Trip Overview 

The new Astove Atoll Lodge is finally open and complete, giving six lucky anglers per week the exclusivity of one of the wildest, most rugged atolls on the globe. Astove is wild, secluded and remarkably remote, making it the perfect small-scale destination for anglers seeking adventure and a unique, one-of-a-kind, totally isolated fishing experience. The new lodge is situated only 500 feet from the famous "Wall" of Astove, where the flat sheers off and immediately drops from two feet to well over 3000 feet deep. It's a fishery and ecosystem that is completely frozen in time, where the daily dramas of predator and prey play out in front of your very eyes every single day of the season. Astove is known as the destination in the Seychelles where you have the greatest chance of catching a really big fish - from milkfish, dogtooth and yellowfin tuna off the wall, to giant trevally and sharks in the waters of the inner lagoon as well as on the rugged ocean falts. In addition to the action for large fish, there are great permit opportunities in the inside of the lagoon, tailing triggerfish on the edges of the flats, and incredible skinny-water bone fishing. The bonefish found out the outer flats of Astove are some of the largest found anywhere in the Seychelles.

Destination Quick Facts 

LOCATION:  Astove Atoll, Seychelles (Outer Islands) Approx. 655 miles southwest of Mahe

SEASON:  Early November to mid-December and late February through late April

CAPACITY:  Maximum of six (6) anglers per week

CLOSEST MAJOR AIR HUB:  Mahe, Seychelles (SEZ)

TARGET SPECIES:  Giant trevally, bonefish, Indo-Pacific permit, milkfish, bluefin trevally, triggerfish, dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, barracuda and more

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:  Valid passport. No visa required for citizens of most countries

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO     888-777-5060     INTL 01-1-406-585-8667       info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com

ACCOMMODATIONS

Lodging Details
Uninhabited since 1969 this atoll has seen very little human pressure, something that always makes for a wild experience. To ensure that the atoll stays pristine, the small coral lodge caters exclusively to only six guests per week. The newly built lodge is very comfortable, accommodating its guests in six single occupancy, air-conditioned rooms that surround a central courtyard. Each private room has its own bathroom, and while the accommodations are fairly basic, the rooms are comfortable and private. In addition to the six rooms, there is also a main lodge area that serves as the dining room and social area for the lodge.

Food and Beverages 

All meals are served in the lodge’s main dining area, with the chef preparing a mix of Creole and international food. All mineral water and soft drinks are included in the package, and the lodge has plenty of local beer for sale. If you want liquor or any other beverages, we recommend that you buy what you need at the Duty Free store in the airport en route.

Typical Length of Stay

All Astove trips are seven nights and include six and a half days of guided fishing. Because the island can only be accessed by a charter flight that runs once a week, all packages are fixed at one week in length.

Non-Angling Activities and Options

The reason to make the trip to Astove is to fish. There is very little infrastructure on the island, and – aside from wading the flats, walking the beach or snorkeling – very little for the non-angler to do.

Internet / Communications
There is no Wi-Fi or cell reception on Astove. The guesthouse is however equipped with a satellite phone which can be used by guests if needed.

FISHING

General Fishing Information
Among the inner circle of hard-core Indian Ocean anglers, Astove Atoll has become famous in recent years as home to one of the most impressive GT population in the world. Its shallow lagoon – with one small entrance that is surrounded on all sides by sheer drop-offs – is truly unique. This lagoon is a sanctuary for juvenile fish that are often preyed on by the larger species and it’s this attraction that makes it one of the best and wildest saltwater fly fishing destination on the planet. Not only does Astove offer great opportunities for GT’s, but also for bonefish, Indo-Pacific permit, barracuda, milkfish, bluefin trevally, triggerfish, yellowfin tuna, dogtooth tuna, wahoo, sailfish and marlin.

One of the aspects that makes Astove so unique is a feature know as the “Wall,” which runs the entire length of the Western side of the atoll. The “Wall” of Astove is breathtakingly beautiful and is often-times compared to an underwater Grand Canyon. It is made even more incredible by the fact that the flat and reef drop off at a vertical 90 degrees – from ankle deep, wadeable water to an immediate depth of over 3000 feet. The “Wall” is still known as one of the best dive sights on the planet. Jacques Cousteau made the Wall famous in 1956 when he filmed part of “The Silent World” along its edge. Prior to Cousteau’s visit, Astove Atoll had a desolate history, as the shallow waters where the cause of countless shipwrecks dating back to 1500 AC. It has been said that commercial ships used to pass by in the hope of rescuing and enslaving abandoned souls that had been shipwrecked and marooned on the island.

