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In the cluster of The Seychelles Islands, the holiday season is all year round. Ever warmed by the tropical sun, the islands remain a perfect paradise for holiday goers. White sandy beaches stretch on for miles on some islands with a flawless azure sea. It is indeed the Utopian beauty of the Seychelles that entice most visitors. Every island has its own little place of wonders, with a unique touch of its own to please each person.

seychelles beach

Unlike certain touristic destinations, the Seychelles are not merely perfect beaches but also a hub for countless leisure activities which would suit even the fussiest of tourists. These islands manage to capture the hearts of thousands on the regular. Holiday goers, know that you will yearn to sejourn again in the Seychelles. After all, it is not for nothing that we call the Seychelles the ideal holiday destination.

Dive into the Colours!

Scuba diving in Seychelles is the dream of many around the world. Not only does the island boast a beautiful sea but also of a thriving underwater flora and fauna. When in Seychelles, you absolutely need to arm yourself with your diving gear and head out to one of the many serviceable Dive Centres. The employees are accommodating and always ready to help.

As you plummet into the clear and lukewarm waters, you end up in the colorful kingdom that has existed for centuries. Seychelles is very environmentally conscientious, prioritizing the need to maintain the sea as is. This offers a distinctly different experience from other places round the world which have inevitably changed.  Imagine the wonder of being able to explore vibrant corals and even touch fish ever ready to wriggle away!

scuba diving seychelles

A little trip down the memory lane

Among the many islands of Seychelles, one of them hides secrets from centuries past. Preserved in that era, every little detail remains available for the history enthusiast to explore without reserve. Curieuse Island had, in the 1800s, been a refuge for all those needing treatment for leprosy. The island, beautiful and green today preserving both animals and plants had once been the safety net of hundreds of people. The dwellings of the patients as well as the Doctor’s House have been well-maintained ever since. They all remain accessible to the frequent visitors.

Seychelles is not merely an abundance of greenery and unique animals, there is a deep history behind the obvious. And it’s all awaiting your exploration.

seychelles curieuse beach

Sharks! Just fluffy and friendly beings to swim with of course!

Maybe you watched Jaws a few years back.

Maybe you are just an adrenaline junkie.

Maybe you simply like dangerous fish which are easily affected by blood-lust…

It’s all here in Seychelles, sharks swimming in their natural habitat dozens of feet deep into the ocean. Imagine the magic of being able to touch one such feared being- makes you wonder if it will all live up to the hype. Do not fret, it does that and much more! The experience has astonished countless till date. Many rendered speechless from the view, the sheer majesty of these creatures swimming undersea, alongside you. This is “that” moment, the one which stays engraved in your memory for a lifetime, don’t miss it!

swimming with sharks

Walk a little walk, perhaps not so little…

The islands are well known for their dense forests, greenery everywhere with all sorts of animals populating the area. Some places go eerily silent as the furry or scaled or winged occupants feel humans approaching. Others remain loud and cheery with chirps, grunts and cries. They have gradually grown used to occasionally sharing their living space with us, reveling in a sense of safety rarely afforded to animals throughout the world.

In the Seychelles, you will have the unique opportunity of walking through the flamboyant scenery. It might even be possible to lose a few pounds as well if you are worried about all the extra holiday calories!

hiking in seychelles

Island Hopping in Seychelles

This is the childish dream from years ago when you thought of owning an island or two or more. The dream of having so much at the tip of your fingers is enthralling. The Seychelles is made up of 115 islands, the vast majority of which open to the public for a token fee.

Set a challenge for yourself. Try to get to as many of them as you can- each one from Mahé, Aride, Cousin, Curieuse to Petite Soeur.

Of course, for a short holiday, this might as well be Mission Impossible Redux but it is the fun you will have while trying to accomplish your task that will mark your memories. Going from one island to the other in a matter of hours, granitite or coralline- all of them distinctively phenomenal.

island hopping seychelles

Coco de Mer… or something else?

Coconuts which look like, excuse me, what?

Yes, indeed, those weird pictures of a gigantic fruit resembling a human backside are not actually simply the product of a bizarre imagination. They exist. Indigenous to a few of the Seychelles Islands, the coco de mer are now few in numbers but they are still as intriguing as they had been, if not more so. The fruits actually take years to mature and become the cliché that we are used to seeing in pictures. The exceptional shape affords the fruit an unbelievable notoriety in countries miles away.

