Moyenne Island is a small island of about 9.9 hectares or 24 acres. It is located off the north coast of Mahé, Seychelles, in the Sainte Anne Marine National Park. It has been a flora and animal conservation area since the 1970s. It is the world’s smallest National Park. But do you know who owns Moyenne Island?
Brendon Grimshaw purchased Moyenne Island off the coast of Seychelles for £8,000 in 1973 and lived there alone until he died in 2012. He transformed it by planting 16,000 trees and bringing in 2,000 birds and 120 giant tortoises.
Who is Brendon Grimshaw?
Brendon Grimshaw used to work as a news editor for a company in Nairobi, Africa. He decided to sell everything he possessed and tour the world as his contract was about to expire. His explorations took him to India, but he fell in love with the small island.
He and his partner, Rene Lafortune, took on the difficult job of restoring the site to its former splendor after buying the land for 8,000 dollars. In 1996, Grimshaw issued A Grain of Sand, a book about himself and the island. In 2009, A Grain of Sand, a documentary film about Grimshaw and the island, was released.
Brendon Grimshaw never had a spouse and died unmarried. He felt increasingly lonely after his partner died in 2007. Grimshaw died in Victoria, Mahé, in July 2012. (Source: Breaking Travel News)
How Did Grimshaw Obtain the Island?
According to local legend, in the 18th and 19th centuries, the beaches were a haven for pirates. There are cemeteries scattered throughout the island that witnessed its violent past. Phillip Georges bought the island privately in the mid-nineteenth century. While her husband went to work in Maha, his wife wandered the beaches. Grimshaw approached the couple during dinner and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. (Source: Breaking Travel News)
What were Grimshaw’s Intentions for the Island?
After 20 years of hard work, Grimshaw and his colleague Lafortune successfully established Moyenne Island as a detached National Park from the Ste. Anne’s marine park.
Grimshaw and his partner intended to construct an island of exceptional beauty by planting sixteen thousand trees, building three-mile nature walks, and bringing and breeding Aldabra gigantic tortoises. The island is home to roughly 120 giant tortoises and a diverse plant and birdlife.
Visitors were charged €12 to come ashore, wander the island, dine at the Jolly Roger Restaurant, and relax on the beach. Moyenne Island National Park is currently the name of the island. The island is about 2+12 nautical miles from Mahé’s main island.
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
After the island was designated as a national park in 2013, a new cottage was built and a warden was stationed on the island to collect the admission fee from visitors. Indeed, he was never in it for the money, declining a 50 million dollar offer to sell the Island who would use it as a party vacation spot. (Source: Breaking Travel News)