Mayabunder is the jumping off
place for Interview Island, a windswept nature sanctuary off the remote
northwest coast of Middle
Andaman. Only opened to tourists in 1997, it's large and mainly
flat, and completely uninhabited save for a handful of forest wardens,
coast guards and policemen, posted here to ward off poachers.
As foreigners aren't permitted to spend the night on the island, few tourists ever make it to interview, but those that do are rarely disappointed. If one comes to the Andamans to watch wildlife, this should be top of one's list.
The only way to reach interview is to charter a private
fishing dinghy from Mayabunder
jetty. Arrange one the day before and leave at first light. Approaching
the island, one will be struck by its wild appearance, particularly
noticeable on the northwest where the monsoon
storms have wrecked the shoreline forest.
However, if one can, get the boatman to pull up on to the beach at the southern tip of the island, which has a perennial freshwater pool inside a low cave; legend has it that the well, a nesting site for white bellied swifts, has no bottom.
At the forest post, where one has to sign an entry ledger, ask the wardens about the movements of Interview's Feral Elephants descendants of trained Elephants deserted here by a Calcutta (Kolkata) based logging company after its timber operation failed in the 1950s. When food is scarce, the Elephants take to the sea and swim to other island.