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ENCYCLOPÆDIA
Mauritiana
Agalega Islands
Map of Agalega

Agalega [1318] - including North Island, South Island Group: Country: Mauritius - Agalega Islands: Indian Lat: 10.40 SLong: 56.55 E Region: Mascarene Islands Area: 0.3 sq. km Altitude: ? m ISLAND TYPE: low coral?

Aerial View of Agalega
Aerial View of Agalega
Weather in Agalega
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A Trip to Agalega by M K Rossan

 

Agalega consistis or two small islands, the North Island, which is also the main island, and the South Island, located in the Indian Ocean, 1122 Km (697 miles) north of Mauritius. The islands have a total land area of 27 square miles (70 square km).

Copra and coconut oil are produced and exported, and some poultry and cattle are raised and vegetables grown for subsistence.

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There are two villages, Vingt Cinq and la Fourche on North Island and Ste Rita the only village on South Island. Vingt Cinq village is the most important and most infrastructures are situated here. Only the Outer Island Development Corporation (OIDC) of Mauritius can organise trips Agalega, and people go there only on a purpose.

The trip thereis either by boat on board the Mauritius Pride or by air on the Dornier aircraft which belongs to the Coast Guard department of the Mauritian Police force. The flight takes about three hours and the plane flies at an altitude of ten thousand feet at a speed of about two hundred knots. No snack is served on board so passengers must cater for their own food. They also travel at their own risks and in case of an accident neither the passenger nor his heirs can claim any damage from the Government. A paper to that effect is signed by each passenger prior to departure, both in Mauritius and in Agalega for the return trip. Travelling on the Dornier can be a rattling experience. The plane is neither pressurized nor air conditioned. It is cold inside and the engine noise is severely felt.

The first sight of the island from the air gives the impression of a green jewel in the ocean. The two islands are separated by a sand bank and the inhabitants must wait for high tides to cross from one island to the other by boat. The road network consists of sand tracks and there are some motor vehicles to move around.

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The administrative headquarters of Agalega Island, known as La Grande Case. It is also here that meals are served to the guests. There is also a church, a school and a hospital in Vingt Cinq.

Until recently, there was no money in circulation on Agalega. Residents there paid their shopping in the island's two shops by signing government vouchers which were debited to their salary accounts. Everybody slept with their windows open and did not have to take any precautions against thefts.

The Mauritius Meteorological Services maitains a meteorological and wireless transmitting and receiving station at Agalega in l0 21'S, 56 35'E, at 3 metres above mean sea level. The station also carries out measurements of upper winds by pilot balloons and theodolite.

Mauritius Telecomm provides communications to Agalega through satellite links.

Endemic Fauna

The Agalega Island Day Gecko - Phelsuma borbonica agalegae is an endemic gecko of about 140 mm length (female) to 170mm (male).

Agalega Airfield
Agalega Airfield. Photo courtesy M K Rossan
 
La Grande Case
La Grande Case. Photo courtesy M K Rossan
 
School in Vingt Cinq
School in Vingt Cinq. Photo courtesy M K Rossan
 
Meteorological station
Meteorological station. Photo M K Rossan
 
 
Phelsuma borbonica agalegae

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