French Southern and Antarctic Territories

French South and Antarctic Territories

The French Southern and Antarctic Territories , called “TAAF” for short, are located in the southern part of the Indian Ocean, which includes several island archipelagos with a special administrative unit of France, and in Antarctica, with a small area called the Land of Adele scattered along its coast.

Features .

According to its structure, FJAT is divided into 5 administrative districts, which include the islands of Saint-Paul and Amsterdam, Kerguelen Archipelago, Crozet Islands, Eparse Islands and the aforementioned Adelieu Land. The main value of these territories lies in their maritime economic zones. The only permanent place of residence here is the village of Martin de Vivier, in the northern region of the island of Amsterdam, in the Indian Ocean. At the same time, the status of the capital of FUAT belongs to the settlement of Port-au-France, located on one of the islands of the Kerguelen archipelago, where the French meteorological research center is located. It is not equipped with any tourist infrastructure, but the nature is very varied and picturesque.

General Information

Area of French South and Antarctic Territories is about 400 square kilometers. The population is approximately 140 people, of which about 40 live in Martin de Vivier and the rest inhabit the scientific base in Port-au-France, with their number (from 70 to 120 people) depends directly on the time of year. The spoken language is French. The only currency is the euro. The local time is the same as in Moscow. The time zone is UTC+3. There is no translation of the clocks.

French South and Antarctic Territories

French South and Antarctic Territories

Brief historical overview

All of the island archipelagos of FJAT were discovered in the Middle Ages by European navigators. Among them were the Spanish captain Juan Sebastian Elcano, who discovered the island of Amsterdam in the spring of 1522, the Frenchman Yves Joseph de Kerguelen, after whom the eponymous archipelago was named, and his compatriot Marc Marion-Dufresne, who discovered the Crozet Islands group. Very little is known about the origins and historical past of the island of Saint-Paul, the archipelago Eparse and the Land of Adélie.

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Climate

Since the entire territory of the FUAT is located in approximately the same geographical area, the climatic conditions on the islands are similar, although there are significant differences. Amsterdam and St. Paul have a flat, mild climate, with temperatures ranging from +11 to +18 degrees Celsius throughout the year. July is the coldest month, while February is the warmest. Kerguelen is characterized by more severe northern climate, although severe frosts and heat do not occur here. In February the thermometer usually ranges from +8 to +12, and in July it drops to -1 or lower. Throughout the year, very strong winds blow, accompanied by heavy rains. The Crozet archipelago has a climate similar to that of Kerguelen, except that winters are slightly colder and summers are warmer. Weather conditions on the Eparse Islands are similar to Madagascar, only with a subarctic climate. Land of Adel belong to Antarctica, so there prevails the traditional northern climate with eternal winter, although the temperature differences depending on the time of year is very significant.

Visa and customs formalities

In order to visit FUAT a visa is necessary, which can be executed in the French embassy, but the process takes a lot of time and effort, as the direction is very specific and to obtain permission one must bring a strong argument as a reason to visit this little-known to most people, administrative-territorial formation. The situation is complicated by the fact that on some islands there are French scientific research bases, which have a certain degree of state secrecy.

How to get there

Given that there are no publicly available flights to FUAT, and there is no tourist infrastructure in the territories themselves, you can get there either with a research expedition or as a participant in an expensive exclusive tour of Antarctica.

Transportation

The main means of transport between the regions of the French South and Antarctic Territories, are ships and helicopters. On the surface of Adelie Land, employees of research stations move on snowmobiles.

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Most interesting

St. Paul and Amsterdam islands are located at a distance of 85 km from each other and are washed by the waters of the Indian Ocean. St. Paul is a volcanic stretch of land, almost devoid of trees, and at its center is a volcanic caldera filled with water. Except for the explorers who regularly visit the island, no one else is here. But there are a lot of penguins, seals and various seabirds. The island of Amsterdam is located between Antarctica, Australia and Africa. Unlike St. Paul, it has vegetation in the form of grass and shrubs. In addition, the local population, in the village of Martin de Vivier, makes extensive use of imported cows for milk production. Amsterdam’s main natural attraction is Mount de la Divs, which rises 867 meters above sea level.

The Kerguelen Archipelago is about 2,000 km from Antarctica and consists of several hundred small islets and rocks. On the main island there is a research base, whose staff are not here all the time, and work is carried out only in winter and summer. The largest colonies of penguins, seals and sea elephants live here, there are also rabbits and cats, brought here by people from the mainland. Among plants the famous Kerguelen cabbage stands out, having a very peculiar unusual taste and easily enduring even the strongest frosts.

The landscapes of the Crozet archipelago are formed by six volcanic islands with surrounding rocks and tiny patches of land. Whalers and seal hunters were active in the area at the end of the last century and the beginning of the century before, but after the land became part of the FUAT, hunting was banned and Crozet was officially designated a nature reserve.

The Eparse archipelago, consisting of several coral islands and reefs, is also a place of scientific research and is visited annually by French research centers that study the climate, biological structures, and flora and fauna of this part of the Southern and Antarctic territories. The largest piece of land is Europa Island, covering 28 square kilometers.

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The territory of Adelie Land runs along the coast of Antarctica and stretches deep into the continent, as far as the South Pole. Almost the entire area of these lands is covered with ice and is a real snow kingdom, interesting only for Antarctic expeditions. Now there is a French scientific research base Dumont d’Urville, although the Adelie Lands have not yet been officially recognized as a French territory by the international community.

Of course, all sorts of tourist amenities on the FUAT are absent, and primarily these lands are intended for researchers, who before the trip are created appropriate conditions for comfortable work. For ordinary travelers with no experience of such routes, such a voyage may seem like a real challenge, although getting bright impressions and a charge of positive emotions is guaranteed.

French Southern and Antarctic Territories

The French Southern and Antarctic Territories , abbreviated as TAAF (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises) – An overseas special administrative territorial unit of France. It is located in the Southern Indian Ocean and consists of 5 administrative districts:

  1. The Islands of Amsterdam and Saint-Paul ( l’Île Amsterdam, l’Île Saint-Paul) ( l’archipel Crozet) ( les îles Kerguelen or les îles de la Désolation) ( la Terre Adélie) ( Îles Éparses)
Territory Region Area km² Population Capital city
Saint-Paul and Amsterdam islands Indian Ocean 61 45 Martin de Viviers
Kerguelen Indian Ocean 7 215 110 Port-au-France
Crozet Indian Ocean 352 45
Eparse Islands Indian Ocean 38.6 56
Adelie Land Antarctica 432 000 110
Amount 439 672 366

Administratively, these territories are administered from Réunion, but are not part of it.

Economically, these territories are valuable primarily for their maritime economic zones.

On Amsterdam Island is the only permanent settlement of the French South and Antarctic Territories, Martin de Vivier, with a population of about 40 people.

France’s rights to Adelie Land are not recognized by the international community. The French scientific station Dumont d’Urville is currently located there.

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Internet

The French Southern and Antarctic Territories have a national top-level domain – .tf

See also

The information must be verified or it may be questioned and deleted. You can edit this article to add links to authoritative sources. This mark was set on May 15, 2011 .

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