"Remotest Inhabited VT Location" Tristan da Cunha by Ekahau

Tristan da Cunha Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 158 photos


So you have been to all the normal tourist spots to do a virtual tourist page and want to hit what is billed as the world’s most remote inhabited VT Location-- well you have come to the right place.

Two Minutes on Tristan Tristan

Tristan2 Tristan
TRISTAN DA CUNHA!!!!! is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. This includes Saint Helena 2,430 kilometres (1,510 mi) to its north and equatorial Ascension Island even further north. The island has a permanent population of 275 located in the Atlantic of the cost of Africa it is one of the most if not the most remote location (Pitcairn Island in the Pacific might compete for this title) that is a proper place with its own Governor, flag, stamps, school hospital, library and people who live there year around. "the remotest inhabited location in the world" - Guiness Book of Records, 1998. Unless you have your own private seagoing yacht you can normally reach it only a few times a year. If you want to fill in even more romantic isolated hard to reach Island locations on your Virtualtourist map than the 37 day Explorer program to Canary, Cape Verde, Ascension, St. Helena, Tristan Da Cunha, Nightingale, Gough, Bouvet, South Georgia, and finally the Falkland Islands might be your cup of tea so to speak. But the Explorer only spends 6 hours at Tristan. Much of the history and factual information provide for this virtualtourist page by Brian Baldwin who was Her Majesty the Queen’s Administrator for the government of Tristan da Cunha -- thank you Brian. I still think you have the coolest official uniform in the world with the tall-feathered hat.

Since, I first posted this about 5 years ago the goverment of Tristan da Cunha has together a fantastic web site in 2005 it even links to the Tristan Times newspaper. Also this site has the ship schedule to TdC.

TRISTAN DA CUNHA official website

Some of the information and Photos for this VT page were provided and used with their permission. But if you want the real and updated stuff go to the official website.

Some General Information -The territory of Tristan da Cunha is composed of four islands, Gough, Inaccessible, Nightingale and Tristan itself. The latter three are grouped together while Gough lies some 230 nautical miles (426km) to the south. The main island, Tristan da Cunha, is the remotest inhabited island in the world. Its nearest neighbor is St. Helena 2,334 kms to the North while Cape Town is 2,778 kms to the East. Tristan is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. It is under the authority of the Governor of St. Helena but powers are delegated to a resident Administrator. There is only one inhabited area. This is Edinburgh of the Seven Seas on Tristan. It is a small village of just under 300 people, the total population of Tristan da Cunha. It was named in 1867 after Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (second son of Queen Victoria) who visited in August that year as commander of the frigate "Galatea".


Brief History
Tristan da Cunha was discovered in 1506 by the Portuguese navigator, Tristao da Cunha. He did not land but nevertheless named the island after himself. In the 17th and 18th centuries the Dutch and French governments, as well as the British East India Company, considered taking possession of the islands but decided not to do so, mainly because of a lack of a suitable landing place The islands were later used as temporary bases by sealers and whalers usually from the USA, and it was from here that the first settlers of Tristan came. In 1811 Jonathan Lambert, who hailed from Salem, declared himself emperor (a copy of his flag can be seen in the Island museum). He disappeared in somewhat mysterious circumstances. The other, Thomas Curry, was still on the island when its next occupants arrived. This was in 1816 when a British garrison was sent from Cape Town. Curry aroused their interest with stories of buried treasure but never revealed its whereabouts. He “died of drink”, plied to him by the members of the garrison seeking the treasure! The British Government had sent the garrison because they were worried that the island might be used for an attempt by the French to rescue Napoleon from St. Helena. It was withdrawn in 1817 but Corporal William Glass from Kelso in Scotland, with his wife and children, asked to stay. Others joined William Glass and his family over the next few years, notably Thomas Swain from Hastings, UK. Five bachelors on Tristan in the early 1820s asked a naval Captain if he could arrange for five wives to come from St. Helena. In 1827 the ladies arrived and the community began to increase. In 1836 a Dutchman, Peter Groen, who anglicised his name to Green, joined them. In 1837 and 1849 Thomas Rogers and Andrew Hagan, both American whalers, also settled on Tristan.

