|The Seychelles are as beautiful as all the hype suggests. They have a ceiling on their tourism aim of 100,000 visitors per annum. Their policy is to ensure that the Seychelles will remain one of the most exclusive holiday resorts in the world, and that the islands will remain as tranquil and unspoilt as possible.
The island group has national marine parks and bird sanctuaries - some of the rarest birds in the world are found here - and some of the most successful conservation stories.
|(Above) A quiet beach on the north of Mahé - we never saw the people who had stripped off!
(Left) La Digue has the archetypical Seychelles rock formations and beaches.
|Cousin is a small island of 70 acres, and lies 27 miles north of Mahé. The island has been a nature reserve since 1968, originally to protect the Seychelles Warbler. The warbler recovered from only 26 individuals in 1959 to 400 birds over 30 years, allowing a second population to be established on Aride. Day trips can be arranged through travel agents and hotels on Praslin, only two miles away.
As well as the warbler and many sea birds, both Seychelles and the introduced Madagascar Fodies can be seen, as can Seychelles Sunbirds, Seychelles Blue Pigeon and Seychelles Turtle Dove
|Curieuse Island is 32 miles from Mahé, and is one square mile in area. It was once called the "most degraded island in the Indian Ocean", but a reafforestation programme has been started in the hope that it will one day return to its former glory. The island is home to Giant Land Tortoises, brought from Aldabra to establish a second breeding colony.|
|Curieuse is one of only two islands where the famous coco-de-mer grows, the other being Praslin. Here (right) Michel, one of the resident guides, is showing one of the curious fruits to visitors. The female coco-de-mer has an uncanny resemblance to female buttocks. The male flower is interestingly phallic. These resemblances have led to a plethora of legends!|
|In 1609, two ships landed on the Seychelles and noted the "many coker nuts, of all sorts, and much fishe and fowle and tortells and manye scates with other fishe". The tortoises could easily be captured and, since they could be kept alive aboard ship for many weeks, were a source of fresh meat for sailors.|
One of the sailors on these ships said, " Soe the boat retourned and brought soe many land tortells as they could well carie. Soe wee stoode along towards the other ilands.
|The tortells were good meate, as good as fresh beefe, but after two or three meales our men would not eate them, because they did looke so uglie before they weare boyled; and soe greate that eight of them did almost lade our skiffe."
Galapagos Giant Tortoises
All text and images copyright © Liz Leyden 2007.
May be downloaded for non-profit personal/educational use only
Don't hotlink to my images.