The Glorioso Islands are a group of islands which total over 1,200 acres in the northern Mozambique channel and is located about 99 miles west of Madagascar. The island includes offshore anchorages for easy access by sea and it includes a 4,300 foot landing strip for both large and small planes. The Glorioso Islands consist of two islands: the Grande Glorieuse and Ile de Lys. Also included in this island group are several large unnamed rocks that make up the island's coral reefs. The Glorioso Islands have thick vegetation which was left over from a former coconut and corn plantation. The Glorioso islands boast a wonderful tropical climate with a flat terrain that sits just above sea level.
The Islands have become a nature reserve and the only building is a French Foreign Legion meteorological station. The Ile de Lys of the Glorioso Islands are a very popular nesting ground for migratory sea birds and sea turtles. Some of the species of sea birds which have been identified on the Islands include the Madagascan Buttonquail, the Sooty tern
, the Brown Noddy
, the Madagascan Bulbul, the Madagascan Cisticola, the Madagascan Turtle Dove
, the Pied Crow
, the Madagascan White-Eye, the Red Fody
and the Souimanga Sunbird
An invertebrate that is known only to come from the Glorioso Islands is the Coneshell, or Conus veillardi. Also native to this island are coconut crabs, which are also known as hermit crabs. These crabs are the island's invisible thieves in the sand which will steal shiny objects such as coins or small pieces of metal if given the opportunity.