Bird Island is one of the many granitic islands in the Seychelles that together form the Inner Island group. It is approximately 105 kilometres from Mahe and is known to be one of the most beautiful well kept natural islands. Bird's nature and habitat is kept intact through all these years and is one that Seychelles can gladly boast about. True to its name, the island is known for being a safe haven for various kinds of birds who live here in harmony. Bird Island was previously called the Ile aux Vaches which translates to the Island of the Manatees. The reason for this name was indeed the Manatees that were found in large amounts in the surrounding waters of Bird. Today, the island is a renowned spot that promotes ecotourism and has played a huge role in keeping the world green.
While the birds and what Bird Island is mainly known for, the large population of the tortoise and giant turtles cannot be ignored. These animals roam the island freely and even lay eggs all around the island. The eggs of the turtles are protected from the visitors of the island and receive great care and comfort. What is truly fascinating is that Bird Island is home to the world's oldest giant tortoise - Esmeralda. Despite the name, Esmeralda is a male tortoise who ways a hefty 300kgs and was born on 1st June 1771. Esmeralda along with at least 20 of the Aldabran tortoise resides on Bird Island and makes it a truly magnificent site which is worth the visit.
Watersports at Bird Island
Many times, Bird Island is considered a great place for snorkelling and diving and is often a prime spot from which you can access several dive sites and various creatures. If you choose to snorkel near Bird Island and enjoy its whimsical marine life, you will not be disappointed. Along with the array of colourful fish that can be seen in the waters, individuals will also be greeted with the site of various species of turtles amongst which one of them is the Green Turtle, as well as several Dolphins and Whales that frequent the area.
Flora and Fauna at Bird Island
Flora and fauna of Bird Island is one that is immensely honoured, as well as protected. Individuals are sure to see a variety of different birds flying overhead and fluttering around the entire islands. Bird Island is home to the largest colony of the Sooty Tern birds. Aside from this, birds such as the Seychelles Blue Pigeon, Fairy Tern, Frigate Birds, etc. are also spotted frequently.
When it comes to the islands flora, it does not disappoint. Blessed with the ever awe-inspiring view, Bird Island is stocked to the brim with Coconut Palms, Papaya Trees, Pumpkin patches, Bwa Tabac and several more of such plant life.
Bird Island, like many of the other islands in the Seychelles that have a vast natural ambience, was exploited for this very reason. As the island proved to be extremely fertile many individuals used it as grounds for plantations. The crops grown on these plantations were mainly coconut and cotton. The attractive traits of the islands that bring together the birds were also used to exploit them by poaching the eggs of several of the birds, especially the Sooty Tern.
However, today the island has been restored to its former glory and has become the same safe place it used to be. Individuals visiting Bird Island are under strict rules to not disturb the natural habitat of the plant and animal life residing here. The island is also home to around 24 bungalows that are occasionally used by tourists from all around the world.
How to Reach Bird Island
It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Bird Island from Mahe by flight. However, individuals are expected to stay the night at the island itself as flights fly only once per day.
Flight Timings: Departure from Mahe - 11:05 AM Departure from Bird - 11:50 AM