The Real Tropical Island Experience on Aride

Clifftop seabirding

Aride Island is the wildlife highlight of a visit to the Inner Granitics of the Seychelles, with more bird species than any other island. Ten species of seabird are found on this tiny 68 hectare island. Aride Island’s isolation has contributed to its protection – it is the furthest north granitic island in the Seychelles. The surging waves make landing a challenge, and the solution to this is simply to hold on tight and drive the boat ashore as fast as possible.

Clifftop seabirding over the sparkling seas around Aride Island, Seychelles (Photo by James Russell)

With no anchorage or landing only mice have ever made it ashore here. Cats were removed in the early 20th century before their damage could be done. In 1973 the island was purchased by Christopher Cadbury and has since been managed as a Nature Reserve by the Island Conservation Society.

An invasive mouse explores Aride Island, Seychelles (Photo by James Russell)

Today the island literally reeks of seabirds, and teems of the wildlife of an almost wholly intact seabird island ecosystem. Tens of thousands of lesser noddies (Anous tenuirostris) nest through the native forest canopy, their discards feeding thousands of plump Wright’s skinks (Trachylepis wrightii). Ranger Juan walks us along the island pointing out each seabird species we come across; white terns, white-tailed tropicbirds, bridled terns, sooty terns, frigatebirds – they are all here.

A lesser noddy
A lesser noddy contemplates life on the beach of Aride Island (Photo by James Russell)

The original lodge built of local timber still stands on the island, barely changed over a century. Nearby we walk past a tropicbird nestled in the base of a tree trying to catch up on some sleep with its new baby. Juan also tells —> Read More