Uninhabited except for the majestic, million-plus seabirds that call this castaway island home, it doesn't get much more raw and remote than Nightingale Island. Adrift between South America and Africa, in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, the island takes its name from British explorer Gamaliel Nightingale and is the smallest of these distant volcanic lands.
Craggy coastline and rugged cliffs rise imposingly from the waters of the South Atlantic, as you approach this remote volcano island - which erupted most recently in 2004. Largely free from human interference, Nightingale Island is known for the abundant birdlife that thrives here and is a shelter for some of the world’s rarest species. Designated as an Endemic Bird Area and an Important Bird Area, the island's birds are awarded special protection, and only select visits to these shores are permitted. Amid the cawing and calling of the island’s endless flocks, you can spot the rare canary-like Nightingale bunting, and Wilkins’s bunting - which are found only here.
Little gangs of rockhopper penguins patrol the rocks and hop over boulders - easy to distinguish against the blackened landscape, with their distinctive yellow flashes of feathers. You’ll also see the graceful glide of Atlantic yellow-nosed albatrosses, and the plunges of great shearwaters. Keep one eye open for the glint of gold during your expedition ashore - rumours swirl that undiscovered pirate treasure was once stashed somewhere on the island.