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Seychelles TravelSeychelles islands / Bird Island
 

Bird Island

Bird Island is one of the northernmost islands in the Seychelles Islands archipelago
Bird Island is one of the northernmost islands in the Seychelles Islands archipelago, and it is located on the edge of the island chain on the edge of a continental shelf. From the main island of Mahe, it is about 60 miles to Bird Island. It takes about a half-hour by plane from Mahe to Bird Island. From the air, you can see the bright and beautiful coral cay of approximately 170 acres. The water varies in shades of blue and turquoise in the Indian Ocean, which bathes the reef and continental shelf. On land, the white sands contrast with the rich green of all the tropical plants. To the east and south of Bird Island is a sheltering coral reef which is the home to numerous bright tropical fish. As for the beaches, the swimming is excellent due to the protection of the coral reef. People come to Bird Island because they know it is not only one of the most beautiful places on earth, but that it is a place to take family on an unforgettable vacation.

Bird Island used to be called "Ile aux Vaches," or "Island of Cows" because of the many sea cows that live in the waters surrounding the island. In the decade spanning 1896 to 1906 17,000 tons of guano (excrement from seabirds, bats, and seals) were taken from Bird Island and shipped to Mauritius to be used as fertilizer. Before recent conservation efforts, the island held a coconut plantation and grew other cash crops like cotton and papaya.

Since 1967 Bird Island has been owned privately, and conservation measures have been a major emphasis since that time. In addition to protecting the birds and turtles, efforts have also been made to control the population of wild rabbits and rats.

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The experience of vacationing on Bird Island is almost beyond belief. The whitish coral sand beach makes you feel as if you are a castaway. The main emphasis on this island is simplicity: simplicity in recreation, simplicity in pace. Bird Island is a great step back from the demanding world of the 21st century. And to make planning easier, there are a number of travel packages available over the Internet for visiting the Seychelles. A package can be found for most any budget.

Because Bird Island makes a special effort to have absolutely no light pollution, if you are lucky enough to visit from November to April, you'll have stunning views of the constellations of the southern hemispheres. There are several reasons why Bird Island does not allow outdoor lights at night. One is for the spectacular star gazing. Another reason is for the benefit of the many exotic birds that either live or visit here every year.

Additionally, nesting green turtles and their babies become disoriented in artificial light and sometimes cannot find their way to the ocean because of it.

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In 1994, Bird Island was given a special honor. It was the runner up in British Airways' prestigious "Tourism for Tomorrow" award. Bird Island is the Seychelles part of Green Globe, an international association concerned with ecotourism that emphasizes protection of wildlife and sustainable development of the tourism industry.

The temperature in the Seychelles is perfect year-round. The hottest it usually gets is around 32 degrees C (about 89 degrees Fahrenheit). The lows rarely drop below 27 degrees C (about 80 degrees Fahrenheit). From May to September, a cooler, drier southeast trade wind blows, and from December to March, northwestern trade winds blow. Usually December and January are wetter than the other months, with around 30 cm of rain recorded on average.

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Bird Island Lodge is a good place for guests to spend time. It is the only hotel on the island. The employees of the hotel and the visitors make up the entire human population of Bird Island. The staff at Bird island Lodge are welcoming Seychellois who want to give you a starting point for discovering all that Bird Island has to offer.

There are 24 plain, clean, and casual individual villas which nestle in what used to be the island's coconut farm. Each of the villas has a king sized bed, full size shower and toilet, lounge area and patio with a view of the sea. Each villa accommodates up to four people. The hotel restaurant serves local cuisine, usually including fresh fish and vegetables from right there on the island in a lovely buffet. If you want to stay on the eastern end of the island, you can hire a helicopter to get you there. The protective coral reef around the island calms the waters that lap at the beach, making swimming, snorkeling, and diving perfect activities. If you are a bird watcher, the best times to go to Bird Island are in October and November, and April and May.

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