Beautiful Seychelles – Why you should visit!

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Beautiful Seychelles. Photo credit. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/sunandsea/4804367/Seychelles-The-perfect-pile-of-sand.html
Beautiful Seychelles. Photo credit. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/sunandsea/4804367/Seychelles-The-perfect-pile-of-sand.html

The name Seychelles brings into mind beautiful white beaches. But did you know that Seychelles is made up of an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off East Africa. It is known for its beautiful beaches, diving, coral reefs, surfing, nature reserves, and rare wildlife like giant Aldabra tortoises.

The capital of Seychelles is Victoria Mahe. It also hosts the islands’ international airport.

There are 16 islands that offer accommodation and you can island hop between them. Seychelles has white sandy beaches with lush palm trees and blue warm water. It is an ideal place for honeymoons, romantic getaways, and family holidays. Not all islands are the same, some are framed by age old granite boulders, and others have beautiful white beaches with powder soft sand, blue waters.

Some of the activities you can do in Seychelles include swimming, snorkeling, fishing, surfing, glass bottom boating, water sports, golf, guided nature tours, restaurants that offer Creole and international cuisine, there are marine parks, national monuments and a vibrant night life including casinos and bars.

Things to do in Seychelles

Scuba diving and snorkeling
Seychelles has clear waters that are perfect for scuba diving. You should check out the Shark Bank which is the recommended spot. There is beautiful marine life like bright tropical fish, huge grey stingrays, gaping Napoleon fish, and a rare sight of whale sharks.

Look at Forbidden Fruit
Go look at the Coco der Mer palm tree which is said to be the original “forbidden fruit. this rare tree with odd shaped nuts can be found at the Vallée de Mai nature reserve

Go hiking
The Morne Seychellois National Park has mangrove and woodlands as well as Mount Seychellois at 905m. This is a great place to hike.

See the Giant Aldabra tortoises

The Aldabra giant tortoise is huge at an average of 120 cm in length. You can see it at the Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO world heritage site, which is the world’s largest raised coral. If you are a bird watcher then this is a great place to visit as it is a place with many birds during the migration season.

Sample the delicious Creole cuisine and seafood

There is fresh fish to be eaten. Seychelles has a blend of cultures so there is a combination of African, creole, Chiness, indian and british cuisine that is usually quite spicy. The Creole cuisine includes fish and rice. You will love Seychelles if you love sea food as there is a lot on offer including octopus, squid, shark, and kingfish. They also love to make soups.

Fishing

If you like fishing then Seychelles is a perfect spot to catch that fish. You can catch snapper, tuna, and even marlin. It is the perfect sport for big game fishing.

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Some information on the islands

MAHE ISLAND has the world’s smallest capital Victoria and is home to 65,000 people. It is also the largest island in Seychelles. The other islands of note are BIRD ISLAND which is easily reached by plane. It has beautiful white sands and corals. COUSINE ISLAND is a private island which has an intensive conservation programme. There is an island with thousand of nesting birds and four giant tortoises. FREGATE ISLAND this is great place to take walks. It has granite outcrops and white sand beaches.

LA DIGUE ISLAND has stunning silky white beaches. One of the best beaches is Anse Source D’Argent and it is reachable by bicycle. Check out Petite Anse for swimming and. La Digue’s west coast for snorkeling. You can also get involved in other activities like horse riding, diving, fishing, and boat trips. There is also a bird sanctuary which has a rare bird species Black paradise flycatcher. PRASLIN ISLAND is famous for the Vallée de Mai which is a World Heritage Site home to the distinctive coco de mer palm.

Some options for accommodation include the Banyan Tree Seychelles, Chateau De Feuilles, Cousine Island hotel, Four Seasons Seychelles, Fregate Island Private, La Digue Island Lodge, Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove Hotel, L’union Estate, Maia Luxury Resort, Patatran Village and North Island tree houses.

Places to check out

Victoria Mahe

It is the transport hub of Seychelles. It hosts Seychelles International airport and many of the bus and ferry services. Check out the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market where you can get fish or fruit. If you love history and culture check out the National Museum of History. Try out Seychelles’s local restaurants that serve up fresh seafood and Creole food.

