The most northerly of the Inner Islands, the 170-acre Bird Island is unique for its millions of breeding sooty terns, providing an unforgettable sight and sound (March to October). Many other sea and land birds, including fairy terns, tropicbirds and noddies, inhabit the island – 112 bird species are recorded, including migrants – as well as Esmeralda, the world’s second oldest giant tortoise (about 170 years old and a male). Situated mid-Indian Ocean right on a 2000-foot oceanic drop-off, the entire island is surrounded by white sand beaches. Snorkelling is possible at various points, sometimes revealing turtles, rays and reef species such as humphead parrotfish.
Bird Island has its own resident pod of dolphins and, during October and November, migrating southern right whales, humpbacks and short-finned pilot whales pass close by. From October to February, endangered hawksbill turtles come ashore to lay their eggs: Bird Island actually boasts the highest number of turtles in the Inner Islands. Green turtles nest throughout the year, but mainly June to September.
The open air main lodge at Bird Island consists of a bar, sitting room,and restaurant serving tasty meals buffet-style using fresh vegetables and fish from the island. The 24 simple yet spacious and comfortable detached cabins have comfortable double beds, fans (no air-conditioning), a safety deposit box and a seating area as well as a private verandah.
Apart from the avifauna, the emphasis when staying on Bird Island is on relaxation, secure in the knowledge that the private island holds no dangers and there is no need for keys to your room – the only uninvited visitor may be a curious noddy or hunting gecko.
Restaurant, bar, lounge, private bathrooms, laundry service, gift shop, safety deposit box, library, pool table and ceiling fan.
Almost a million sooty terns arrive to breed on the island from March, and are joined by beautiful fairy terns, white-tailed tropicbirds, magnificent and lesser frigatebirds and migrating waders. On land the vivid Madagascan fody and endemic blue pigeon and Seychelles sunbird can be seen. The island is also the home of Esmerelda, the world’s largest giant tortoise. The island also supports an important population of endangered hawksbill turtles, which come ashore between October and February to lay their eggs.
Snorkelling, whale watching (in season), swimming and sea kayaking.
Number of rooms
Snorkelling is best between October and April when the seas are calmer, thereby making swimming easier and improving visibility. There is no wildlife guide currently on-site so guests explore the gorgeous island by themselves: it’s a good idea to take along a field guide for the birds and other wildlife.
If you have any queries about this accommodation please feel free to call me directly on +44 (0)1803 866965 or...