At this time the island prospered. Although only operating a subsistence economy they were able to barter their fresh vegetables and fresh water (an official currency was not introduced on the island until the early 1950s) to passing ships for provisions required on the island. Sailing ships en route to South Africa, India, the Far East and Australia all came via Tristan to utilize the trade winds. By 1856 there were 97 inhabitants and in 1876 the British Government formally declared the islands to be part of the British Empire. In 1892 an Italian ship from Camogli in Italy was wrecked off the island. Two of the sailors, Andrea Repetto and Gaetano Laverello decided to stay and then married local girls. Two sisters, Agnes and Elizabeth Smith, from Kilkenny in Ireland met and married two islanders fighting with the British army in the Boer War and afterwards returned with them to Tristan. These seven family names, Glass, Green, Hagan, Laverello, Repetto, Rogers and Swain are the only surnames now found on the island.


The Administrator, appointed by the Governor of St. Helena, is the head of Government, which comprises 11 separate Departments. The Administrator must act in accordance with advice from the Island Council, which is composed of 8 elected members and three appointed members. A general election is held every three years. At least one member of the Council must be a woman. At the moment there are three women members. The Councilor who receives the most votes in the election is appointed Chief Islander.
Climate and Topography
The climate is temperate and oceanic with rapid weather changes, a wide temperature range (4 to 26 degrees C) and an average rainfall of 66 inches (1,676mm) per year.
The island is 38 square miles in area, and just over 25 nautical miles round. It is volcanic in origin (about one million years ago) and the central peak of the island rises to 2060m (6,760 ft.) from a plateau, known as the Base, which rises steeply from the shoreline to 600m (2,000ft.). A number of gullies, known locally as "gulches", lead down to sea level from the Base.
The area around Edinburgh and along the coast to Patches is grassland where the animals graze. At other points around the island are similar, but smaller plains which are used in a variety of ways by the islanders. Most are only accessible by sea.

The seas around the islands of Tristan are rich in finfish as well as lobster and octopus. Fivefinger, snoek, bluefish, stumpnose, steambras, soldier and mackerel can be found. The Yellow-nosed and Sooty Albatross nest on the Base at Tristan and on the other islands. Rockhopper penguins have established rookeries in various parts of the islands.
Fur seals, elephant seals, the rare Shepherd's Beaked whale and the Southern Right whale all visit the island. There is a rich and varied birdlife, including the Wandering Albatross, Petrels, Buntings and the unique Flightless Rail.
The people of Tristan are keenly aware of the need to live in harmony with their environment. The declaration of Gough Island as a World Heritage site and of Inaccessible as a nature reserve means that 40% of Tristan da Cunha's land is under protection.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:very Very Far away
  • Cons:very Very Far away
  • In a nutshell:very Very Far away
  • Intro Updated May 27, 2013
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Reviews (23)

Comments (25)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2015 at 7:20 AM

    Paul, thanks for your presentation of TDC... You are blessed with so many travels. Good for you!

    • Ekahau's Profile Photo
      Sep 13, 2015 at 1:45 AM

      thanks HunterV love remote travel as you would say “The entire world with your own eyes”

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    May 27, 2013 at 1:47 PM

    I love it when TdC comes up in my activity feed :-) How's the project going Paul?

    • kiwi's Profile Photo
      May 28, 2013 at 2:05 AM

      Yes I still get the newsletter magazine, it's wonderful.

    • kiwi's Profile Photo
      May 28, 2013 at 2:06 AM

      Glad to hear the project is doing good. Yes I heard there was a problem so glad there was a backup meantime.

  • wise23girl's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    sending this to David (wisedancer)

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Dec 11, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    I was so proud to have been a (peripheral) part of the medical support project :-))

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    Hello, Paul! What a great traveler you are! You've been to all those remote places! Thanks for sharing! Very nice T-logs...

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    May 11, 2008 at 8:14 AM

    Amazing that they all returned from the UK after the volcano had calmed down.

  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2007 at 3:54 AM

    Thank you for this page and your tips.

  • Sep 28, 2007 at 7:47 AM

    I am at an utter loss for words. Such a remarkable page with a well of information. Thanks for sharing.

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jul 6, 2007 at 9:18 PM

    This is a great page about a most fasinating place! I learned alot from your page. The picture of the baby penguin is adorable!

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Jun 22, 2007 at 7:50 PM

    the camogli connecetion! I am going to see camogli in November. It means - house of wives thus widows (fishing village.) Maybe Lavarello and Reppetto left 2 'widows' back home. (I see the page was here all the time and I could just not find it.)

Ekahau Used To Live Here!


“""I have a hobby...I have the world's largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over"”

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