The strangely shaped fruit fascinates many. The reality of it being a dying species has become exceedingly apparent lately, only contributing to the legend and boosting its popularity.

In the past, Chinese people had consumed the inside in soups but nowadays, the authorities have sought to preserve each and every one they can get their hands on. People come visit Praslin Island for the opportunity to hold a coco de mer in their hands.  It is accomplished with great difficulty as it weighs kilos at times but worth the ache later on!

seychelles coco de mer

Luxury appeals?

Some of the best resorts worldwide are located in Seychelles. They are essentially your paradise for a short while. Imagine your every needs catered to, be the King or Queen of your little palace for a few days.

A massage at dawn, the breakfast in bed or bronzing cozily on the beach- for you, Seychelles is the dream come true.

luxury resort seychelles

 In fact, the beauty of the islands lie in that they satisfy everyone, all needs are met with tailor made holiday packages. From the sports enthusiast or the academic to the hedonist- The Seychelles are there to meet all desires in the most mind-blowing of ways. It’s merely asking for a try at you next!

 

île Curieuse : Seychelles

Carte île Curieuse : Seychelles
Carte île Curieuse : Seychelles

Curieux d’en savoir plus sur les îlots des Seychelles ? Découvrons ensemble Curieuse, un petit coin de paradis isolé de tout villa, hôtels ou développement urbain. Point besoin de louer une voiture. L’île se découvre en randonée.

L’île Curieuse est l’un des plus belles îles des Seychelles. Ce petit îlot fait 2,86 kilomètres carrés et est situé au nord-ouest de l’île de Praslin, qui est la deuxième plus grande île des Seychelles. Curieuse est un bio-réserve gérée par l’Autorité des parcs marins des Seychelles. La Faune et la flore étant encore dans un état bien préservée, les balades dans la nature sont relaxantes.

Comment s’y rendre?

L’île est une destination touristique majeure. Vous ne pouvez malheureusement séjourner sur l’île vu son statut de réserve naturel.  Curieuse est une île protégée et n’a pas été développé pour le tourisme. La preuve réside dans le fait de n’avoir aucun hôtel ou restaurants sur l’île. La meilleure façon de visiter Curieuse est à travers les visites organisées par les hôtels de Praslin ou les tour-opérateurs locaux. Ces visites s’arrêtent souvent sur d’autres îles, y compris les îles Cousin et Couisine pour des pauses déjeuners.

L’île et  le parc marin national est ouvert tous les jours y compris les jours fériés. La base de garde est ouverte de huit heures du matin à cinq heures du soir.

Ceux qui préfèrent voyager sur l’île à bord d’un yacht privé ou dans un bateau loué seront invités à payer une taxe pour entrer dans le parc et devront ancrer que dans les endroits désignés pour protéger les récifs coralliens. Il y a aussi des frais pour l’amarrage de nuit. Les personnes qui voyagent privé doivent apporter leur propre nourriture et des boissons, comme rien n’est disponible sur l’île.

Curieuse: A propos de l’île

La couleur de la terre sur l’île Curieuse est d’un rouge vif. C’est la raison pour laquelle elle fut autrefois nommée l’île Rouge. Le nom a été changé à L’île Curieuse par les Français en 1768. L’énorme population de tortue géante a été totalement détruite avec l’arrivée des Européens. En 1771, pensant que ça rendrait la récolte des noix coco de mer plus facile, les marins mirent le feu à l’île.  L’incendie ravagea la majeure partie de la faune et la flore locale de l’île. Aujourd’hui plus de 240 ans plus tard les dégâts causés sont encore visibles.

En 1833, l’île a été utilisée comme une colonie de lépreux et le resta jusqu’en 1965. La colonie a été appelé Anse Saint-Joseph et la résidence du médecin, qui date des années 1870, a été réaménagée en un musée et centre éducatif. Un nombre de plus de 500 tortues marchent constamment autour de l’île. Curieuse abrite plus de huit espèces différentes d’arbres de mangrove.

 Tortue-D'Aldabra-sur-L'île-Curieuse
Tortue D’Aldabra sur L’île Curieuse

Curieuse et Praslin sont les seuls endroits au monde où le Coco de Mer pousse naturellement. La plante détient trois records du monde, y compris la plus lourde semence à 17,6 kg, la plus grande fleur sur un palmier et celle du plus gros fruit voyant son noix de coco peser jusqu’à  42 kg. Aujourd’hui, c’est une espèce protégée et un arbre ornemental. Le fruit est utilisé dans la médecine ayurvédique et la médecine traditionnelle chinoise. Il est également utilisé comme aromatisant pour la cuisson dans la région de Canton en Chine.

