Probably the most remote inhabited island in the world, Tristan da Cunha is home to some 275 people who have settled here and is almost equidistant between South Africa and South America. Owned by the United Kingdom, the island has no airport and is predominantly serviced by the occasional ship and research vessel which makes its way to deliver supplies en route to the Antarctic. The island is also an active volcano, which hasn’t erupted since 1961 but which lends a remarkably dramatic shape to the uppermost peak.
Tristan da Cunha’s residents are all descendents of 15 men and women who arrived here in the 19th century and so there are only 8 surnames shared by the inhabitants. The only town on the island is called Edinburgh of the Seven Seas and is where the population resides; this is also the place where you would be staying if you can make it here. Although naturally very difficult to reach, visiting the island is made more difficult by the red tape involved as all transport must be arranged well in advance, as well as accommodation and permission to land. It can be a challenge to arrange a trip here, and very expensive, but it is also a once in a lifetime chance to experience something that doesn’t exist elsewhere on earth. The island is home to a remarkable branch of cuisine that is incredibly simple but tastes completely unique and is predominantly seafood based.
The sights of the Tristan da Cunha are astounding in their wildness with an island basin known as Pigbite Lagoon, formed after the 1961 volcanic eruption that now collects water and a collection of stunning caves surround the island shore. There is also a bizarre tradition on the island where the men dress up as scarily as they can on New Years Eve and go round to terrify the women and children in complete anonymity: they call themselves the Okalolies.
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