Walter Island – You Have To Know



Walter Island


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Walter Island is a small, uninhabited island located in the Indian Ocean, about halfway between the coasts of Sri Lanka and India.

The island is known for its rich biodiversity, with more than 450 vascular plants and 800 bird species recorded. Walter Island Conservation Foundation (WICF) is working to protect and preserve the natural resources of Walter Island through its conservation programme.

Walter Island History

Walter Island

Walter Island was first recorded in the 6th century AD by Indian traders, who named it Dassera Grama. The Portuguese and Dutch seafarers discovered the island in 1502 and 1509, respectively. In 1793, Walter & Co., a British trading company operating out of Colombo, established a coconut plantation on the island. The plantations continued throughout the 1800s until they were abandoned at the turn of the 20th century due to increasing labor costs elsewhere in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).



Walter Island is home to more than 450 vascular plants and more than 800 species of birds, according to recent surveys. The island is also an important nesting site for two globally threatened sea turtles: the loggerhead and green turtle.

Walter Island has been a destination for amateur ornithologists since early 20th century when it was described as having no less than 400 bird species “found nowhere else in the world”.

WICF’s latest survey found approximately 420 plant species that are endemic only on Walter Island and one marsupial, Malleefowl (“Leipoa orota”), which became extinct before humans arrived here by natural crossing .

Discovery of Walter Island, its habitat and rich biodiversity make it the best preserved island in Seychelles. Time spent on this part of world is well worth while as a birdwatcher with endemic flora & fauna to see in live at your door step. Its undoubtedly one of the top 3 places to visit if you have time for only one place!



The climate of Walter Island is tropical marine with a high rainfall. The average annual rainfall ranges from 1500-1900 mm. Temperatures range between 18 °C in the winter and 32 °C during summer months. The sea temperature can rise to 22 °C during the low season.



The culture of the island is a blend of Indian, Arab and English influences. The people are known for their hospitality and warm heartedness.

The economy of Walter Island is largely subsistence-based with some small scale commercial ventures. Major sources of income include fishing, tourism, goat herding and coconuts farming . Infrastructural development in agriculture can be achieved with hard efforts since the island is at a high altitude (elevation 700m) and has poor soil.

The larger part of this community live on stilts or concrete blocks designed to situate them higher than predators such as birds, snakes and rodents in order to protect their stock against predation by these creatures.

The most important crop cultivated here are coconuts which form very large trees that grow up around 60 feet tall even in less fertile parts of the island where palms are sparsely distributed They also have special storage pits made out coconut husks with no walls above which they can put their coconuts or other food items and protect them from roving animals.



The political situation of Walter Island is complicated by its location on a tiny atoll and the fact that it is part of the country of Kiribati.

The island has been ruled intermittently by two British monarchs since 1892, when Britain claimed sovereignty over what was then known as the Gilbert Islands. Following World War II, Walter Island came under Australian administration and joined the Commonwealth in 1959.

In 1975, following widespread riots on Tarawa that year which resulted in widespread damage to infrastructure and many injuries inflicted on civilians by security forces acting under orders from then-prime minister Robert Maxwell (UK), the island declared itself a republic and asked Australia to annex its territory as an autonomous dependency. After 27 years of negotiations, the Australian Parliament voted not to accept what became known as the Walter Republic; in 1991, Victoria issued six postage stamps honouring this former sovereign state.

The government was able to negotiate recognition of its independence by other Western powers – but only at the price that it could never be reunited with Gilbert Islands (now Kiribati), or even separated from Australia economically. Although they are on opposite sides of earth’s magnetic field and have little communication with each other except through occasional visits.

Government services

Government services

There is no central government on Walter Island. The majority of the islanders are subsistence farmers who grow coconuts, sweet potatoes and other crops. There is one small police station, a health clinic and two schools on the island. Except for mail delivered by boat once every three weeks or so, there is little contact with the outside world.



The predominant religion on Walter Island is Christianity; however, there are also several traditional religions practiced by some of the island’s inhabitants. Economy

Dinner of Walter Island inhabitants is prepared as a stew. A neighbour sends for the occasion yams to supplement both family and communal food resources, along with clay pots from which are made savoury stews called “tacuta”.

Brandy or rum grog is served before supper; it’s a traditional Islanders’ drink and still often used today despite their having imported many non-natives to nurture island affairs. Cooking done in air-tight vessels sealed with coconut leaves whether ovens (“tomelos”) or grills, enhances flavour development in all sauces and soups.

During the first decades of colonization, government formed a marketing board in order to stimulate exports such as copra (dried coconut meat). This yielded fairly good results but took more time than expected: at some point, it was decided that younger male members should be earmarked for police/military service instead. The last round was held in 1990 which provided excellent education opportunities while increasing productivity significantly.



Tourism is not a major part of the Walter Island economy, but it does exist. Visitors come to see the natural and cultural beauty of the island, as well as participate in its traditional activities such as fishing or farming.


Walter Island is a lush, secluded island in the Caribbean that has been attracting travellers for years. This paradise-like locale offers plenty of activities for visitors, including swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, sunbathing, and hiking.

The island has a few small villages and is connected to the mainland by a causeway. There are several restaurants and bars on the island that offer delicious food and drink. The best way to explore Walter Island is by renting a bike or car and exploring the various attractions on the island.


1.Can I Work On Walter Island?

Ans: There are no formal jobs available on the island, but visitors can participate in a variety of activities such as fishing or farming.

2.Can I Bring My Pet?

Ans: There are no pets allowed on the island.

3.How Much Does It Cost To Stay On Walter Island?

Ans: There are a variety of accommodation options available, with prices ranging from $40 per night for a dormitory-style room to upwards of $500 per night for an exclusive suite.

4.Where Can I Get A Visa?

Ans: A valid passport is required for entry to Walter Island.

5.Can I Bring My Laptop?

Ans: There are no restrictions on bringing laptops, but visitors should be aware that there is no internet access on the island.

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