With an average life span of more than 100 years (and often weighing in at more than 600lbs), giant tortoises are among the world’s longest-living animals. Originating in the Seychelles, Madagascar and the Galapagos, the Aldabra giant tortoises in the Seychelles are the only species remaining from the Indian Ocean, while 11 other subspecies still inhabit the Galapagos. Today, the world’s largest population of giant tortoises can be found on the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, where more than 150,000 reside. Unfortunately, visits to Aldabra are restricted to scientists…and don’t expect to find any tortoises roaming freely on neighboring islands. As I quickly learned on my trip to the Seychelles, the only place to interact with the giant tortoises in person on the main island of Mahe is in Victoria’s protected botanical gardens.