"Diego Garcia" Diego Garcia by Ekahau

Diego Garcia Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 100 photos

Now a military Base

Diego Garcia was the population center of The Chagos Archipelago before the Americans built a base here which you can see in the picture. Although Diego Garcia once had a small native population, the inhabitants, known as the Ilois, were forced to relocate (1967?1973) so that the island could be turned into a military base?over the strong protestations of other Indian Ocean islands, who objected to having cruise missiles as neighbors. Most of the displaced Ilois were agricultural workers and fisherman. Uprooted and robbed of their livelihood, the Ilois now live in poverty in Mauritius's urban slums, more than 1,000 miles from their homeland. In 2000, a British court ruled that the order to evacuate Diego Garcia's inhabitants was invalid, but the court also upheld the island's military status, which permits only personnel authorized by the military to inhabit the island. The Ilois are currently suing both the U.S. and the British governments for compensation and the right to repatriation.



Chagos is an isolated group of atolls and reefs in the Central Indian Ocean. The group forms the southern end of the Laccadives - Maldives - Chagos atoll chain, and is centred at about 6° South, 72° East, roughly 2,000 miles east of Africa and 2,000 miles west of Singapore. There are five atolls, ten reefs and submerged shoals and 55 islands. One of the atolls, the Great Chagos Bank, is the largest atoll in the Indian Ocean. And lots and lots of Birds. Where I come in.

The Natives that are left

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:great birding
  • Cons:a military base
  • Intro Updated Jul 2, 2007
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Reviews (6)

Comments (19)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2008 at 8:42 AM

    Hi, Paul! Another special destination, very very far away...

  • Cristian_Uluru's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2007 at 1:36 PM

    Wonderful page!! I always asked you this island was!!!

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2007 at 1:25 AM

    I particularly enjoyed the bird fotos, what a unique location. INteresting reading thanks!!

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2007 at 10:26 AM

    I always wondered what this place looked like.

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2007 at 6:40 AM

    ah - the coral is an indicator species - a canary in a coal mine

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2007 at 1:38 PM

    Fantastic again ! Your photos of the birds are amazing !

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2007 at 10:39 PM

    No pictures of battleships? LOL. That is what comes to my mind about Diego Garcia. I went to Subic Bay, nature was well preserved there too. Cheers, SL

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Nov 23, 2006 at 6:49 PM

    An interesting and, were it not for the military base, idyllic place. Let's hope the natives are able to return soon to their homeland - and the coconut crabs and fishing.

  • Confucius's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2006 at 1:11 PM

    Look forward to the peaceful day when the military can finally leave this island and VT Deals involving 4 day Diego Garcia vacation packages will suddenly attract Malaysian members of our online travel community.

  • melissa_bel's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2006 at 1:12 PM

    Funny, last night I saw a French documentary about Chagossians visiting the islands for the day. The British High Court ruled on May 11 that they were entitled to return... the government has a few days left to appeal. Maybe there's hope for the Ilois.


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