Astove is situated 655 miles southwest of Mahé and forms part of the remote Aldabra group of atolls. It’s a small and unique atoll that spans three and half miles from north to south, only two miles east to west at its widest points. The shallow inner lagoon has one small entrance and –due to its elevation – creates a phenomenon where by the tide falls like a river for ten hours of the twelve-hour tidal cycle, and then turns to flood the entire lagoon in only two hours. The fishing terrain on Astove varies from hostile shore breaks on the windward side to flat and calm coral flats on the outside to snow-white sand flats within the lagoon. This unique lagoon system is home to countless aquatic species and seabirds, including the endemic Caspian Turn, Dimorphic Egret and Red Tailed Tropic Bird along with a population of over 150 Giant Aldabra Tortoise. Over the past ten years, Astove Atoll has become synonymous with catching the largest flats-caught GT’s in the Indian Ocean and is fast becoming known for having one of the largest GT populations on the planet.

Boats and Equipment
The lodge utilizes 19-foot Mini-Mahe tender boats specifically designed for fly fishing Astove and moving anglers throughout the fishery. Each fishing team is typically comprised of two guests fishing with a different guide each day. Each guide is a qualified skipper, has first aid experience, speaks English and is extremely experienced. While the lodge can offer back-up rods and reels, it is recommended that you bring your own equipment. Fly selections can be pre-ordered and area fly patterns are available and for sale at the lodge.

TRAVEL DETAILS

How To Get There
The primary airport and access hub for the Seychelles is the Mahe International Airport (SEZ). The Seychelles is served by several internationally scheduled flights, including direct services from London (Heathrow) with Air Seychelles, Paris with Air France, Dubai with Emirates, and Johannesburg with Air Seychelles. From the U.S. you will typically fly to Paris, London or Dubai, and from there fly directly to Mahe (SEZ). Each flight is approximately eight to 10 hours long. Guests should plan to arrive on Mahe the day before and overnight in order to catch the morning shuttle to Astove.

Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Guests should plan to arrive on Mahe the day before the start of the trip (Sunday) and overnight. The transfer flight departs Mahe early Monday morning and usually arrives on Astove around noon. That said, these charter flight times can vary, so it is best to play it safe and come in the day before. On the following Monday, you should plan your international flight to depart Mahe (SEZ) no earlier than 7:30 PM, which is not really a problem since most international flights depart between 9:00 PM and 11:00 PM. The private IDC charter flight from Mahe to Astove is approximately 2 hours 30 minutes long. All flights to Astove are aboard a Beechcraft 1900, operated by the IDC.

Documents Required
All U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport that does not expire within six (6) months of trips dates. Please be sure that your passport has at least two blank, unstamped pages remaining in back, and that it is not torn, delaminated, or damaged in any way. UK, US, EU and RSA passport holders do not require a visa for entering the country of the Seychelles for vacation purposes. 

Travel Arrangements
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.

Luggage Weight Restrictions
Beginning in late 2014, Mason’s Travel (the third party on-ground "guest handlers” in Mahe) was instructed to begin enforcing the 15 kilograms (33 pounds) main luggage / 5 kilograms (11 pounds) hand luggage rule for all passengers boarding the IDC aircrafts to Alphonse Island, Farquhar, Cosmoledo and Astove Atolls. Although these weight restrictions have been in place for years, most guests simply ignored the allowances. Beginning with the 2015 season, passengers that fail to comply with the restrictions will be instructed to unpack their overweight luggage and will have to leave the unpacked goods in Mahe at their expense. We are being told that IDC will not make any exceptions to this rule, as all flights to the outer islands and atolls will be full. Please be aware that there is not an option to pay ‘overweight’ baggage fees, as the aircrafts can only carry so much cargo.

RATES

Package Rates

Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.

We have recently revised the rates for Astove and we're happy to announce a significant reduction in rates for the coming season! The rates have also been adjusted for neap and spring tides as springs are better for GT’s and neaps more suited to a variety of species on offer, including info-pacific permit, bonefish, triggerfish, milkfish and more. 
 
