Bird Island, located 70 mi/115 km north of Mahe, is small enough to walk around in an hour. It is home to an amazing number of creatures—more than a million sooty terns nest there between May and October. Among the other bird species encountered are mynahs, cardinals, and fairy and noddy terns. (After hearing the tremendous squawking that goes on there, you'll never think of nature as peaceful again.)
Birds aren't the only draw—the island lies on the edge of the Seychelles Bank (which drops nearly 6,000 ft/1,825 m), and there's excellent big-game fishing (marlin, sailfish and bonefish).
This perfectly flat island is easy to reach because of its seashell and coral runway. Overnight visitors stay at the island's informal hotel, Bird Island Lodge, which has 24 comfortable beachfront bungalows and serves up good food using locally caught fish and island-grown vegetables. A resident of the hotel grounds is Esmeralda, who is actually a male and the world's heaviest tortoise at 669 lb/304 kg. Most visitors will enjoy at least a one-night stay. http://www.birdislandseychelles.com.
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