The Seychelles, a Tropical Paradise

There is an alluring rhythm that draws people to the Seychelles.  The local Seychellois move at their own paces among the beautiful palms as the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean spill gracefully onto the crystalline beaches.  Visitors initially visit the Seychelles for the islands’ tropical beauty. They return for even more reasons.  There is always something incredible to discover on the islands.

The Seychelles, which are surrounded by a coral reef, are most famous for having world-class beaches that offer an abundance of space.  Crowds are rare, so there is a lot of privacy.  Hikers spend hours climbing the magnificent granite boulders that loom above the beaches.  The inviting ocean waters offer unparallel opportunities for some of the best swimming and snorkeling found anywhere.

The vast number of beautiful flowers on the Seychelles fills the senses with the sweet perfumes of roses, frangipani and hibiscus.  The magenta bougainvillea provides incredible cascades of brilliant color.

Due to the long-ranging conservation efforts on the Seychelles, there is a huge abundance of sea life to observe there.  In fact, there are over 1,000 different recorded species of fish in the water surrounding the islands.  Divers marvel at the brightly colored angelfish, parrotfish, clownfish and moray eels that offer a small sampling of what can be found just under the water’s surface.

The gentle giants known as whale sharks can also be found around the Seychelles between the months of August and March.   These magnificent animals can grow up to 18 meters long and weigh more than 25 tons!

The islands also have two different species of turtles, the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill, which are both high on the list of endangered species.  Both types of turtles can be observed swimming or on shore, laying their eggs on the soft sandy beaches.    They nest all year long, although the months that go from October to February are the best times to observe them.

The breathtaking scenery inherent in a visit to the Seychelles equals unlimited photo opportunities.  The wide array of trails that wind their ways through the various landscapes afford some of the most stunning views imaginable.  Take, for example, the Anse Major trail that snakes its way along the rocky coastline of Mahé, leading to the small secluded beach of Anse Major.  This is an easy hike where visitors can witness, first hand, the beauty of nature up close.

The Aldabra atoll, which is 1,100 km from Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles, has recently been registered as a participant in the UNESCO World heritage program.  The atoll consists of four ample coral islands that surround a clear, shallow lagoon.  Because of the difficulties inherent in accessing the atoll and its isolation, Aldabra boasts the population of more than 150,000 giant tortoises.  There is no greater population of this reptile on earth.

Ecology enthusiasts have worked with the people of the Seychelles to promote vast ecological, economic, social  & technological sustainability.  They have managed to develop partnerships not only with the private sector, but also with government-owned corporations, the Seychelles government itself and non-government organizations to cultivate education and training programs for lifestyles that focus upon sustainability.

The people of the Seychelles have been inspired to adopt sustainable lifestyles through best practices demonstrations and success stories that promote renewable energy technology and more efficient ways to harass and use energy.  This makes the islands the perfect place for travelers who are interested in eco-tours. The island government makes every effort to make sure the tourist industry makes as low an impact on the environment as possible while generating future employment for the locals.  They are, in fact, considered world-leaders in sustainable tourism.

The splendor and variety of the birds on the Seychelles are enough to please even the most avid bird enthusiasts.  Known by insiders as, “the Galapagos of Africa,” the Seychelles hosts some rare varieties endemic only to the islands.   Only on the Seychelles can the Seychelles warbler, kestrel, blue pigeon, scops owl, cave swiflet and seven other unique bird species be found.  There are also reptiles that are found only on the Seychelles.  The Seychelles wolf snake cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and the endearing Seychelles green frog is also endemic to the islands.

Each of the Seychelles Islands offers something unique.  La Digue is a small island that appears to have stood still in time.  There is only one main road with ox drawn carts providing the only means of public transportation.  The island itself is a scenic wonderland that is best seen via bicycle.

Vallei de Mai on Praslin has palm forests that have been there since ancient times.  It is a World Heritage Site that is home to six different endemic types of palm trees.


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