2017/2018 Rates: (Excluding Conservation Donation)
Neap Tide Rate $10,950 per person
Spring Tide Rack: $12,950 per person
 
2017 and 2018 Weeks for Astove (FM = Full Moon / NM = New Moon) 
27 Nov – 4 Dec 17 – FM 3rd – Spring tides
4 – 11 Dec 17 – FM 3rd – Spring tides
26 Feb – 5 Mar 18 – FM 2nd – Spring tides
5 – 12 Mar 18 – Neap tides
12 – 19 Mar 18 – NM 17th – Spring tides
19 – 26 Mar 18 – NM 17th – Spring tides
26 Mar – 2 Apr 18 – FM 31st – Spring Tides

Package Includes

  • Six and a half (6.5) full days of guided fishing (two anglers per guide)
  • Seven (7) nights of single occupancy accommodations on Astove in private room
  • All meals while at lodge
  • Round-trip inter-island IDC charter flights between Mahe and Astove
  • Use of tender boat and all fuel for daily transportation
  • Seychelles fishing license
  • All applicable lodging and resort taxes and landing fees
  • Water, soft drinks, coffee and tea

Package Does Not Include

  • Airfare to and from Mahe (SEZ)
  • Hotel nights, meals and ground transfers on Mahe (if needed)
  • Bar tab and alcohol at lodge
  • Gratuities for staff and guides
  • Laundry services
  • Mandatory travel and medical evacuation insurance
  • Terminal tackle, flies and fishing gear
  • $175.00 per person Conservation Levy Tax that is payable in cash once on island

Payment Terms
Reservations will be held for 15 days. We require a 50% deposit to confirm the booking, and final payment is due in full 90 days prior to arrival

Cancellation Policy for Astove Atoll Lodge
A 10% fee shall be levied if cancellation is made more than 180 days prior to arrival.   
A 10% fee shall be levied if the reservation is moved to an alternative date within the same season.  
A fee of 50% shall be levied if cancellation is between 180 and 90 days prior to arrival.  
A fee of 100% shall be levied if cancellation is 90 days or less prior to arrival.  
All cancellations and provisional bookings must be confirmed in writing to Yellow Dog.

Insurance    
All activities require the client to sign an indemnity form once on location.
All clients require travel insurance to cover costs incurred due to flight delays for any reason.     
All clients require “From Scene of Accident Medivac Insurance”  (Global Rescue).

At time of quote flight charges, island fees and government taxes are correct but are subject to change without prior notice. Increases in any of these facets are out of the control of Alphonse Island Limited and will be transferred to the client.  Service providers used such as airlines and lodge operators are independent business concerns and are in no way affiliated to Alphonse Island Limited.  Although all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the smooth running of the tour, Alphonse Island Limited cannot be held responsible in any way for bad or non-performance of service providers.  While all possible efforts will be made to ensure the success of this tour, Alphonse island Limited cannot be held responsible in any way for the cancellation in total or in part or non-performance in any way, due to bad weather, insufficient bookings or any other detrimental natural phenomenon/disaster, political unrest or war. Should the IDC be unable to provide its service, a 100 % refund of the package fee only, will be made to the client and no further claims from the client will be made on Alphonse Island Lodge Limited. Likewise in any scenario in which certain costs for extracting or moving their guests are incurred, including but not limited to charter flights or other means of transportation off the Vessel or from an area, the guests agrees to meet any and all such costs and no claims will be made against Alphonse Island Lodge Limited for such expenses. 

TRIP ITINERARY

SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR ASTOVE ATOLL LODGE PACKAGE:

Day 1: The charter flight departs Mahe from the IDC Hanger (located five minutes south of the international airport) at approximately 8:30 AM and lands on Astove at approximately 12:30 PM that same day. The group is then transferred to the lodge, where orientation and tackle set-up begins. Lunch will be served at 1:00 PM with fishing from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM. On arrival day, guests fish unguided and on their own from the shore 

Day 2 – 7 : Breakfast at 7:30 AM each morning and fishing from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM each day. Lunch is packed and enjoyed while out on the flats, and dinner each evening is served at the lodge. 

Day 8:  Breakfast at 8:00 AM. Will have packed, settled bills and finalized gratuities the evening before. The departure flight back to Mahe leaves the island at approximately 12:30 PM, arriving back on Mahe at approximately 4:00 PM. It is possible to arrange an international departure flight that same evening from Mahe. (We recommend nothing before 8:00 PM.)