Top 7 most beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean, including Madagascar, Zanzibar and Mauritius

Islands of the Indian Ocean. Best for recreation, uninhabited, largest on the world map

There are about 85 names of islands in the Indian Ocean, including small groups and archipelagos. Among them, there are the largest in the world – Madagascar and Sumatra, and very small – up to 100 square meters.

Islands of the Eastern Indian Ocean

The islands of the Indian Ocean in its eastern part belong to India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Australia. These territories cover four climatic belts.

In the northeastern part (Sri Lanka, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands) a monsoon climate with accompanying cyclones is particularly pronounced; towards the southern tropics (Cocos Islands, Java, Bali) it is replaced by a trade wind with frequent tropical hurricanes. The equatorial zone (Sumatra) is characterized by high relative humidity up to 80% and abundant precipitation.

Subequatorial climate band


Islands of the Indian Ocean. The best for recreation, uninhabited, the largest on the world map

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands – 570 islands united in a union territory within India with a total area of 8,249 km². The islands extend as a ridge between India and Myanmar. The archipelago is a national reserve of India, which requires a special permit to visit. This is due to the isolated presence of indigenous tribes whose numbers were severely affected by British colonization.
  • The Amindive Islands : 5 reef islands in the south east of the Arabian Sea covering an area of 9.26 sq. km. They are united in the island union of Lakshadweep in India. The islands are inhabited by 18 thousand people.
  • The Lakkadiv Islands are an archipelago to the south-west of the Indian coast. The total area of the islands is 18.65 sq. km. The Lakkadiv Islands are part of the Indian island union Lakshadweep. Some islands are popular tourist resorts.
  • Sri Lanka is an island of the Republic of Sri Lanka, separated from Hindustan by the Strait of Polk. Its total area is 65,610 km².
  • Madura is an island of 4,290 km² in the Malay Archipelago northeast of Java, belongs to Indonesia. Oil and gas fields are developed on the island.

Equatorial climate band.


  • Banyak is a group of 99 Indonesian islands west of Sumatra. The total area is 319 km². The population of the territory does not exceed 7 thousand people.
  • Batu is an Indonesian archipelago on the equator to the west of Sumatra. The total area of the islands is 1,154 sq km.
  • Veh is a volcanic island in the Andaman Sea, is part of Indonesia. The area of the island is 3,600 km², part of the territory and coastal zone is a habitat for rare animals and is protected by the state.
  • Sumatra is a large island on the equator in Indonesia. Its area is 473,000 km². The island has active volcanoes and is characterized by frequent earthquakes.
  • Nias is a volcanic, mountainous island west of Sumatra, belonging to Indonesia. It has an area of 4,772 km². The island retains historical monuments of the isolated Nias culture.
  • Langkawi is an archipelago with a total area of 478 km². The group consists of 4 large islands with a population and more than 100 smaller islets. The territory belongs to Malaysia and is located 50 km from the coast of the mainland.
  • Myeik is an archipelago of 800 islands off the west coast of Myanmar, covering an area of 3,500 sq. km. The archipelago is an attractive place for diving enthusiasts, fishing enthusiasts, kayaking enthusiasts, and beach vacationers.
  • Phi Phi – an island of 26 square kilometers off the coast of Thailand. Known for filming the movie “The Beach.
  • Phuket is an island off the west coast of Thailand with an area of 543,034 km². One of the most popular resorts in Asia.
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Tropical climate band.


Islands of the Indian Ocean. The best for recreation, uninhabited, the largest on the world map

  • Cocos Islands – an archipelago of 27 small coral islands belonging to Australia. The total area is 14 km². The largest island of the archipelago has an airport. Currently developing tourism.
  • Tiwi – 11 islands off the northern coast of Australia with an area of 8320 km². Are a special protected area of the Australian aborigines Tiwi.
  • Ashmore and Cartier – a cluster of small uninhabited islands between the coast of Australia and Indonesia. Their total area is 199 km². They are a national reserve of Australia.
  • Barrow is an island off the northwest coast of Australia. The area is 32 km². Oil and gas fields are developed on the island.
  • Christmas Island is a volcanic island of 135 square kilometers. It belongs to Australia, is located 2360 km from the northwest coast of the continent. More than half of the island is a national park.

