When one thinks about a Marine National Park, there are some typical images that comes to mind, but here, in the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, there is some kind of a magic that will keep you spellbound. Let’s explore this wonderful marine park!
Lying about 5 km from Victoria, the capital city of the Seychelles, Sainte Anne Marine National Park is set amid dazzling turquoise waters. This picturesque Marine Park is the oldest marine reserve in the Seychelles, it comprises of 6 islands just off the coast of Mahé.
The Marine Park was named after its largest island- Sainte Anne. Along with Sainte Anne, the Marne Park is also home to Ile Moyenne, Ile Ronde, Ile Longue, Ile Cachee, Ile aux Cerfs, coral reefs, sand flats and one of the largest seagrass beds in the Seychelles.
First of its kind in the Indian Ocean, the Marine Park was created for the preservation of wildlife in March 1973. Consisting mostly of coral reefs, the Marine Park covers an area of 14.43 km² (5.6 sq. miles). The six islands of the park are made up of the traditional mix of volcanic rock and granite. They counts among the so called ‘Inner Island’ of the Seychelles, and has seen a great popularity since recent years. They covers an area of 3.8 km² or 1.5 sq. miles.
The Sainte Anne Marine National Park is a well-known tourists attractions, it attracts nearly 40,000 tourists every year, which equates to almost one third of all Seychelles visitors. This high inflow of tourists has greatly help in the protection and preservation of the park, as the money generated by tourism does not only contributes to the Seychelles GDP, but also in the financing protection efforts in the park.
Apart from being outstandingly beautiful, Sainte Anne Marine National Park is also popular for its extensive flora and fauna, perfect diving and snorkeling conditions or for a visit by glass bottomed boat- allowed only in some designated areas.
Sainte Anne Marine National Park is a unique location where you will be able, with a little luck, to spot eagle rays, green and hawsbill turtle, pipefish, bottlenose dolphins, clown fish, reefs sharks, octopus, sea urchins, starfish and nudibranch. The biodiversity of the underwater world here is practically one of the best in the Seychelles.
To avoid damages of coral reefs and to not disturb the plethora of fish and other rare species that live there, fishing and watersports activities are forbidden in the Marine Park.
When to go?
The Sainte Anne Marine National Park is open daily, it should be noted that all non-residents should be in possession of a valid ticket, bought in a retail outlet. If you fail on providing a valid ticket, you will not be allowed in.
-Fishing and watersport activities are strictly prohibited in the park. -It is forbidden to take anything out of the park as souvenirs. -Maximize your sight-seeing opportunities by taking part in a tour. -Bring along an underwater camera.