Que voir et faire sur Curieuse?

Il y a beaucoup de choses uniques à voir sur Curieuse y compris le Coco de Mer, les forêts de mangroves, les tortues Aldabra, les arbres de Takamaka, les aires de reproduction des tortues de mer et le perroquet noir des Seychelles ainsi que beaucoup plus de flore et de faune indigènes.

forêt-de-mangrove
forêt de mangrove

Des excursions peuvent être organisées à partir de Praslin ou de toute autre île des Seychelles. La première chose que les visiteurs observent est le fort contraste existant entre le feuillage vert et la terre rouge. Après un bateau de 20 minutes pour aller à Praslin au parc national marin de Curieuse, les visiteurs vont à terre à Baie Laraie. Dans le port, les visiteurs peuvent observer des poissons perroquets à bosse qui peuvent mesurer jusqu’à 1,2 mètre de long, et sur terre, de tortues géantes marchant tout détendu autour du quartier général des gardes du parc. Bien que protégées, les tortues sont autorisées à être nourries par les visiteurs.

Les Sentiers de randonnée de Curieuse

Commençant à Baie Laraie il y a un sentier qui mène à l’Anse Saint-Joseph, qui est de l’autre côté de l’île. Les visiteurs pourront marcher à travers les denses forêts de mangroves, qui sont considérés comme l’un des plus beaux sites de l’île, sans oublier les falaises de granit géantes. Ces falaises sont épurées par le vent et la pluie et forment des arches bleues et rouges naturelles le long de la côte. Les ruines de l’ancienne colonie de lépreux peut être observée dans la forêt et a presque entièrement été pris en charge par la végétation. Il y a aussi un sentier rocheux au sommet de l’île. Ce n’est pas une promenade facile et il n’y a pas beaucoup d’ombre le long du chemin, mais les sites sont spectaculaires.

Les gardes du parc offrent des randonnées guidées gratuits autour de l’île. Ces randonnées sont disponibles deux fois par jour. Sur les deux kilomètres  de sentier à travers l’île, les visiteurs pourront admirer les forêts de mangrove, des terres dégradées par le feu, des points de vue, des marécages et quelques-unes des plus belles plages des Seychelles. La promenade qui passe à travers les forêts de mangroves près de Baie Laraie permet aux visiteurs de voir sept des huit espèces de mangroves sur l’île. Il est accessible même à marée haute.

Les bâtiments historiques de Curieuse

 Ile-Curieuse-maison-du-docteur

Ile Curieuse maison du docteur

La Maison du Docteur est un autre site historique. C’est une grande villa coloniale restaurée, qui est un exemple d’architecture coloniale créole est un musée sur l’écologie et l’histoire de l’île Curieuse. La plage en face de la Maison du Docteur est l’endroit où les tortues vertes font leurs nids. Les visiteurs qui arrivent de Novembre à Décembre peuvent voir les bébés tortus marins. Les œufs sont pris en charge par une organisation internationale.

 

 

vallee_de_mai_seychelles

Seychelles

The Seychelles Islands encompasses 115 islands spanning over an area of 455 km² and an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million km² in the western Indian Ocean.  It represents an archipelago of renowned beauty that covers the Indian Ocean from between 4 and 10 degrees south of the equator and which lies between 480km and 1,600km from the east coast of Africa.  Among those 115 islands, 41 make up the oldest mid-oceanic granite islands on earth while an extra 74 form the low-lying coral atolls and reef islands of the outer islands.

Vallée De Mai

Female-Coco-de-Mer-Nuts

The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve is host to a palm forest that is dominated by the endemic Coco-de-Mer palms. The Vallée is host to six species of palm to be found only in Seychelles. The Coco de Mer has the largest seeds of any plant in the world; the leaves growing up to 6 m wide and 14 m long. Also unique to the park is its wildlife, including birds such as the rare Seychelles Black Parrot, mammals, crustaceans, snails, and reptiles.

Where is Vallée De Mai?

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve ( 4°19’S, 55°44’E) is a located in the centre of Praslin National Park on Praslin Island, 50 kilometers (km) north-east of Mahé in the Seychelles. The island of Praslin can be visited while you are doing island hopping in your yacht!

