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Aride Island

Duration: Half Day

aride island

A holiday in The Seychelles conjures up images of paradise – powdery white-sand beaches, swaying palms and sparkling, crystal clear waters. Scattered like jewels in the middle of the Indian Ocean, stretching from the East coast of Africa to India, this beautiful archipelago comprises over 100 granite and coral islands. The main islands are the only granitic islands in the world, which is why the rock formations are so unique.

This tour of Aride Island, one of the most beautiful and unspoilt granitic islands in The Seychelles, hosts some of the region’s most spectacular wildlife. Aride is actually a nature reserve, leased and managed by the Island Conservation Society of Seychelles, and uninhabited aside from a few conservation workers. The island is a sanctuary for one of the most important seabird populations in the Indian Ocean, providing a vital habitat and breeding site for over a million birds. These include the world’s only hilltop colony of Sooty Terns, the Indian Ocean’s largest colony of Roseate Terns, the world's largest colonies of Lesser Noddies and Audubon's Shearwaters, and what is believed to be the world’s largest colony of White-tailed Tropicbirds. Large numbers of breeding Brown Noddies can also be found here, as well as Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Fairy Terns and several pairs of Red-tailed Tropicbirds, which only breed on Aride Island.

Eighteen species of native birds breed on Aride Island, including five which are found only in The Seychelles. The world’s largest population of Seychelles Warbler can be found here, as well as a smaller population of the endangered Seychelles Magpie-Robin. Other species include the Seychelles Fody, the Seychelles Blue Pigeon and the Seychelles Sunbird.You can gain spectacular views of these beautiful bird colonies from the high granite cliffs. This is also an excellent vantage point for seeing the frigate birds flying close, soaring past you at eye level.

From its name, you would think Aride is a dry island, but there is lush vegetation here that attracts many exotic wildlife species. Although the majority of the island is granite, forming steep cliffs on the north side, Aride is largely covered in lush, native woodland, which includes the indigenous species Wright's Gardenia. This rare shrub has white, trumpet-shaped, scented flowers, and is one of most beautiful plants in The Seychelles. It doesn’t grow naturally anywhere else in the world.

Aside from seabirds, Aride Island is an important habitat for many other wildlife species, including numerous reptiles and the world’s highest density of lizards. Aride Island’s nature reserve also includes 200m of surrounding seas, which protect a beautiful coral reef and an abundance of marine life. Over 400 species of fish can be found in the local waters. Green Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles also regularly nest on Aride’s tranquil beaches.

This wonderful guided tour of Aride is followed by a barbeque lunch on one of the island’s beautiful powdery white-sand beaches. Good walking shoes or trainers and a bottle of water are needed for the trip.

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