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Andaman Islands – Islands you are permitted to visit

Where you are allowed to go in the Andaman Islands is governed by a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) which is a list of rules that applies to visiting foreign nationals. This document is written in such a vague and self-contradictory manner that it makes it very difficult to figure out where you are allowed to go (and where you are not allowed to go). Here is the actual situation as of March 2013. These are the islands you are permitted to visit:

  • Entire South and Middle Andaman Islands except for the Jarawa Tribal area which extends along the west coast of these islands from 11⁰ 39’ 52”N to 12⁰ 43’ 02”N;
  • Havelock Island (and the rest of Ritchies Archipelago including Peel Island, John Lawrence, Henry Lawrence, Outram, Nicholson Island and Wilson Island);
  • The Button Islands: South, Middle and North Button;
  • Neill Island (and also nearby Sir Hugh Rose Island although this is not explicitly listed);
  • The east coast islands of North Passage and Long Island (nearby Strait Island is a tribal reserve and is out of bounds);
  • The volcano islands of Barren and Narcondam. You are allowed to anchor at Barren but you are not permitted ashore;
  • The west coast islands of Interview and North Reef Island;
  • The islands of Rutland (except the north west corner which is in Mahatma Gandhi Park), North and South Cinque Islands, Passage Island, Sisters Islands, North Brother and South Brother Islands;
  • All of Little Andaman Island except for the Onge tribal reserve areas of Dugong Creek (the inlet on the North East side of the island) and Harminder Bay (which extends from the Hut Bay breakwater south and west to the lighthouse in south bay);
  • In theory (according to the RAP and past practice) you are allowed to visit the Mahatma Gandhi islands of Jolly Buoy, Redskin, Alexandra, Grub, Chester and Snob Islands. However, due to the completely destructive tours that used to run between Wandoor Jetty and Jolly Buoy bringing hundreds of tourists daily to tramp over the live coral reef, the Chief Wildlife Warden in 2012 banned all visiting vessels from the Mahatma Gandhi National Park including yachts. For the moment, assume that Mahatma Gandhi National Park is off limits.
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While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.

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