You may have clicked on this post out of curiosity. “An island inhabited by pigs?” I hear you question. Well ladies and gentleman, if you didn’t know already then you do now – Pig Island is indeed an island inhabited solely by these formerly farm yard animals and guess what?! They can also swim! As it would appear whilst pigs indeed may not be able to fly, they can certainly paddle around in the crystal clear sea water off of their own private island. If you’re now even more intrigued, then here’s your guide on how to visit Pig Island in the Bahamas!
The History of Pig Island
You may be wondering how on earth these creatures came to exist and thrive on a deserted tropical island in the middle of the Bahamian sea. You wouldn’t be alone in your questioning, that’s for sure. A couple of hundred years ago, merchants were passing by and dropped the pigs off on the island, with the intention of coming back for them to sustain their journey home. Seeing as the pigs are still very much alive, continuously breeding and the sole population of this island, the merchants quite evidently did not return. This consequently left the pigs in the midst of luxury on their own island – one which you and I could only dream of inhabiting!
How to get there
Pig Island is found in the northern region of the Exuma Islands. There are over 365 islands that make up the Exumas, some as small as mounds of rock in the ocean and others include privately owned islands by the likes of Johnny Depp. The Exuma Islands are a short hopper flight from the main Bahamian Island, Nassau. You can reach the island either via chartering a plane (in reality it’s far less glamorous than it sounds) or you can hop on a scheduled flight from Nassau on one of the local airlines, such as Bahamas Air.
A day trip to pig island is definitely plausible, however during our visit we were staying on Great Exuma Island so didn’t need to board any plane to reach the infamous swimming pigs. Instead we paid for a day trip with Coastline Adventures. They came and picked us up from our villa at 9am and drove us north to a little dock, with our speed boat for the day, moored off of the jetty. You can either join a group or hire your own captain and boat for the day depending on both how much you’d like to spend and the type of trip you’re after. Post signing a little safety agreement we hopped on board and got ready to speed off into the clear blue sea ahead of us. The sea surrounding the Exumas is like nowhere I’ve ever seen. I’ve travelled a fair bit in the Bahamas and Caribbean but as of yet nothing has quite matched the colours we saw here. Exquisitely beautiful would be my only way to describe it, no photo could possibly begin to do the scenery justice.
On the trip you not only get to visit the swimming pigs but also, Starfish Bay, Iguana Island and if you chose to you can even swim with the nurse sharks before hopping off onto an uninhabited, idyllic island to be made a fresh conch salad by your captain.
Seeing the Pigs!
Okay, back to the pigs. As you pull up to the beach you’ll begin to spot the occasional flash of pink running around in the shrubbery. Anyone that knows me, knows how completely obsessed I am with all manner of animals. Pig Island is consequently somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for so many years and so to say my display of excitement may have been edging on embarrassing, would not be far from the truth. The pigs have cleverly cottoned on to the fact that when they see a boat approaching they know food isn’t too far behind. They’ll begin excitedly swimming out to you, your captain will give you a few slices of bread or some form of vegetation that you can feed the pigs. You can jump off the boat, cameras in hand (hopefully waterproofed) and swim over to the pigs and then onto the beach.
The pigs are very friendly and the piglets are even cuter. I was following one around in the hope of kidnapping it, however my plan was sadly unsuccessful. The experience of visiting Pig Island is wholly surreal. I was standing watching these farm animals frolic around in the sea when I am so used to seeing them strolling around pens in the British countryside. Quite the contrast. I left with a twinge of jealously that they get to spend their days washed up on a beautiful Bahamian island in the sunshine and I, a few days later, was returning to where their ancestors more commonly call home.