Seychelles are blessed with many highlights, below are just a few of our favourite picks.
Bird, Seychelles’ most northerly island is 100km or a 30-minute flight north of Mahé. The island was once known as Ile aux Vaches because of the dugongs (sea cows) that thrived there.
During the period of the southeast trade winds (May-September), Bird is colonised by more than a million sooty terns that each lay their eggs on their own exclusive square foot of territory. Bird also hosts populations of lesser noddies and fairy terns as well as white-tailed tropicbirds, fodies, plovers and wimbrels.
Situated at the northern edge of the archipelago where the ocean floor plummets to 2000 metres, Bird has extraordinarily rich marine life in the form of hawksbill and green turtles, dolphins and even the occasional whale.
Once famous for its sizeable population of giant land tortoises, Bird now boasts 'Esmeralda,' the world’s heaviest giant land tortoise living in the wild, weighing in at over 300kg and reputed to be more than 200 years old. Incidentally, 'Esmeralda' is a male.
In the early 1970's, Bird turned to tourism, and with several conservation programmes in place, the Bird Island Lodge stands at the forefront of eco-tourism in Seychelles.
Twenty-four comfortable bungalows, excellent beaches, a reputation for good cuisine and a convivial atmosphere complement great opportunities for snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, and nature watching.
Round Island (Praslin) Standing on the coral reef at the entrance to Baie Ste. Anne, Round possesses few beaches but waters renowned for the excellent snorkelling.
One of the many satellite islands of Praslin, this wonderfully rounded, lushly vegetated, 20-hectare isle is just about as round as an island can be. This granitic island was also once home to the Coco-de-Mer before the palms were cut down to make way for a coconut plantation. In the era when coprah still fetched relatively high prices on the world market, Round was once famed for the quality of its coconuts. Diving here uncovers multiple treasures such as giant stingrays and sleeping reef sharks. Bumphead parrotfish often swim past while several species of large grouper can also be found, concealed under overhangs and in holes around the rocky shoreline.
Frégate is situated approximately 55km from Mahé and is the most distant of the granitic Inner Island group.
Frégate was a popular pirate haunt during the latter part of the 17th century and stories persist of treasure hidden somewhere on its 280 hectares.
The Seychellois magnate Harry Savy purchased the island after World War II, transforming it into a highly profitable venture by growing vegetables, fruit, coffee, vanilla, cinnamon and poultry for markets on Mahé. The island sustained a population of some 100 persons, busily engaged in Savy’s several lucrative enterprises.
This island microcosm measuring some 2 square km is home to no less than fifty species of birds, among which is the rare Seychelles magpie robin, and also hosts the world’s only population of the giant tenebrionid beetle as well as numerous giant tortoises.
Frégate features a luxurious five-star eco-lodge offering the optimum in comfort and amenities that has become a favourite hideaway for Hollywood stars, with deluxe villas right on the foreshore to ensure each has a million-dollar sea view. Meanwhile, guests are encouraged to engage themselves in the island’s many conservation projects, run by ecologists charged with keeping the island naturally pristine.