Bird Island Seychelles
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 noddys, 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 on the east and south sides, sometimes revealing turtles, rays and reef species such as humphead parrotfish. There is a two-person kayak for guests’ use too.
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.
For over 30 years a much loved rustic island resort with 24 double chalets, Bird Island closed down for most of 2020 and into 2021 during the Covid-19 crisis. As from 15 July 2021 it reopened as a self-catering establishment with six two-bedroom villas and one three-bedroom villa. There is a shop selling food and other provisions for self-catering, a sandwich and salad service, and a restaurant serving evening meals only if required.
Each of the six simple yet spacious two-bed villas consist of two detached bungalows (the one three-bed villa has an additional bungalow), each with one double bed and two sofa beds for children, fans, safe and private verandah. The newly built private kitchen-bar-lounge added to the original buildings create the new two- and three-bedroom villas, all retaining a low key ambience and open plan arrangement with no air-conditioning. The kitchens are fully equipped with fridge, oven, microwave, kettle, coffee machine, crockery, cutlery and a free drinking water dispenser, as well as comfortable chairs and a dining area for four people (or six for the three bed villa). There is complimentary WiFi available in each villa. The main building contains two air-conditioned rooms should you feel the need to work.
NOTE: There is only one scheduled flight from Mahe per week (on Fridays, departing Mahe at 14:00hrs, returning from Bird at 14:45hrs) so it’s ideal to stay for a whole week. Should that not suit, light aircraft charters are possible at considerable extra cost.
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.
Guided nature walks can be booked or you can wander off by yourselves to explore this lovely coral island.
Restaurant (evenings only), food shop, sandwich and salad service, private kitchen-bar-lounge area for each villa (either two bedrooms or three bedrooms), private bathrooms, laundry service, safety deposit box 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, guided nature walks, whale watching (in season), swimming and sea kayaking.
Snorkelling is best between October and April when the seas are calmer, thereby making swimming easier and improving visibility. There is a wildlife guide currently on-site or guests can explore the gorgeous island by themselves: it’s a good idea to take along a field guide for the birds and other wildlife.
There is only one scheduled flight per week on Fridays so, to avoid expensive charter costs, it’s best to schedule a full week on the island (which will be no hardship).
If you have any questions regarding our Seychelles tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965
Fantastic eco-friendly lodge making the best of the tiny island and the amazing wildlife. It was fun to stay ‘open air’; accommodation as perfect for the surroundings, a little basic but we are not suggesting that anything should be changed!