Cosmoledo Atoll is a pristine coralline atoll on the outer islands of the Aldabra Group of Islands in the Seychelles. Like all the islands in the Seychelles, it’s painted with a palette of aquamarine greens, deep blues and gold. Though the outer coralline islands of the Seychelles make up 46 percent of the total land area of the Seychelles, they’re inhabited by less than 1% of the population, making them a secluded, remote and peaceful luxury destination.
Comprised of a lagoon, sand flats, grassland, mangroves, beaches, and lush tropical vegetation, Cosmoledo’s unspoilt ecosystem is devoid of invasive human impact. Conservation and rehabilitation initiatives conducted by The Island Conservation Society has paid off, and the atoll is free of rats and cats, which in turn has allowed indigenous fauna and flora to thrive.
With warm waters and visibility of up to 50m, scuba diving and snorkelling around Cosmoledo is an absolute dream, and there is something for scuba divers of all levels of experience.
Cosmoledo is known for its phenomenal saltwater fly fishing – from the wadable shallow flats to deep blue waters. Fish up to 130 pounds have been caught on fly, and the ocean is alive with yellowfin tuna, bonefish, barracuda, milkfish, Indo-Pacific Permit, Indo-Pacific Sailfish, bluefin trevally, bohar snapper, yellow-lipped emperor, sailfish, dogtooth tuna, wahoo and various species of triggerfish. Cosmoledo is also said to be the best fishery in the world for Giant Trevally (GT) and is known as the GT capital of the world.
Around 250 species of birds have been recorded in the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, making it a birdwatchers delight. Cosmoledo is considered to be an area of global significance for birds as it has vast populations of seabirds and endemic bird species including boobies, sooty terns, noddies, frigatebirds, breeding red-tailed tropicbird, black-naped tern and crested tern. It’s a key nesting site for three species of boobies – the brown booby, masked booby, and red-footed booby. With 15,000 pairs, the island’s red-footed booby colony is the largest within the Indian Ocean.
Migratory waders like the crab plover and the ruddy turnstone are attracted to the lagoon which serves as an important feeding ground. Three endemic species of land bird can be found on Cosmoledo, including the Madagascar white-eye (menaiensis), the souimanga sunbird (buchenorum) and a kind of Madagascar turtle dove. The Madagascar cisticola is also found here.
The Seychelles is a natural habitat for five different species of marine turtles, with the Green and Hawksbill turtles choosing to make their homes on the remote, Outer Islands and atolls. In nesting season, these remarkable animals return to the beach of their own birth, where they dig nests and lay their precious eggs. Hawksbill Turtles typically nest during the day, between the months of September and March while Green Turtles normally nest at night, over the months January through to September.
Turtles lay between 150 to 200 eggs per nest and are known to nest 4 to 5 times per nesting season. The eggs take roughly two months to hatch, and the little hatchlings are known for their tenacity and determination to cross the sands and find the ocean.
Visitors can accompany The Island Conservation Society (ICS) team as they track and monitor turtle tracks, mark new and hatched nests, and keep a close eye on hatchlings as they make their epic journey across the beach to the ocean.
Ocean safari’s offer visitors a unique way to explore the warm waters and marine life of the Outer Islands. Options are to watch from onboard or don snorkelling gear and dive in. Accompanied by a marine expert, visitors will learn about ocean life and will likely get to witness the breath-taking beauty of spinner dolphins, migrating whales, manta rays, milkfish, yellowfin tuna and of course, green turtles.
Aligned with the progressive conservation policies of the Seychelles, accommodation on Cosmoledo are rustic but elegant eco pods. There are only 8 eco pods, which means guests will enjoy seclusion and privacy. All Cosmoledo’s eco pods are airconditioned and have a minibar. Each sleeps 2 guests and every pod has sublime sea views and a private outdoor shower. A stretch tent over the pod’s deck provides respite from the tropical sun and accommodation is on a full-board basis. The dining area and fully stocked bar are the perfect gathering place for sundowners and to exchange adventure stories.