Exploring Tourism in Seychelles
icon Worldwideicon
Places to Visit Details

Aride Island Nature Reserve

Aride Island, Seychelles

The northernmost of Granitic Seychelles, Aride Island Nature Reserve is the breeding ground of 18 species of seabirds, including frigate birds, red-tailed tropicbirds, and the world's largest colonies of lesser noddy and roseate terns.

The 68-hectare island is a conservation site hosting one of the most important seabird populations in the Indian Ocean. The coral reefs here make it one of the most popular diving sites in Seychelles. The stunning Aride Island is only inhabited by the reserve's staff, island manager, and rangers. Tourists can visit the island on a two-hour guided tour, arranged by the local operators in Praslin (10km away). There is no overnight accommodation facility on the island.

Nature lovers will find the highest density of lizards anywhere on Earth, as well as several endemic species of flowers. Wright's gardenia, or Bois citron, is unique to this island.

Aride is mainly known for the huge population of seabirds, larger than the islands in the Indian Ocean and equal to at least all the Inner Islands of Seychelles. There are 18 species found amongst the seabirds, out of which 5 are confined to Seychelles and cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Seychelles blue pigeon, the lesser noddy, sooty and white tern, Seychelles brush warbler, and the sooty and white tern are some of the tropical birds spotted here.

The island has lush vegetation consisting of coconut, guava, banana, orange, ginger, turmeric, and chilly trees. Wrights Gardenia - unique scented shrubs - are the pride and joy of Aride Island and its national flower. This wondrous flower is not found naturally, anywhere else in the world.

The coral reef around Aride Island is extremely protected, making the waters surrounding the islands safe for swimming and scuba diving. The reef is around 200 meters offshore. These ideal conditions make the area around Aride one of the best diving spots in Seychelles. The variety of fish species runs to almost 400 different species.

Most hotels on Praslin Island can organize day trips to Aride, but note that the island is often closed to visitors from May through September due to rough surf. Visits by helicopter can also be arranged.

Aride Island Timing
Monday to Friday: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Visits can be pre-booked on Saturdays and Sundays.
Aride Island is often closed for a visit during South East Trade winds (from May to September)
It may also close at short notice during strong surf

How to Reach Aride Island
It takes approximately 90 minutes to reach Aride Island from Praslin by a jetty. Only administrative boats are allowed to dock on the island, so the visitors have to change boats a little further from Aride.

Check out more Places to Visit