British Indian Ocean Territory

British Indian Ocean Territory

Indian Ocean
LAST UPDATED 07/01/2008
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Level of surfing


Quality of surf

Very Good

Call code


Net code





698 km


Tropical marine; hot, humid, moderated by trade winds


Very Isolated, Extreme Heat, Severe Storms, Difficult Access

Best Months

May - September




Pound Sterling (GBP)

Time Zone


Special Requirements

Private Beaches, Special Pass / Permits, Lengthy VISA Process


Blaine Steinert: Cannon Point, Diego Garcia; 2006

Sitting mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the easterly tracking sub antartic storm cells South of Africa that peel up and supply most of the area with swell. British Indian Ocean Territory is no exception. April to September is the best season for spots requiring SE to SW groundswell. Island groups in the region can create some swell shadowing but generally, the sheer frequency of the southerly swells will make those spots your better option. Rarer northerly swells that descend from the Arabian gulf from May to July can light up novelty spots and mysto treats but swell decay is a problem. 

Bear in mind that the southerly swells do need to 'bend' up quite a bit to feed this coast so not every system is going to yield results for you. Reliance on onshore winswells is a reality of surfing on the western side of the Indian Ocean. In betwwen the flat periods though, chances are you are going to have some serious fun in generally uncrowded waves. 


Hoshie: Location of the British Indian Ocean Territory; 29 June 2007

British Indian Ocean Territory and is a flat and low land, located south of India, about halfway between MadagascarIndonesia.


Hoshie: BIOT prior to Seychelles independence in 1976. (Desroches is not shown, but is a part of the Amirante Islands); 13 August 2005

The land was established as a territory of the UK in 1965.  When it attained independence in 1976, a number of the islands were transferred to the Seychelles. So only the six main island groups remained. On the largest of the islands, Diego Garcia, there is a joint UK-US naval support facility. Diego Garcia is also the capital and the largest city, which is administered from London. 

There were indigenous residents on the islands (often referred to as Chagossians or Ilois), who were relocated primarily to Mauritius but also to the Seychelles, between 1967 and 1973.

All of the remaining islands are uninhabited.



Laurens: View of Diego Garcia, showing military base; 9 February 2006

There is a military airport and a harbor on Diego Garcia, but the entry is extremely limited due to the large American and British military presence on the island.

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