Moyenne Island is a small island (9.9 ha or 24 acres) in the Sainte Anne Marine National Park off the north coast of Mahé, Seychelles. Since the 1970s onwards, it has been a flora and fauna reserve. From 1915 until the 1960s, the island was abandoned until its purchase by Brendon Grimshaw for £8,000 (about 10,000 dollars). He was a newspaper editor from Dewsbury in Yorkshire, England.

Moyenne Island
Moyenne island from the sea by Jean-Francis Martin
Moyenne Island is located in Seychelles
Moyenne Island
Moyenne Island
Moyenne Island is located in Indian Ocean
Moyenne Island
Moyenne Island
LocationSeychelles, Indian Ocean
Coordinates4°37′10″S 55°30′31″E / 4.61944°S 55.50861°E / -4.61944; 55.50861
ArchipelagoInner Islands, Seychelles
Adjacent toIndian Ocean
Total islands1
Major islands
  • Moyenne Island
Area0.099 km2 (0.038 sq mi)
Length0.4 km (0.25 mi)
Width0.3 km (0.19 mi)
Coastline1.7 km (1.06 mi)
Highest elevation61 m (200 ft)
Highest pointMont Moyenne
GroupGranitic Seychelles
Sub-GroupMahe Islands
Sub-GroupSte. Anne Islands
DistrictsMont Fleuri
Largest settlementAnse Creole Travel Services (pop. 1)
Population1 (2014)
Pop. density10.1/km2 (26.2/sq mi)
Ethnic groupsCreole, French, East Africans, Indians.
Additional information
Time zone
ISO codeSC-18

Grimshaw was the only inhabitant of the island until his death in July 2012.[1] The island is now a national park and can be visited as part of organized trips.[2][3]

History edit

Information board on Moyenne (March 2016)

The island's name was derived from the French moyenne, "middle." It was supposedly used by pirates in the 18th and 19th centuries, and contains two graves called pirate graves.

From 1946 to 1962 the island was owned by the late Philippe Georges. He and his wife Vera Georges had lived on the island in the early years and later moved to Mahé where they lived on the property known as Fairview. A view on the island and a beach were named after Vera who spent her days on the property while her husband Philippe worked on Mahe during the day.

Philippe sold the island to Brendon Grimshaw after they had dinner together. Philippe and Vera were very hospitable and invited Brendon to supper when he approached them to buy their island. An agreement was reached after an extended dinner. Grimshaw purchased the island in 1962 for £8000 (equivalent to £182,000 in 2021).[4]

Grimshaw and local youth René Antoine Lafortune[5] planted sixteen thousand trees, built 4.8 kilometres (3 mi) of nature paths, and brought and bred Aldabra giant tortoises, intending to create an island of extraordinary beauty. Apart from a wide variety of plant and bird life, the island is home to nearly 50 giant tortoises.[6] In 2012, according to Grimshaw, the eldest was 76, and was named Desmond, after his godson.

In 1996, Grimshaw wrote a book about himself and the island, entitled A Grain of Sand.[7] In 2009, a documentary film was produced about Grimshaw and the island, also called A Grain of Sand.[8][9]

After 20 years of persistence, Grimshaw and his assistant Lafortune achieved their goal of making Moyenne Island a national park in its own right,[10] separate from the circumjacent Sainte Anne Marine National Park. The island is now known as the Moyenne Island National Park.[11] The island is 4.5 kilometres (2+12 nautical miles) away from the main island of Mahé.

Lafortune died in 2007 and Grimshaw died in Victoria, Mahé, in July 2012.[12]

In 2013, after the island received its own national park status, a new hut was built and a warden was posted on the island, collecting the entrance fee from tourists.[13]

Administration edit

The island belongs to Mont Fleuri District.[14]

Tourism edit

Today, the island's main industry is tourism, and it is known for its beaches. Behind the restaurant is the local warden's house.

Image gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Seychelles' Brendon Grimshaw, owner of Moyenne island, dies at age 87". Breaking Travel News.
  2. ^ Moyenne 2016 visit
  3. ^ "Moyenne Island Seychelles".
  4. ^ "An 86-year-old, real-life Robinson Crusoe". BBC News. 29 April 2012.
  5. ^ Teale, Connor; Leeson, Lucy (April 10, 2022). "Yorkshire man buys tropical island for £8,000 and lives as a recluse". HullLive.
  6. ^ Ham, Anthony. "Moyenne Island: The world's smallest national park". Retrieved 2023-11-17.
  7. ^ "New African". IC Magazines Limited. March 30, 1998 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Hua, Vivian (May 2, 2012). "A Grain Of Sand Environmental Documentary Preview & Stream".
  9. ^ "A Grain of Sand | Watch Documentaries Online | Promote Documentary Film".
  10. ^ "Moyenne island declared a national park". Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  11. ^ "86-year-old man lives on Moyenne Island with 120 tortoises". May 14, 2012. Archived from the original on 8 March 2013.
  12. ^ "Moyenne Island: The world's smallest national park".
  13. ^ "Luxury Seychelles Travel Holidays". Creole Travel Services.
  14. ^ "Virtualseychelles – the Safest and Fastest Organic Instagram Growth Service" (PDF). November 15, 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-15.

External links edit