Aldabra Travel Guide
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Aldabra Travel Guide
Aldabra is the world’s second-largest coral atoll. It is situated in the Aldabra Group of islands in the Indian Ocean that are part of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, with a distance of 1,120 km southwest of the capital, Victoria, on Mahé Island.
Extremely isolated, Aldabra is almost untouched by humans. Aldabra atoll is closer to the coast of Africa 630 km (390 mi) than to Mahé, and is in the most southwesterly part of the Seychelles. It is 407 km (253 mi) northwest of Madagascar and 440 km (270 mi) from Moroni on the Comoro Islands. The atoll is the largest raised coral reef in the world with an elevation of 8 metres (26 ft); and the second-largest atoll in the world after Kiritimati Atoll. Located at 9°24′S 46°22′E and belongs to the Aldabra Group, one of the island groups of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, which includes the island of Assumption and the atolls of Astove and Cosmoledo. Aldabra atoll is 34 kilometres (21 mi) long (in east–west direction) and 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) wide. It has a large shallow lagoon, 196 square kilometres (76 sq mi) in area, of which roughly two thirds is dry during low tide. The lagoon is encircled by fringing coral reef. Around the rim of the lagoon are the larger islands of the Atoll. The total land area of the Atoll is 155.4 square kilometres (60.0 sq mi). The size including the lagoon is 380 square kilometres (150 sq mi). The outside rim of the atoll has three passages which connect to the lagoon, which is 6–10 kilometres (3.7–6.2 mi) in width as it opens to the sea. The depth of water in the lagoon averages about 5 metres (16 ft); however, the passages that open to the sea are up to 20 metres (66 ft) deep and strongly affected by tidal currents.
Cruises are operated by several companies along with dive boats which may visit the atoll on expedition tours. Visits to the island by people other than the scientists and staff of the SIF are strictly controlled and only guided tours are provided with prior permission. As of 2012, an average of 900 tourists visit the atoll a year. Within the atoll, paved walking paths exist from the village of La Gigi, which leads to a promontory from where scenic views of the large lagoon (during low tides) and the mangrove species are seen.
When to visit Aldabra
Aldabra is situated in the dry zone of the south-west Indian Ocean. The northwest monsoon is from November to March and brings the heaviest rainfall. In the remaining months, the south-easterly trade winds are recorded. Aldabra receives an average of 960 millimetres (38 in) rainfall per year. Cyclones are rare in the Seychelles on account of its nearness to the Equator. Tides in the coastal zone rise to 3 metres (9.8 ft) height, causing channel currents, and a huge influx of water; the main channel drains 60% flow into the lagoon. The reported monthly mean maximum temperature recorded in December is 31 °C (88 °F). The mean minimum temperature recorded in August is 22 °C (72 °F). hi
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