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Introduction

Juan de Nova Island, also known as Saint-Christophe, is a 4.4 square kilometres low, flat, tropical island in the narrowest part of the Mozambique Channel, about one-third of the way between Madagascar and Mozambique. Administratively, the island is one of the Scattered islands in the Indian Ocean, a district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 61,050 square kilometres, it is claimed by Madagascar. The island is garrisoned by French troops from RĂ©union and has a weather station.

The island was abandoned during World War II and was visited by German submariners. Installations, including a hangar, rail lines, houses and a jetty are in ruins.

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Geography

Juan de Nova, about 6 kilometres long and 1.6 kilometres at its widest, is a nature reserve surrounded by reefs which enclose an area (not a true lagoon like in an atoll) of roughly 40 square kilometres. Forests, mainly of Casuarinaceae, cover about half the island. Sea turtles nest on the beaches around the island.

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Sights and Activities

Birding

The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a very large colony of Sooty Terns, with up to 100,000 breeding pairs. It also has a much smaller colony of Greater Crested Terns (with at least 50 breeding pairs recorded in 1994). Of at least seven species of landbirds present, most are probably introduced.

Shipwrecks

The island lies on the sea route between South Africa and the northern tip of Madagascar. It is affected by strong currents, and has become the site of numerous wrecks. Most visible are the remains of the SS Tottenham which ran onto the southern fringing reef in 1911.

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Weather

Tropical.

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Getting There and Around

Anchorage is possible off the northeast of the island which also has a 1,300 metres airstrip.

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Juan de Nova Island Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Juan de Nova Island

This is version 1. Last edited at 8:46 on Jan 26, 15 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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