North Island Seychelles

North Island is a place that unashamedly aims at providing the very best in privacy, location, accommodation, services, facilities and experience, yet has restored its environment to a place of verdant plenty – a Noah’s Ark afloat in warm tropical waters in colours of blue and aquamarine. 

Sample Itinerary

Eco rating: 4
Season: All year round
Airport: Victoria airport, Seychelles (SEZ)
Duration: We recommend 7 nights or as long as you wish.
Included in the price: Activities, full board accommodation, drinks & laundry but exclude flights - we help you organize this.

North Island is a fertile paradise – the perfect setting for our Noah’s Ark conservation and island rehabilitation programme. The natural beauty of North Island will touch and inspire you at the deepest level. Islands have been referred to as the “laboratories of evolution” and North Island biodiversity is living proof of this.

sea turtles

North Island is a critically important nesting site for two species of sea turtle, the hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricate) and green turtle (Chelonia mydas). Both species have been legally protected in Seychelles waters since 1994.

Green turtles are the most herbivorous of all turtles, while the hawksbill in contrast uses its sharp beak to feed on sponges and other marine invertebrates. Green turtles are typically the larger of the two species.

As with all sea turtles, females laboriously drag themselves up a favoured beach and dig a nest using their hind flippers. The eggs then take around two months to hatch. Hawksbills typically nest in the daytime whereas green turtles emerge from the sea at night.

Hawksbill nesting season is from September to March, while the green turtle nesting season runs from January to September. North Island has one of the highest numbers of green turtle nests each year in Seychelles.

Monitoring and recording of sea turtle nesting activity has been in place since 1998. Turtle nests are marked out and labeled with bamboo sticks and a coconut, stating the date laid and the species. All the data recorded is captured in our turtle database. Turtles which already have identification tags are recorded and those without are given unique titanium tags.

the seychelles white eye

While some bird species returned of their own accord once North Island again afforded them a suitable habitat, others needed a little more help.

At the time one of the rarest birds in the world, a founder population of just 25 Seychelles White-Eyes was reintroduced to North Island in 2007, and their population on the island had quadrupled by the time of the latest census at the end of 2014. These tiny, charismatic birds have set up territories across the island and the growth in their numbers shows that they are breeding successfully. Thanks to this reintroduction programme, and similar efforts on other islands, the Seychelles White-Eye has been brought back from the brink of extinction.

North Island is responsible for a significant proportion of the world population of the species: a responsibility we bear with genuine pride.

aldabra giant tortoise

The Aldabra giant tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantean), one of the largest tortoise species on Earth, is endemic to the Aldabra atoll, Seychelles. Formerly giant tortoises were found on many Indian Ocean islands but became extinct historically due to exploitation by sailors from passing ships. Live tortoises would be taken on board ships to supplement meagre rations.

Currently there are between 80 and 100 tortoises on North Island, most of which were donations from other islands.

noah’s ark

North Island has been alternatively neglected and exploited throughout its history. Many alien species of plants and animals remained behind after the copra plantation on North Island became uneconomical in the 1970s. These alien species thrived and greatly impacted on the indigenous Seychellois flora and fauna. In tandem with creating a world-class eco-tourism destination, we have been working hard to North Island to its former glory.

The first phase of the rehabilitation was to successfully eradicate alien rodents and to this day North Island remains one of the largest islands ever to have been entirely de-ratted.  Stringent control measures are in place to ensure they never return as they posed a major threat to ground-nesting birds. Feral animals such as goats, cats and cattle were also removed.

Invasive plant species are being progressively cleared, and replaced by thousands of indigenous plant and tree seedlings grown in our on-island nursery and then transplanted throughout the island. In this way, the native habitat has been restored to the extent that North Island is once again a place where endemic Seychellois fauna and flora can flourish.

Evidence of the success of this programme has been the fact that bird species such as Seychelles blue pigeons and breeding populations of wedge-tailed shearwaters and white-tailed tropicbirds have returned of their own accord. Hawksbill and green turtles nest on our beaches once more, in ever-increasing numbers.

 

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