Monday, March 23, 2009

Aldabra: Wading Through the Sharks

Aldabra teems with life; the contrast with Assumption could not be any sharper. Long protected from any development, Aldabra hosts the largest population of giant tortoises in the world; about 100,000 call Aldabra home, five times as many as live in the entire Galapagos. The only remaining flightless bird in the Indian Ocean lives here, the Aldabra Rail. Thousands upon thousands of sea birds nest here. The interior of the atoll is one of the largest lagoons in the world, brimming with fish. There's life everywhere.

To see these wonders, you first have to get to Aldabra. Getting the Zodiacs to the beach is a delicate matter, given the shallowness of the reefs and sand bars that surround the water. And then you have to wade through the sharks. Literally.

There must have been two dozen sharks cruising along the beach where we landed. Most were Black-tipped Reef Sharks, but there were a few Lemon Sharks as well.

These guys are essentially harmless -- they certainly have no interest in biting you. But they are curious fellows who will happily swim right over to check you out. We hope to post some of Esther's video footage once we are back in the States, but the photos should give you some idea of the fun we had with them.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing these super photos and reviving our memories!

  2. Looks like they are swimming in Snapple.

  3. That sharks are so beautiful, thanks for the photos!