North Island was the first Seychelles island on which a recorded landing was made by seafarers. An expedition in 1609 by Captain Sharpeigh and the crew of the English East India Company vessel Ascension reported that the island had a large population of giant land tortoises.
From 1826 until the 1970s, North Island was owned by the Beaufond family from Réunion, who used the island as plantations for growing fruit and spices, as well as producing guano, fish oil and copra. After the copra market collapsed, the plantation was sold and North Island fell into disuse, with feral animals and alien plant species out-competing the indigenous fauna and flora with distressing consequences.
A new chapter in the history of North Island began in 1997 when North Island was purchased with a view to creating not just the world’s leading private island hideaway which opened in 2003, but also to create a sanctuary for indigenous Seychellois wildlife.
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