Praslin Seychelles

Praslin, having a population of 6,500 inhabitanta, is Seychelles’ second largest island.  It is 45km to the northeast of Mahé and measures 10km by 3.7km.  Enjoying a leisurely tour around the island in a rented car will take approximately 2 hours.

Praslin is the home of the fabulous Vallée de Mai, one of Seychelles’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  The island features really superb beaches such as Anse Lazio and Anse Georgette, both appearing on the top-10 list of world’s best beaches in recent years.

Almost a century and a half after the visiting of the islands, General Gordon became certain that the Vallée de Mai was the original site of the Garden of Eden.  This is where the legendary Coco-de-Mer- the world’s heaviest nut -grows high on ancient palms in a primeval forest.

Vallee De Mai: A World Heritage Site

Vallee-de-Mai-Forest

The legendary Vallée de Mai is Seychelles’ second UNESCO World Heritage Site, administered by the Seychelles Islands Foundation. It was once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden, this hauntingly stunning primeval forest is home to some 6000 Coco-de-mer trees, considered to be among the botanical wonders of the world.

Vallee De Mai: Vegetation

Vallee De Mai

In the heart of the small island of Praslin, the reserve has the remnants of a natural palm forest preserved in almost its original state. The famous Coco de Mer originating from a palm-tree, was once believed to grow in the depths of the sea, is the largest seed in the plant kingdom.

There are four main vegetation types on the island of Praslin, three occurring in the Vallée de Mai area: lowland forest, dominated by large timber trees once covered large areas of the island but, following human settlement, this has been replaced with well-developed secondary forest with the endemic palm, cinnamon, Dodonaeaviscosa , mango, Sideroxylonferrugineum and Randialancifolia . Intermediate palm forest, unique to the Vallée de Mai, with the endemic palms, coco de Mer; eroded land, following burning as well as soil erosion, previously of intermediate and lowland forest, has been recolonized by, or planted with Randialancifolia , Chrysobalanusicaco , borsigiana , Dodonaea sp. and Dilleniaferruginea . This is the only place in the Seychelles where all six endemic palm species grow side by side. A further 28 endemic species of plant have been registered, including the vine, once thought extinct and then believed to exist only on Curieuse Island. Tatamaka and Calice du Pape have been planted in the reserve.

Vallee De Mai : Fauna

Black-Parrot-Vallee de Mai
Black Parrot

The most notable species is the endemic black parrot, restricted to Praslin Island and dependent on the Vallée de Mai and surrounding palm forest. Other birds include Seychelles kestrel, the bulbul, blue pigeon, sunbird and cave-nesting swift let. Reptiles include the endemic chameleon, Seychelles house snake, green and bronze geckos, skinks, Seychelles wolf snake and blind snake. Six species of caecilian (related to frogs but looking more like large worms) can be found in the deep beds of moist humus, but these are rarely found even by scientists. The stream contains freshwater crab, the big freshwater prawn, shrimp and the only endemic species of freshwater fish, the Gourgeon. You will also come across two endemic snails: the brown and the blackfish snail.

Visit Vallee De Mai

When starting the visit you will approach the entrance from the road. The abundance of life is apparent. Trees are everywhere, the earth is completely and permanently covered by fallen leaves, and you see birds all around you, while hearing a delicate waterfall breaking through the green wall.

Walking around inside the park is a pure bliss for the senses and makes you feel like a dwarf since everything around you is gigantic! The Coco de Mer tree is the main attraction of the park and there are around 4000 of them, and they are huge! The tallest tree can reach up to 30 metres, the leaves can grow up to being 6 metres wide and 14 metres long. Truly giant palm trees! The base of the palm tree is so stable that it keeps the palm straight, even under tropical rains and storms. Realising the natural power emanating from these giants, and their age (over 200 years), makes you feel modest and respectful.

The large leaves prove especially useful when it is raining, when they naturally transform into giant umbrellas. The trees are most famous, though, for their nuts. As might be expected, they are large, too. One of these enormous fruits can weigh up to 20 kilograms, which makes it the heaviest nut in the world. Its fame, however, comes mainly from its erotic connotations, form, and supposedly aphrodisiacal effects. It has even been thought that the Seychelles were the original Garden of Eden, because of the nuts.

Being a granitic island, the Seychelles is a ‘micro-continent’ in itself that has had quite a different history from the other volcanic or coralline islands in the Indian Ocean; therefore, it has a large number of endemics and no comparison can be made with other islands in the Indian Ocean.

Enjoy your visit of Vallee De Mai!