Havelock Island is a part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands that lied 70 km north east of capital city of Port Blair and is administratively part of South Andaman. Havelock is a picturesque natural paradise with beautiful white sandy beaches, rich coral reefs and lush green forest. It is one of the populated islands in the Andaman group with an area of 113 sq. km. and is located 39 km of north-east of Port Blair. This island, with beautiful sandy beaches fringed with green canopy of the rain-fed forests beckons everyone to enjoy the frolic and fun at the azure sea.
How to reach
Government ferries run by the Directorate of Shipping Services connect Phoenix Bay jetty, Port Blair to Havelock daily. Private luxury boats Makruzz operated by M/s Mak Logistics, Port Blair & Green Ocean operated by Green Ocean Seaways ferry tourists to Havelock daily. At Havelock buses and motorbikes are available for transport within the island.
The Civil Aviation Dept. of A& N Administration operates regular helicopter services from Port Blair airport to Havelock but due to the limitation of 8 seats per day and low fare for islanders, it’s almost impossible for a tourists to get a seat.
Where to Stay
Havelock has many beach resorts ranging from budget to 5 star. Most of the beach resorts are just 50 meters away from the sea and are surrounded by greenery. Few best resorts at Havelock are TAJ Aquatica, Silver Sand, Coral Reef, Seashell, Symphony, HIBR, Havelock Holiday Beach Resort, Eldorado, Moonlit Sands, ranging from 5 star to budget resp.
Places to visit:-
Radhanagar Beach lies on the south coast of Havelock Island. It is about 12 kilometers from the Islands ferry pier. Radhanagar is a Grade A beach of outstanding quality. This beach is also rated as one of the best beaches in Asia by TIME Magazine. It has an overall length of two kilometers and an average width of 30 to 40 meters. The sand is white and very fine in grain. The beach has a gentle gradient of around 1:20 and continues out into the sea as a sandy bottom for over 100 meters. Words fall prey to the lack of it to describe a beauty such as Radhanagar Beach. You will not find a speck or a pinch of dirt on the beach. It is a wide stretch of clear blue waters along the white sparkling sand and there is abundance of greenery lining the coast.
Vijaynagar Beach, Havelock, is a long stretch of sand on the east coast of the Island, punctuated occasionally by rock section. Most of the beach is lined by mahua trees, whose trunks grow along the ground for many feet before they begin to climb vertically. These trees have lent a distinct character to the sea front and provide shade, close to the water. Vijaynagar Beach is perfect for long walks along the sea. Most of the hotels are also located on this beach.
This beach is another ideal site for snorkeling. It has a rich coral reef formation and amazing underwater marine life. One can reach Elephant beach by small cruise boat from Havelock Jetty in about 40 minutes. By road one can go up to the Forest Camp which is 8 Kms from the Jetty towards Radhanagar side and from there by walk to the Elephant beach which will take another 40 minutes. Private ferry operators organize tours to Elephant beach from Havelock.
This beautiful silver sandy beach located 12 km from Havelock jetty is slowly gaining visitors footfall, though proper facilities are yet to be established.
What to look forward to
The abundance of marine life around Havelock provides a rich variety of varied diving sites. ‘Seduction Point’, ‘Aquarium’, ‘Lighthouse’, ‘Pilot Reef’, ‘Mac Point’, ‘Minerva Ledge’ and ‘Turtle Bay’ are promising areas for diving. The following are the registered dive operators at Havelock. The ideal dive season is from December to May.
Swimming and snorkelling
One can enjoy swimming at the calm and clear waters of Radhanagar, Vijaynagar and Elephant beach. Snorkeling is available to view shallow areas of the coral reefs without going underwater with scuba equipment. Under the water, one can glide along the coral shelf and experience the strange and striking coral formations. One can see fish swim, nibbling at colorful algae, sea anemones and plankton right next to you.
- Find out about safe swimming or diving area from the Tourist Information Center, Local Tour Operators and Forest Department Staff. Do not swim in Protected Areas to avoid dangerous animals.
- Look for the safety sign boards. They help you to identify potential dangers.
- Ask a lifeguard on duty for some advice on swimming conditions like local currents, tides, visibility, and the presence of dangerous marine creatures etc. Swimming conditions can change quickly, so seek prior advice from a lifeguard before entering in water in an unpatrolled area.
- Get a friend to swim with you so that you can look out for each other’s safety and get help, if needed. Children should always be supervised by an adult. Avoid swimming in the dark.
- Raise your hand up for help if you get into trouble in the water. Stay calm and wave your arm for help.
- Do not dangle your arms or legs in the water during boat rides.
- Do not swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Shiny jewellery or bright colored clothes resembles fins of small fishes and may attract predatory fishes. Avoid such accessory or clothing while swimming.
- If you have an open wound, please avoid swimming. Many predatory fish are attracted to blood odour.
- Avoid diving or swimming among school of fish. This may attract predatory fishes such as sharks.
- Avoid night swimming or diving.
- Look out for harmful marine animals like:-
- Jelly Fishes : Their sting may cause pain and giddiness. Don’t touch or play with them. Get ashore if you see a large school of Jelly Fish. In case of a sting, apply vinegar or an ice pack. Do not rub.
- Sea Snakes : Some sea snakes are poisonous and are usually recognized by their paddle-like tail. They can be aggressive if handled or stepped on. Stay well away from them.
- Stone Fish : Present in shallow coral and rocks or camouflaged in mud and sand. It has venomous dorsal spines and its sting could be lethal. To avoid sting never walk on coral reef area. Never lift rocks or corals. Wear sturdy sandals while walking in shallow coastal waters.
- Salt water crocodiles: Noticed in creeks, mangrove areas, sheltered waters and mouths of creeks. Please avoid swimming or diving in these areas. If you spot a crocodile, get ashore and alert the authorities. Crocodiles also move large distances in the open sea and can be found in coral reefs as well.