Anse Volbert

Also known as the Côte d’Or (“Golden Coast”), Anse Volbert is also known as the golden coast. It has earned high reviews for its sugary white sand and crystal clear waters. It is ideal for families as the soft sand and shallow water is child friendly. There are also many restaurants and bars so you will always have a place to eat or where you can use the toilets. Anse Volbert is accessible by car, bus and bike from Baie Ste. Anne which is about 2 ½ miles from the beach. .

Beau Vallon

This is one of the island’s most popular beaches. It has a wide shoreline and calm seas. Because of that it is ideal for swimming, water sports including boating, fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. There are also restaurants, hotels, and shops so it is a great place to stay. It is also a great beach to take children as there is no sharp coral and strong currents. You can get to Beau Vallon from Victoria by bus, car, or cab. It is 3 miles from Victoria the capital.

Anse Lazio

This beach has ivory sands, cobalt waters and also has giant bounders. It feels like a secluded tropical beach. It is a great place for snorkeling as it has calm waters and abundance marine life. It can be reached by car, bus, or bike. It is 7 miles northwest of Baie. Ste. Anne where Praslin’s ferry port is.

Anse Georgette

Anse Georgette is ideal for a romantic getaway as it has maintained a sense of seclusion. It is a great sport for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling. It also has stunning views which some say makes it the best beach among the islands. You have to pass through the Constance Lémuria Resort to get there. This is one beach where you have to get permission from the resort. Only 30 non guests allowed on the beach at any given time. The beach is accessed using a path from the resort which also leads to the resort’s golf course. The beach is accessible all day and night but you still have to get the permission.

Anse Indendance
This beach boasts sparkling sands, swaying palms and beautiful views. The beach is 20 miles south of Victoria. It is not an ideal beach for swimming although it is one of Seychelles’s most popular beaches. It is ideal for surfers though because of its large, strong waves. It has granite boulder formations popular with kids. You can get there by bus or car from Victoria. You have to pay attention to the Banyan Tree’s water markers which indicate the safety of the water conditions.

Anse Source d’Argent
This is one of Seychelles’s most famous beaches which have rustling palms and gigantic boulders. It is a beautiful beach which has been used in numerous advertising campaigns. To access this beach you will have to pay 100 SCR to L’Union Estate, the plantation that sits adjacent to the beach. You can reach the beach on foot or bike from La Digue. Visitors are welcome all year every day. You can access the plantation’s facilities including the restaurant.

Le Jardin du Roi
In the 18th century Seychelles as a hub for the spice trade and Le Jardin du Roi is a great place to check out to get the islands history. It has an ancient scenic spice garden is filled with the aromas of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and a variety of other spices. There is a small onsite museums, see the giant tortoises, go on a guided hike and also sample dishes from the restaurant. It is open between 10 am and 5 pm. Le Jardin is 13 miles from Victoria and it is accessible by car.

Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve
Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve has a UNESCO World Heritage status for its roughly 6,000 coco-de-mer trees. It is so beautiful that it is rumored to have been the site of the Garden of Eden. The expansive forest has an abundance of wildlife sheltered in the forest. There is flora and fauna too and it is also a bird watchers paradise. You can get there by bus or car. Opening hours are between 8 am and 5:30 pm.

The Seychelles National Botanical Gardens
This garden was planted more than 100 years ago and is a paradise of colour. There are towering palms, spice and fruit trees and aromatic flowers in the Orchid house. You can also get to see some of Seychelles wildlife like giant tortoises and fruit bats. You can walk from downtown Victoria and this takes around 30 minutes. You can also get there by car. Opening hours are 8 AM to 5 PM

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Tourist information
Visas. Visas are not required for most visitors, but you need to have a return ticket, booked accommodation, and funds for your trip. Kenyans do not need a visa to visit.

The airlines that fly to Seychelles include Kenya Airways that flies 4 times a week, Air Seychelles, Emirates, Etihad Airways, and South African Airways. The flight from Nairobi, Kenya to Seychelles takes around 3 hours.

Things to buy: spices, batik fabric, local handicrafts and pottery.

To find out the best time to visit Seychelles check out this chart from the Seychelles Tourism Board.

References

http://travel.usnews.com/Seychelles/Things_To_Do
http://www.theguardian.com/global/2014/sep/19/top-10-things-to-do-in-the-seychelles
http://www.cntraveller.com/guides/africa/seychelles/seychelles/what-to-do
http://www.seychelles.travel/explore
http://www.seychelles.travel/plan-your-visit/best-time-to-visit

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