Subtropical climate band.


Islands of the Indian Ocean. The best for recreation, uninhabited, the largest on the world map

  • Bold Island is a granite island off the southwest coast of Australia, 8 km². It is a protected area in Australia for the conservation of rare plants and birds.
  • Kangaroo Island is a large Australian island with a rich fauna. Part of the island area of 4405 km² is a nature reserve.
  • Derk Harthog, an island 2 km off the west coast of Australia, covers 625 km². It is part of the unique ecosystem of Shark Bay, which is a UNESCO Protected Site.

Islands of the Western Indian Ocean

The western Indian Ocean islands have a mild tropical or subtropical climate, suitable for year-round holidays. The most popular tourist destinations here are the Seychelles, Maldives, Madagascar, and Mauritius.


Islands of the Indian Ocean. The best for recreation, uninhabited, the largest on the world map

  • Bajuni – 13 small islands belonging to the Republic of Somalia. They are located along the coast of the mainland.
  • Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands with a total area of 766 km² in the Persian Gulf. Belongs to the Kingdom of Bahrain, known for its archaeological sites and pearl mining.
  • Zanzibar is 75 islands which are part of the semi-autonomous region of the Republic of Tanzania. The total area of the archipelago is 2,654 km².
  • Qeshm is an island in the Persian Gulf with an area of 1445 sq. km. It is a province of Iran. The island is known for its mangrove forests, colorful coastline and historical sites.
  • Comoros is a group of volcanic islands between Madagascar and Africa. The area of the archipelago is 2,238 km². Some of the islands belong to the Union of the Comoros, some of them are part of the French region of Mayotte. On the largest island, Ngazija, there is an active volcano.
  • Kuria-Muria is a group of 5 islands in the Arabian Sea belonging to the state of Oman. Kuria-Muria has a total area of 73 km², of which only 1 island, El Hallaniya, is inhabited.
  • Lamu is a Kenyan archipelago along the coast of the mainland. It consists of 3 large and several small islands. The territory of the islands is a national park of Kenya and is included in the UNESCO protection program.
  • Madagascar is a large tropical island with an area of 587,000 km². It is located in the south-east of the African continent. The island is famous for its unique flora and fauna, 80% of the species are found only on Madagascar.

Islands in the southern Indian Ocean

Islands in the southern Indian Ocean have a sub-Antarctic climate and are sparsely populated. They are of more interest for ecotourism, scientific expeditions, and meteorological research.


  • Amsteram is a volcanic island equidistant from Australia, Africa, and Antarctica. It belongs to the French Southern and Antarctic Territories. Area of the island is 58 km². The population of the island does not exceed 200-300 people, mostly scientists and meteorologists.
  • Kerguelen is an archipelago of 300 rocky islands measuring 7,215 km² and is part of the French South and Antarctic Territories. Are the top of an underwater volcanic plateau. The islands, with their harsh climate, have no permanent population, but they host colonies of penguins and seabirds.
  • Crozet – a group of 6 uninhabited volcanic islands in the French and Antarctic Territories. The area of the archipelago is 353 km². The main attraction of the rugged islands are large colonies of goldeneye and king penguins.
  • Macdonald is an uninhabited Australian archipelago of 372 km². The islands of volcanic origin are the most remote stretches of land from the mainland. They are 4,200 km from the coast of Africa and 1,630 km from Antarctica.
  • Prince Edward is a group of 2 uninhabited volcanic islands belonging to South Africa, a total area of 335 km². The islands are home to seals, penguins, and seabird colonies.
  • Saint-Paul is an uninhabited volcanic island with an area of 8 km², belongs to the Amsterdam archipelago. It is an active volcano, the last eruption of which was recorded in 1991. In the center of the island is a bay formed by a volcanic caldera.

