will enjoy only the sounds of wildlife and a variety of birds. You are not allowed to explore the island on your own.

Tour duration : up to 7 hours.

Boat departure to Aride from Cote beach D'or in the north of Praslin. The cost of the excursion is from 30 to 50 euros per person. This usually includes transfer and a guided walk. Some tour operators offer lunch or barbecue on the beach and refreshments during the trip. Such a trip, accordingly, will cost more.

The trip must be booked in advance, a couple of days in advance. From May to September, tours to Aride may be canceled due to southeast trade winds and high surf.


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