Inagua

A National Treasure

Inagua is the southern-most Bahamas island and closer to Hispanola and Cuba than it is to the rest of the Bahamas. There is a local melody that sings "Inagua is the best kept secret in the Bahamas".  Only a trip to the island can reveal the truth.

The first truth is that getting there is not the easiest but finding the best kept secrets usually aren't.  As a pilot, my main source of airport knowledge is the pilot's guide which states...

Remarks: There are 35,000 wild donkeys on the island ­ watch out for dung on the runway.

My wife and I flew to the island to explore the main attraction on the island - the 287 square mile Inagua National Park and its colony of over 60,000 West Indian Flamingoes. Oh yes, and the 35,000 wild donkeys.

We were collected at the airport by Henry the warden and headed straight to the park. Along the way we passed mountains of white salt crystals which is the work of Morton Salt Company, the largest employer on the island and main contributor to the organized layout of Matthew Town.

Very quickly we were on the dirt roads that navigate through the brine ponds of the park and, immediately, flocks of thousands of flamingoes, spoonbills, brown pelicans, snowy egrets and herons blanketed the sky. Occasionaly we would bank a corner and a family of donkeys would scatter in to the bushes.

The landscape just explodes with wildlife like the African serengehetti, only with donkeys instead of elephants. In recent times, The Bahama Parrot is giving the flamingo a run for its money as the most popular tourist attraction on Inagua.

Accommodations on the island are limited to guest houses and rentals but the lack of 400 thread-count linens and feather down comforters is made up with authentic island culture and down home hospitality.

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