Life On the Most Remote Settlement on Earth

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is known as the most remote settlement on earth. It lies at the edge of the island of Tristan de Cunha in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. The island is more than 1,700 miles off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, and is one of Britain’s 14 overseas territories. The settlement was named after the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria’s second son, after he visited it in 1867. There are less than 300 islanders — 70 families — who currently live there, including descendants from original settlers and stationed researchers. They are all farmers, who sustain themselves by growing potatoes. Farm life allows islanders to grow their own food without having to import it. The number of livestock is controlled by the government to prevent overgrazing. Each household is permitted to own two cows, except single householders, who are only allowed to have one. The settlement has all the basics, including a hospital, supermarket, post office, Internet cafe, hardware and electrical store, and a few bars. The town does have a police force, but there’s only one police officer on the job. In terms of criminal activity, the island is so safe that children can run around unsupervised, and nobody locks their doors. The island is so remote that the government actually recommends that visitors start planning their trip a year in advance. That’s because before even booking a flight, prospective visitors need to get their trip approved by the Tristan government. Once visitors have the details of their trip planned, they need to email the Secretary to the Administrator and provide reasons for their visit and what they hope to do while on the island. The island is only accessible by boat, with boats leaving periodically from Cape Town, which takes about six days. The settlement is known for its high level of hospitality and will welcome all visitors after the long journey.