Indian Ocean resort islands

The islands of the Indian Ocean are located in the equatorial and tropical climate zone, but not all of them are open to tourism and suitable for resort holidays.

Some tourist destinations are interesting for ecotourism and lovers of antiquities, but are not suitable for recreation and health. The most popular island resorts are Mauritius, Maldives, Madagascar, Seychelles and Sri Lanka.

Islands of the Indian Ocean. The best for recreation, uninhabited, the largest on the world map

The average summer temperature +27 º C, +24 º C in winter.

Unique flora and fauna;

unique flora and fauna; ● 70 species of lemurs;

Coral archipelago; part of the islands are open for visitors;

Each island has its own resort with its own infrastructure;

Top 10 largest islands in Africa – names, photos, descriptions and maps

There are many islands, both large and small, adjacent to the African continent. Some of them are so remote from mainland Africa that it would be more correct to classify them as oceanic islands. The flora and fauna are not always very different from the coastal areas of the mainland, but endemic forms of life are often found. Washed by the warm waters of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, the African islands look like paradises amidst vast expanses of water. This article provides a list of Africa’s ten largest islands with names, brief descriptions, photos, and map locations.

Tristan de Cunha Archipelago

Tristan da Cunha Island

The total area of all the islands in the archipelago is 207 km², and the largest island, Tristan de Cunha, has an area of 98 km². The island is rounded and 9.5 km in diameter. It is the remotest landmass from the African mainland and is located to the southwest. Tristan de Cunha was formed by the once active volcano Queen Mary about 1 million years ago.

Tristan de Cunha on map/Wikipedia

The island has a rocky coastline and mountainous topography. The island is dominated by rainy weather with winds. There are almost no mammals, of the birds there are penguins and the Tristan shepherd. The flora is represented by shrubs and dwarf trees. Tristan de Cunha, together with St. Helena and Ascension Islands, belongs to the British Overseas Territories. The permanent population lives in the administrative center of Edinburgh.

São Tomé .

The island has an area of 854 km²; it is 48 km long and 32 km wide. São Tomé is located off the west coast of the African mainland at a distance of 240 km from the port city of Port-Gentil, Gabon and 2 km north of the equator. The island is of volcanic origin. Handy bays and coves have formed along the coastline. Most of the island is occupied by mountains up to 2024 m high. Sources of fresh water are rapids.

Sam Tomé Island on the map/Wikipedia

São Tomé is known for its citrus and peach groves. Coconut and banana palms grow on the plains. The coastal waters are inhabited by shippokolas, sailfish. The island has many amazing and endemic species of birds. Of the animals, sea turtles, which lay their eggs on local beaches, are memorable. São Tomé is part of the island state of São Tomé and Principe. The natives are the descendants of slaves, in addition to them, the territory is inhabited by Creoles. Altogether, the island is home to over 150,000 people, or 96% of the total population.


The island covers an area of 1,666 km² and is about 85 km long and 30 km wide. The island is situated in the Indian Ocean near the east coast of the continent. Zanzibar is a mainland island which was formed about 20 million years ago. The coastline is full of small islands, rocks and reefs. In the central part of the island there is a mountain Karnuhala, which has a height of 136 meters. The island has a number of rivers flowing into the Straits of Zanzibar.

Zanzibar Island on Map/Wikipedia

The flora is not very diverse, dominated by a few species of palm trees. Because of the abundance of fish, a variety of bird species nest on the coasts. The national park is teeming with monkeys, flying dogs and turtles. The island belongs to Tanzania. The Zanzibaris are natives of mainland Africa.


The area of the island is 1,865 km²; it is 65 km long and 45 km wide. The island is located in the Indian Ocean at a distance of about 900 km from Madagascar. Mauritius has a volcanic origin. There are mountains on the island that used to be active volcanoes.

