Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)

Have you ever pictured yourself where you are at a clean beach sipping a Pino Colada watching a spectacular sunset? Of course, you have! All of us have. And this is exactly what you can expect at Havelock Island in Andamans. The beaches are very picturesque and it is one of the beautiful islands I have ever seen. Havelock Island, now known as Swaraj Dweep, is one of the islands which is part of Andamans Islands in India. It is part of the South Andaman district. The island is around 40 kilometres from the capital city of Port Blair.

According to Wikipedia, Havelock Island is named after a British General, Sir Henry Havelock. It was renamed to Swaraj Dweep in December 2018, as a tribute to Subhash Chandra Bose.

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Travel Guide | Havelock Island

Getting to Havelock Island

By Air

  • Pawan Hans Helicopters Limited have seaplanes between Port Blair and Havelock. The flight time is about 20 minutes.
  • The flights are available only on Monday, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

By Ferry/Cruise

  • There are government-operated ferries and private cruises between Port Blair and Havelock. The travel time by private cruise is about 2 hours and costs around INR 3050.

The government-operated ferries are cheaper but takes longer time.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)
Private cruise to Havelock

Ensure to book the ferry/cruise in advance as Adamans is a very popular tourist destination and is generally booked out.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Havelock Island is during winters, which is from December to February. The climate is cool during these months. During Summers, it is extremely hot and I would not recommend traveling during these months.

Phone network and Internet

Phone network – Only Airtel and Vodafone networks work. Jio does not work.

Internet – Even though theoretically data (Airtel and Vodafone) is intermittent, I would say that they do not work on Havelock Island. Some resorts do provide Wifi but they are extremely slow or sometimes they do not work.

Transportation within the island

Motorbikes are the best way to travel around the island. One needs to have a valid licence to hire a bike. This needs to be shown at the bike hire centre before picking up the bike. For 24 hours, the cost to rent a bike (excluding fuel/petrol) is INR 500. I rode the bike after 8 years and it surely was amazing fun. The traffic is very low when compared to mainland India.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)

Ensure to note down all the scratches on the bike before picking it up.

Wearing a helmet is a must even for a pillion rider.

Petrol prices are not included in the cost. They are additional and they are expensive at the bike hire centre when compared to the petrol bunks.

The island also has taxis, they can be used to travel between the ferry drop point and the resorts. The cost of a one-way taxi ride is INR 300.

Ensure to haggle with the taxi driver.

Important Information

Supermarkets and shops

There are plenty of shops and supermarkets to buy groceries and water. The water is cheaper at the supermarket when compared to buying them at the resort.

The water bottles are available only in 2 litre bottles.

Wildlife

There are sea snakes and crocodiles on the island. So please be careful as to where you go. It is best to avoid Mangrove forests.

Place to stay on Havelock Island

There are plenty of resorts on the island. And some of these resorts are along the beach and have a part of the beach in their backyard. I stayed at White Coral Beach Resort. I loved their towel art.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)
Towel art at the room

Review | White Coral Beach Resort (Havelock Island)

  • Staff – Even though the reception staff was not that friendly, the remaining room service staff were very good. They were more friendly and nice.
  • Room – The room was spacious and clean. They were well maintained.
  • Location – The resort was around 15 to 20 minutes from the ferry point. The resort had a beach in their backyard.
  • Food – The food is good, even though it is very oily. The food is reasonably priced.
  • Wifi – Even though they had Wifi, the Wifi did not work very well for me.

Things to do in Havelock Island

Scuba Diving

Number one thing that I would recommend doing at Havelock is to go scuba diving. The water is absolutely amazing. It is very clear and warm – a perfect condition to dive. Most of the beginners are taken to the Nemo Reef. As the name suggests, Nemo Reef is famous for the clownfishes, which are famously known as Nemos. I loved this dive site even though it was very crowded with all kinds of divers, especially beginners. The marine life is spectacular and there is so much activity happening underwater. The cost of one dive for a beginner is quite cheap, ranging from INR 2500 to INR 3500.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)
Clownfish colony

There are around 40 dive centres on Havelock. I went with Havelock Divers, also known as Nemo Divers. I completely enjoyed diving with them. The dive staff here are experienced and most importantly very patient with the new divers. The cost for beginners was a little more than INR 3500 but was totally worth it.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)
Nemo Reef is also famous for these cool statues underwater

Sunset at Asia’s cleanest beach – Radhanagar beach

Havelock is not all about diving. It is also a place to relax and unwind. It is a place to enjoy the beauty nature has to offer. Radhanagar Beach, also commonly known as Beach number 7 by the locals. The beach is a white sand beach with clear waters, which is perfect for a postcard picture. It is definitely the highlight of Havelock Island and was my most favourite place on Havelock.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)

The beach is also a place to witness the dramatic sunset.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)

Sunrise at Kala Pathar beach

Kala Pathar beach is a perfect place to witness the sunrise. The beach is a stretch with big black rocks with white sand and pristine blue waters. Kala Pathar beach is also known as Beach Number 5 among locals.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)

The Kala Pathar beach has a piece of wood where there are no black rocks and this makes a perfect picture with the beach.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)

Watch corals at Elephant Beach

Elephant Beach is famous for its corals. Sea walking is an activity that is a must at Elephant beach. There are two ways to reach Elephant beach:

  • By Boat – The boat ride takes about 20 minutes from the main Havelock jetty to Elephant Beach.
  • By Road – There is a public bus or one can ride a bike to this place. One has to trek between the parking point and the beach.

Interact with locals

The local islanders are very friendly. The kids are extremely cute and friendly. It is surprising to see the way they adapt to nature so well. The island has sea snakes and crocodiles, irrespective of those the islanders do not stop living their lives and enjoying them. So definitely interact with them and listen to their stories.

Travel Guide | Havelock Island/Swaraj Dweep (Andaman Islands)
A local kid posing for my camera, while her mom smiles and looks at me

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Travel Guide | Havelock Island

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58 Comments

  1. Elizabeth O

    That looks like a beautiful island to visit. Those pictures makes me wanted to visit that place after this pandemic. I really missed going to the beach.

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