Aldabra is the second largest coral island or the coral atoll of the world which has surrounded a water lagoon. It is the constituent of the Aldabra group of Islands which are located in the Indian Ocean and is included in the territory of Seychelles. The place is frequently visited by a number of scientists and enthusiastic travelers who take flights to Seychelles and now to have an excursion here you have to take permission from Seychelles Island Foundation in Victoria. As it has remained untouched and unspoilt, the place provides shelter to a variety of Giant tortoises and distinctive flora and fauna and is also declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Island was first visited by the Arabs and after them in 1951, many Portuguese travelers explored Aldabra. Along with the islands of Seychelles, reunion Mauritius and many small islets, it was owned by Great Britain in 1810. The atoll is now lifted high up because of various tectonic changes ,situating some 700 miles away from Mahe island and in the close vicinity of African coast approximately 426 kilometres away in the north-western region of Madagascar and is the member of Aldabra Group, which is the constituent of Outer Islands of the Seychelles which also comprises atolls of Cosmoledo and Astove and also the island of Assumption.
It has the length of about 34 kilometres and the width of almost 14.5 kilometres and is elevated at the height of approximately 8 metres from the sea level. The atoll further possess four other island; Picard or West Island (covers an area of about 9.4 square kilometres), Polymnieli or Polymnie Island (with an area of 4.75 square kilometres), Malabar or Middle Island (with area of 26.8 square kilometres) and South Island or Grand Terre (have the area of almost 116.1 square kilometres).
The area is very famous for providing shelter to one of the largest tortoise species of the world, the Aldabra giant tortoise which is also called as Aldabrachelys gigantean and it is recorded that there are almost 100,000 individuals present on the island. Besides this place is highly well known for the largest land crab of the world which is called as Coconut crab or Birgus latro and also the island owns hawksbill turtles, green turtles, barracuda, manta rays and hammerhead sharks.
The land also housed the crocodilian predator Aldabrachampsus in the early time period. There are many endangered and rare bird species of Indian Ocean like Malagasy Sacred Ibis and Aldabra rail. The bat species Pteropus aldabrensis and Paratriaenops pauliani cannot be found in any part of the world other than Aldabra. The whole area is blanketed with the endemic plant breeds of pemphis and also a variety of grasses, herbs, thick shrubs and trees.
Apart from the main Aldabra Island, there are almost 40 other small rocky formations and islands that all comprise the lagoon. The largest of them are the Michael Island and Spirit Island. Though the location of Aldabra is complicated and is not accessible by all the travelers but those who travel and explore this mesmerizing area, spends the most astonishing and unique time of their lives. So whenever you have some thrill and adventure in your mind, just don’t forget the name of Aldabra atoll.