North Island’s Managing Director, Bruce Simpson said, “Turning 21 is the ‘coming of age’ in many cultures - the reaching of adulthood or even the end of the learning phase in a child’s life. In North Island’s case, turning 21 is just the start! Over two decades in our lives speak more to the beginning of North Island’s lifespan and evolution, as it is only now starting to evolve into the adult we envisioned and what was really planned for it.”
A new chapter in the history of North Island began in 1997 when the Island was purchased by Wilderness Safaris, with a view to creating not just the world’s leading private island hideaway, but also of turning back the clock: undoing the damage wrought by man, and creating a safe haven for indigenous Seychellois fauna and flora. They had a bold vision and brought on board four private shareholders to turn the dream into reality. North Island embarked on an ambitious journey to rehabilitate, preserve and study the island’s ecosystems. Once an abandoned copra plantation left to run wild, now a “Noah’s Ark” sanctuary where endangered species can thrive once more. Sea turtles nest in complete privacy on North Island’s pristine beaches and giant tortoises roam the lush landscape free from harm.
Bruce Simpson, who has played an integral role in North Island’s history for over 15 years continued in saying, “My most proud and special moment has been when we successfully reintroduced the Seychelles White-eye, a species that was critically-endangered and near extinction before our part in its rescue was considered. Not the fact that we have been called the best private island in the world or number one destination by some of the leading luxury brands and associations in our industry. An amazing story of commitment to a single dream, one that continues 21 years later and is only starting to show the real results and potential for success of all the efforts. We are now looking at reintroducing one of the rarest birds in the world, the Seychelles Magpie Robin, within the next year.”
The absolute commitment, dedicated focus and energy required not to look back, makes it a remarkable achievement by an incredible team of people over the years, at both North Island and Wilderness Safaris. The team continues to drive two very clear goals and the year ahead sees many exciting developments aimed at enriching the guest experience and furthering its conservation efforts. North Island continues to set a new standard of luxury set against a backdrop of eco-friendly practices, and hopes to inspire sustainable tourism ventures around the world.
Click here to look back on North Island’s major conservation milestones and ahead to its new initiatives.
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