Delft Island

Delft Island, known as ‘Pasuthivu’ or ’Nedunthivu’ (the island of cows) by locals, has a rich history intertwined with various colonial influences. Initially named ‘Illha das Vaka’ by the Portuguese and later renamed Delft by the Dutch after a town in the Netherlands, the island spans approximately 4,700 hectares and boasts a sparse population.

Despite enduring the challenges of the recently ended conflict, Delft Island has retained its enchanting charm from days gone by. The absence of vehicles, save for the occasional bus, lends a unique character to the island, where visitors typically traverse its terrain in the trailer of a tractor. Houses on the island are enclosed by coral-stone walls or palmyrah leaves, adding to Delft’s distinctive ambiance.

Delft’s allure is further heightened by its haunting beauty, characterized by barren plains populated with wild horses introduced by the Portuguese in the 1600s. These majestic creatures, which are protected by law from leaving the island, contribute to the island’s allure, with their population numbering in the lower hundreds.

Amidst the landscape, visitors encounter fascinating sights such as the iconic baobab tree, also known as the ‘Bottle Tree’ due to its unique shape. Additionally, Delft boasts an intriguing banyan tree with an expansive canopy, providing shelter over a vast expanse of land.

Quindah tower, located on the wind-battered southeastern coast, serves as a historic navigational landmark. The tower’s purpose, possibly signaling ships through a reflective surface visible from afar, adds to the island’s mystique.

Delft Island’s water, sourced from ancient wells and irrigation systems, is among the finest on the island. Recent efforts, including the construction of a pumping station financed by the European Community, ensure the distribution of water across the island.

The island’s Dutch influence is evident in its irrigation system of canals crisscrossing the flat terrain, reminiscent of the town of Delft in Holland. Natural wonders like the Foot Print, a rock formation shaped by erosion resembling a large footprint, attract visitors eager to witness the island’s unique landscapes.

Delft Island stands as a testament to resilience, preserving its cultural heritage and natural beauty amidst changing times, inviting visitors to explore its captivating landscapes and intriguing history.