Welcome to the immaculate ecosystem of Astove Atoll. The atoll holds a large inner lagoon, white sandy beaches, a plethora of bird and fish species, and the awe-inspiring ‘Astove Wall’ holds impressive sheer drop-offs which makes you feel like you’re staring down the Grand Canyon.
The islands of Astove and Charlotte that make up the atoll is located roughly 35 km south-west of Cosmoledo Atoll. This atoll forms part of the remote jewels scattered throughout the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, namely the Outer Islands of the Seychelles.
This area was mostly explored by Arab sailors and merchants between 1000 and 1500 AD. The first mention of settlement on the island was only noted after 1760. This would be the year that the Portuguese frigate ‘La Dom Royal’ and its crew and captain ran aground on the island. Legend tells that the ship was heavy with slaves and treasure. After the captain and crew left the island for Mozambique, the slaves left behind formed a small community who lived off the land and the ocean.
The 1800’s would see more people visit the island, whilst coconut trees and mangroves were reported for the first time. In 1895, a fishing enterprise was started on the island and later years would see the farming of maize, tomatoes, pumpkins, watermelons, gourds and tobacco. For a brief time, guano extraction also proved profitable.
In 1968, the lease of Astove was passed on to Mark and Wendy Veevers-Carter. Already the successful producers of a copra plantation on Remire Island, the Veevers-Carters aimed to do the same on the larger Astove. The couple built a house, chapel, store and houses for their workers and set on to get their copra plantation started. They also managed to successfully farm tobacco, cattle, pigs and goats.Wendy Veevers-Carter managed the farm on her own until November of 1970 after her husband passed away in March of that year. The endeavour soon became too much for her and she returned to her homeland of the United States with her 3 children and left the island in the care of 3 Seychellois employees. The island was eventually abandoned and in 2014, it was officially declared a nature reserve.
Once the island was abandoned, the natural vegetation and inhabitants slowly made their way back. Nowadays the rugged terrains of Astove holds coconut palms and mangrove forests in the shallows. The undisturbed landscapes have seen the return of various bird species like Crab Plover and Caspian Tern along with other migratory waders and breeding seabirds. The island also holds a healthy population of Giant Aldabra Tortoises that are being monitored by the ICS Teams.The surrounding waters and the colourful coral reefs that they hold plays host to a variety of curious and impressive marine animals. This combined with the sheer drop-offs of “The Wall” and drastic fluctuations of the inner lagoon, create nutrient-rich currents which brings with it an assortment of sought-after fish species. The high number of species like Indo-Pacific Permit, Barracuda, Bluefin Trevally and the like, is what makes Astove such an incredible fishing destination.
We pride ourselves on our signature island and ocean experiences. Astove offers a truly remarkable natural backdrop to indulge in these activities.
The single accommodation, the newly renovated Astove Coral House, ensures a unique experience as it only caters for a small number of guests per week. The House provides stylish relaxation with Creole dining and great service.
“Walk out on to the shallow flats and you cannot even begin to believe the numbers of turtles,rays, fish and eels you will see. This is one of the last true wilderness areas fantastically conserved by the owners and supported by the Island Conservation Society.”
Overlooking picture-perfect beaches, fringed by palm trees and with not another soul in sight, the lodge is wonderfully unique and completely immersed in the natural surroundings of the Outer Islands.
The 6 rooms surround a central courtyard and are rustic, yet comfortable.
Let us guide you through what a holiday at these unique Blue Safari destinations might look like.