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24 September

Aride

Island Group :   Inner Islands Group   
Distance from Mahé :   50km 
Area :   0.683 sq.km

Description

Aride, perhaps the most unspoiled of all the islands, is situated 10km north of Praslin and is known as the ‘seabird citadel’ of the Indian Ocean.

The island became protected as a reserve in 1967, and since 1973 when it was purchased by Christopher Cadbury for what is now the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, seabird numbers have multiplied and five endemic land birds have now returned after having been wiped out with the introduction of man.

Aride’s seabirds include the world's only hilltop colony of sooty terns, the only breeding sites among the granitic islands for the red-tailed tropic bird and roseate tern and the world's largest colony of lesser noddies.

Aride also boasts one of the densest population of lizards on earth and a unique flora, being the only natural home to one of Seychelles' rarest endemic plants, Wright's gardenia, as well as to a species of 'peponium' that might also be endemic only to Aride.

In 2004, management was passed to the Island Conversation Society (ICS), which opened a new conservation centre to support some of the longest continuous scientific monitoring programs in Seychelles.

No accommodation is available, but Aride is open to day visitors 3 days a week (Sun, Mon, Wed). Excursions can be booked through Praslin hotels, boat owners and ground handling operators.