Mauritius Island on map/Wikipedia

There are about 400 species of plants in the tropical forests of Mauritius. Various amphibians love the coastal area. Mammals are hardly represented. Mauritius is an island state. The indigenous people call themselves Indo-Mauritians.


Bioko has an area of 2017 km²; it is about 70 km long and 32 km wide. The island is located 32 km off the west coast of Africa. Bioko is of volcanic origin. There are many craters of extinct volcanoes on the island. Before sea level rise about 10 thousand years ago, Bioko was a peninsula attached to the territory of modern Cameroon. The highest point of the island, Pico Basile, is 3,012 meters above sea level.

Bioko Island on map/Wikipedia

The plant life is diverse due to the fertile soil. Most of the area is covered with tropical forests. The animal life is also rich, due to its close proximity to the continent and lack of large predators. The island belongs to Equatorial Guinea. The indigenous population calls themselves Bubi and Fernandino.


The area of the island is 2,034 km²; length about 80 km, width 11 km. The island is located in the Atlantic near the northwest coast of Africa, and is the largest in the Canary Islands archipelago. Tenerife has a volcanic origin. Along the coasts are a lot of rocks, and the area itself is mountainous.

Tenerife on a map/Wikipedia

The climate in the north and south is influenced by the mountain range that divides the island in half. The unique flora is represented by balsamic thistle, canary pine, and dracena. Nowhere else in the world can you meet the Tenerife gecko, spotted lizard, and skink. The island belongs to Spain. The indigenous population by all indications – the Spaniards.

Comoro Islands

Mayotte Island.

The area of the archipelago is 2,236 km². Comoros islands are of volcanic origin, and are located in the Indian Ocean between mainland Africa and Madagascar. The oldest island of the archipelago, Mayotte, has an area of about 360 km², a length of 39 km and a width of 20 km. Throughout the year, the archipelago enjoys a humid climate without significant fluctuations in temperature. The flora and fauna, however, are diverse.

Comoros on map/Wikipedia

Much of the area is covered with evergreen forests. The coastal coral reefs are home to various species of fish, as well as sharks and manta rays. Of the animals there are lemurs, turtles, bats and mongooses. The islands of the archipelago belong to Comoros and France, and are inhabited by Aborigines, Arabs, and natives of France.


The island has an area of 2,511 km²; it is 63 km long and 45 km wide. The island is located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar and 175 km from Mauritius. Reunion was formed as a result of volcanic activity. It has large lava fields and part of the area is covered in forests.

Réunion Island on map/Wikipedia

It is home to many species of birds. The island has an oceanarium and croc-park. Reunion is part of the French Overseas Territory. The natives are considered Creole, but there are Indians and French on the island.


The area of the island is 3,626 km²; it is 130 km long and 42 km wide. Socotra is located in the Indian Ocean east of the mainland, 240 km from the Horn of Africa Peninsula. It was formed as a result of the shift of tectonic plates. The coastline is dominated by coral reefs and cliffs.

Socotra Island on map/Wikipedia

The island has formed a unique fauna and flora. Only here you can see the dragon tree, the long-tailed starling and the Socotran nectar. Socotra belongs to Yemen. The population is mostly represented by the local ethnic group, the Sokotrians.


The island has an area of 587041 km², with a length of 1600 km and a width of 400 km. It is a mainland island, which is located in a southeasterly direction from the coast of mainland Africa. The mountainous terrain gently turns into plains. The highest point is the extinct volcano Marumukutru, 2876 m. The river system abounds with waterfalls and rapids. The climate is monsoonal and equatorial.

Madagascar Island on map/Wikipedia

Minerals have been discovered on the island. Flora and fauna have been preserved since ancient times and about 90% of the species are endemic. Only here you can see ironwood, baobab, rosewood. Madagascar is known for lemurs, tomato frogs and leaf-tailed geckos. The territory of the island is governed by the Republic of Madagascar. A population of about 25 million people is represented mainly by the Malagasy ethnic group.

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