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Mahe (Main) Island

Mahe is the biggest island in the Seychelles and is home to about 90% of the country’s population.

The big bothanical garden in Victoria

I had four days to spend on this island and as soon as I got there I regretted that decision. La Digue, Curieuse and Praslin had been so peaceful and beautiful. Mahe was just like an island anywhere in the World with cities, big resorts and lots of tourists.

I explored the capital Vicotia, which could be easily done in an hour. The city is really small, so whenever there is a cruise ship or a group tour passing through the small streets will get congrsted with old people pointing their cameras in all directions.

The main sight in the city is the clock tower. I had expexted a big ben and was surprised to see a clock tower that was not much taller than a double decker bus. A nice part about the place was that it was right on the foothills of some nice mountains, which were covered by clouds most of the time.

Other sights in Victoria included the Hindu temple and the market, but having just come from India I was not very impressed with that. Generally the city was a place where there were lots of local people hawking, drinking beer in public. Because it is right i the smugling route, Seychelles has a huge drug problem and a recent survey showed that as many as six percent reporter that they had tried heroin. That is the highest percent of usage in the World.

One of the days I took the local (seeingly unscheduled) bus to Sans Souici, where I started a nice, hour long hike up to Morne Seychellois National Park and a peak where I got a nice view of the mountains called “Trois Freres” (French for “Three Brothers”).

After the hike I took two more buses to get to one of the most popular beaches and also the longest beach on the island, called the Anse Beau Vallon.

The beach was nothing special, but it was kind of nice to have all the facilities around for once, like beach chairs, food stands selling barbequed food and drinks and the road which the bus stopped right next to. It was just like it could have been any touristic beach in South East Asia.

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Curieuse Tortoise Island

Arriving at Curieuse Island

Curiouse Island is a tiny island (2,9km2) just a ten minute boat ride from Anse Boudin/Anse Volbert which was called Ile Rouge (red island) during the French colonial times due to the red soil there. The French used the island as a Leper colony until 1965 and in 1979 the island and its surrounding waters was declared a marine National Park to protect its wildlife. The same year they moved some Aldabra Giant Tortoises to the island and now the population has grown around 300 of them.

I had negotiated a boat taxi to take me over for 20eur (300SCR) and for him to wait for me a couple of hours there. He then took me straight to the turtle farm where I was free to walk around and feed animals grass and leaves as I wanted. Seing these massive, old animals up close and looking them in the eyes was really special to me as I used to have a smaller version pet tortoise as a child.

The Aldabra giant tortoises is the second biggest tortoise in the World, only (barely) rivaled by the Galapagos giant tortoises. They get around 100 years old and weigh on average 250kilograms, so even though land tortoises dont make any sound, these were so big that you could hear them breathing, or more like panting when they were walking.

The turtle farm also had a breeding programme with around 50 small tortoises running around in a enclosed area. Yes, the baby ones were actually quite fast! It surprised me as well..

From the farm I walked a path up the hill with some steps that had probably been there since the leper colony and then a wooden path that lead through a swamp area. I tried looking up as I had heard that curiouse and praslin were the only two Islands that Coco de mer (Worlds biggest nut) palms were endemic to. Apparently they were only in the highlands, but I got to see a nut, which apparently can weigh up to 25kilogrammes.

When I came down from the mountain, I ended up at a beach called Anse San José where my boat was waiting for me. The water was so clear and had some of the bluest colors I have seen in the ocean ever. From this moment on, Seychelles has officially surpassed the Maldives on my list of countries with the most beautiful beaches.

Curieuse Island is a must for anyone going to the Seychelles

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Touchdown in Paradise, La Digue Island

La Digue is an island just a twenty minute boat ride from Praslin, so it worked perfectly to go for a day trip from there, arriving with the first boat around 7 and going back home to my AirBnB in Praslin around 6 in the evening.

The island is small, and there are only a handful of cars there so everyone travels by golf carts or bikes that you can rent for 100SCR/7USD a day. There is only one main road, which doesnt go all the way around so you should be ready for some hiking as well if you want to see all that the island has to offer.

First off I cycled to the far North where there were not much except small, empty beaches, some bungalows with small bars and kiosks. Up to the top of the island and back down took me less than an hour, and already my body was running with sweat. Seychelles i March is incredibly humid and hot!

From there I cycled down to the point furthest South that my bike could being me, which was Grand Anse, and from there I hiked 15 minutes over a mountain to get to Petit Anse, and then 20 minutes over another mountain to get to Anse Cocos. These beaches were all some of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in all of my travels.

Anse Cocos- with perfect sand and clear water

Grande Anse- very accessible but still empty

By the time I has walked through all the beaches and was cycling back to the center I had gotten so dehydrated that I was desperate for a drink. So desperate that I stopped at a juice stand and paid almost 10$ for a juice! A normal daily budget for me which I finished drinking up in a couple of minutes.

The juicebar was strategically placed where the uphill would start

On the way back to the “city” I cycled throgh the Veuve Reserve where they had signs with facts about the different trees and plants in the park.

Last up was L’Union Estate Farm which was a big park where you could see how they were growing cinnamon, making coconut oil and building houses like they used to do in the colonial times. It normally costs 10$ to get in, but instead of paying I parked my bike next to the church and walked through the waist high water around the helicopter landing site to get in to the property for free.

The highlight of the farm visit was feeding the many giant tortoises that live there. They were all between 30 and 100 years old and were mostly just sitting hanging making grumpy breathing noises as they were eating.

The beach inside called Anse Source d’Argent is one of the most famous beaches on the island, but that just meant that there were more people and I think it was not even nearly as nice as the ones on the South East Coast.

The rock formations, white sand and clear water makes these beaches my favorite in the World and my pictures dont even do justice of their beauty. Did you ever see beaches that were more beautiful? Let me know in the comment field below.