Havelock Island or Swaraj Dweep is the most visited of the Andaman Islands. It's becoming popular for its beaches and great scuba diving. Havelock Island was renamed as Swaraj Dweep on Dec 30, 2018. Swaraj Dweep is a picturesque natural paradise with beautiful white sandy beaches, rich coral reefs and lush green forest. It is one of the populated islands in the Andaman group with an area of 113 sq. km. and is located 39 km of north-east of Port Blair. Mid-January until mid-May sees the best weather, and often the best diving conditions. The days are mostly sunny at this time of year, and the sea sometimes flat enough to reflect the clouds. The monsoon usually hits around late May, lasting until the end of July, and is probably the worst time to visit the island – strong winds, frequent rain and low visibility underwater. August thru November sees some occasional showers and slightly rougher seas, but diving can still be great at this time of year. The weather often takes a turn for the worse for the month of December through early January.
Ferries are the major way on or off the island. 2-3 arrive daily from Port Blair (2-4 hours) and one from Rangat, one of which comes via Neil Island. Schedules vary according to day and season, so enquiry locally, and see Andaman and Nicobar Islands about the differences between the ship types. Government ferries run by the Directorate of Shipping Services connect Phoenix Bay jetty, Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep daily. Private luxury boats Makruzz operated by M/s Mak Logistics, Port Blair & Coastal Cruise operated by M/s Coastal Seaways India Pvt. Ltd., Green Ocean, Bhagya Express ferry tourists to Swaraj Dweep daily. At Swaraj Dweep auto rickshaws, taxis, buses, motorbikes are available for transport within the island. The STS Department has introduced the services of two AC Deluxe bus at Swaraj Dweep for the benefit of tourist and local public.
Sea Walk activity allows you to walk on sea bed at a depth of about 10 meters. No swimming skills are required and people from age 7 to 60 years can avail this activity. For Havelock island the boat leaves from Havelock Jetty. Its the same boat that takes you to elephant beach as well. An additional 800 Rupees will be required to Elephant Beach. Pre booking of the tickets helps save time and you can select any slot from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM to avail this activity.
The abundance of marine life around Swaraj Dweep provides a rich variety of varied diving sites. ‘Seduction Point’, ‘Aquarium’, ‘Lighthouse’, ‘Pilot Reef’, ‘Mac Point’, ‘Minerva Ledge’ and ‘Turtle Bay’ are promising areas for diving. Andaman Bubbles, Barefoot Scuba, DiveIndia and Doongi Dives and are the top 4 SSI and PADI certified dive centers, providing good equipment and offering dive training. You don’t need to be a swimmer to do the discover scuba diving.
One can enjoy swimming at the calm and clear waters of Radhanagar, Vijaynagar and Elephant beach. Snorkeling is available in Havelock to view shallow areas of the coral reefs without going underwater with scuba equipment. Under the water, one can glide along the coral shelf and experience the strange and striking coral formations. One can see fish swim, nibbling at colorful algae, sea anemones and plankton right next to you.
Game fishing is another popular activity famous in Havelock Island. Even if you are not going for fishing trip then these boats can be hired for sightseeing around havelock island. Fishing boats are available on hire to visit uninhabited islands such as Peel Island, Wilson Island, South button, Inglis Island and John Lawrence. Fishing trips organizers are Experience Andamans, World Sport Fishing and Andaman Sea Fishing.
Havelock is a landscape of primeval splendour. White-headed mynas or the woodpecker with a white-barred black mantle and red crown, fulvous-breasted woodpecker are endemic to the island. The olive-backed sunbird and Andaman swallow are other endemic birds in the islands, which are a birdwatcher's paradise.
Swaraj Dweep is logged using elephants. The spectacle of elephants working in the forest and bathing and swimming in the nearby sea is a special attraction. The Elephant Training Camp managed by the Forest Department at Kalapathar open its doors to tourists occasionally.
Radhanagar Beach is the most beautiful on the island and was rated as the best in Asia by Time in 2004. Gorgeous, silky white sand backed by a forest that provides welcome shade looks out over turquoise water, some stretches with a sandy bottom good for swimming and some with excellent coral reefs that are great for snorkeling – a great combination indeed.
Elephant Beach is further north from Radhanagar and is popular with Indian tourists. The shoreline here was largely swept away by the 2004 tsunami and the beach is a fraction of what it used to be; however, the coral here is probably the best on the island, making this an excellent spot for snorkeling. It has a rich coral reef formation and amazing underwater marine life.
Kalapathar Beach. The Kalapathar beach is situated on one corner of Havelock Island. The beach gets its name from the surrounding village called Kalapathar Village and the black rocks (Kalapathar Rocks) that adorn the coastline here. The emerald seas, the tropical forests on one side of the road (Kalapathar Rocks) the coastline and on other side the silken smooth silver sands and the sheer solitude make this beach a great place to relax.