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Sightseeing in Seychelles

Mahe is the largest and most heavily populated of all the Seychelles’ islands, and apart from being home to the capital Victoria and the international airport, is also an interesting place in its own right. The Botanical Gardens contain a microcosm of the island’s lush and largely unique vegetation, including the national symbol, coco de mer palms. While the Natural History Museum is interesting for the eclectic (even eccentric) display of items, the National History Museum has more information and exhibits on the culture and history of the Seychellois.

Near Mahe, the Beau Vallon beach is a very popular local and tourist haunt, and boasts great sand and some spectacular waves due to a break in the reef. The St Anne Marine National Park contains six islands where you can snorkel to your heart’s and lungs’ content. The Sauzier Waterfall near Port Glaud is breathtaking, as is the view from atop the Mount Copolia. The Anse Intendance is a no-swimming beach for the roughness of the sea there, but is well worth a visit to see the awesome waves.

The beaches of La Digue are some of the most relaxed places on the Seychelles, and that is saying A LOT! The Veuve Reserve is great for birdwatching and the beaches at Anse Patates and Anse Gaulettes are reputed to be nothing short of magical.

Cousin Island is owned by the International Council for Bird Preservation and contains miles of unspoilt virgin forest.

Bird Island is a coral island named for the millions of sooty terns and fairy terns that inhabit the place. It is not surprisingly a protected sanctuary for bird life, but also contains breeding grounds for sea turtles and the reigning international star of the tortoise kingdom, Esmeralda, allegedly 150 years old and weighing a mere 320 kg!

Silhouette Island, inhabited by thousands of breeding sea birds, giant millipedes and turtles not to mention a fascinating variety of flora including the carnivorous pitcher plant, has an ethereal atmosphere during the day that turns eerie and haunting by sunset. Rumours regarding pirate treasures only add to the mystique. The climb up to the summit of the Mont Pot a Eau is a must-do for hikers.

The Aldbra atoll, an unforgiving, largely uninhabited place boasts, according to Jacques Costeau, the clearest water and the most diverse marine life he has seen. It is also home to a larger colony of giant turtles than found even on Galapagos.


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