Aldabra Atoll is the world's second-largest coral atoll - after Kiritimati (Christmas Island). It is part of the Outer Islands (Seychelles) in the Indian Ocean. Aldabra Island is located 1120 km (700 mi) southwest of Victoria (Mahe Island). The Aldabra Atoll has 4 larger islands, plus 40 smaller ones, all inside its lagoon. There are also a few very small islets located between Grand-Terre Island and Picard Islands.
A scientific research station of SIF (Seychelles Islands Foundation) is based at La Gigi village, Picard Island. The permanent staff of 12 people conduct research to study the biodiversity of Aldabra.
Aldabra is not easy to access. No helipads, landing jetties or airstrips, have been permitted to be construct on the atoll. The closest airfield on Assumption is 50 km (31 ml) south-east of Picard. Supply ships that operate from Mahe provide food and other essentials to the scientists and staff at the station once per 2 months.
Cruises are operated by several cruise lines along with dive boats that may call on Aldabra Atoll on expedition tours. Visits by people other than SIF scientists and staff are strictly controlled. Only guided tours are offered with prior permission and current numbers indicate that an average of 900 tourists are able to see the atoll per year. Within Aldabra, paved walking paths exist from La Gigi village which leads to premonitory from where views of the mangrove species and the large lagoon (during low tides) are seen.
- Aldabra was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site on November 19, 1982. it is among the Seychelles' two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is managed and protected by SIF. The marine protected area extends 1 km (0.62 ml) into the sea to ensure preservation of the marine fauna. Eco tourism is controlled; introduction of invasive species is restricted.
- BirdLife International declared Aldabra Atoll as an IBA (Important Endemic Bird Area) in 2001 on account of atoll's large seabird colonies.
- In 2010 Aldabra Atoll became Ramsar Wetland Site of International Importance.
- Aldabra was designated as a site under IOSEA (Indian Ocean South East Asia) turtle network, in the 2014 convention.