Where are the Chagos Islands?

An isolated archipelago half way between Africa and India in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

The Chagos archipelago is a chain of 65 small coral islands in the Indian Ocean, about halfway between Africa and Indonesia, seven degrees south of the Equator. The largest island, Diego Garcia, covers only 17 square miles – the others are much smaller. The climate is hot and humid, and tempered by sea breezes. The soil is very fertile and the seas around the islands are rich in fish.


The islands were known to Arab seafarers in early centuries, and the first Europeans to discover them were the Portuguese, in the 16th century. They did not settle the islands but they gave Diego Garcia the name it still holds.