Seychelles is an island country in East Africa that consists of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean. With a population of slightly over 90k people (est in 2012), Syechlles has the smallest population among all independent African state. As an island nation, the islands in Seychelles are being sorted into different groups. There are 45 granite-base islands that's famous for incredible giant Rocks Formations, known as Granitic Seychelles; the famous few: Mahe (capital), Praslin, Silhouette Island, La Digue, Curieuse, Felicite, Cousin, and Cousine Island, etc... and the rest are all mainly coral islands.
Includes a video of my driving experience in a submarine in Seychelles! Check it out.
Accommodations + Cruise
There are plenty of amazing resorts on the major islands of Seychelles, most common to have luxury resorts on Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. Instead of staying at one of the lovely resorts, I have chosen to tour around Seychelles by Cruise. I visited Seychelles in January with Crystal Cruises - I will include some photos that I've taken at the different islands I've visited below.
Weather + When to visit
The average temperature at the Seychelles is around 27 degree Celsius. and it rarely drops below 24 degrees or go above 32 degrees. It is the perfect tropical island temperature throughout the year. However, just like any topical island, rainfall is very common in the Seychelles. The driest months are between May - Sept, and wettest months are between Nov - Jan. Having said that, the showers in any tropical places are usually short, lasting few couples rather than days, and weather can vary at different islands. Tropical weather are often unpredictable, and I wouldn't let that be a great factor in determining when to visit. Peak season in the Seychelles are in Dec - March & July - Aug; mid season is between April, May, Oct and Nov; low season during Jun and Sept.
Arriving + Traveling in Seychelles
The main Seychelles international airport is located on the island of Mahe, near the capital city of Victoria. There are direct flights from several countries in Europe and the middle east, via Air Seychelles, Emirates Airways, Qantas, Air France, Jet Airways, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, and SriLankan Airlines. To visit other main islands in the Seychelles from Mahe, you can choose to take the ferry/speedboat to Praslin, and from there to La Digue, etc... You can find more details (here), or you can take an internal flight to Praslin and transfer to visit other smaller islands nearby.
Wildlife + Activities
Seychelles have one of the highest endemism rates for local animals in the world, over 30 endemic species of reptiles and amphibians and dozens of birds. It is also the world's largest population of Giant tortoises, and 2 species of sea turtles nest on the islands. At Cousin Island, there are over 300,000 nesting seabirds, and researches and scientists are definitely doing their best in protecting few of the endangered species. Diving in the Seychelles is also very popular as there are plenty of marine life around these amazing groups of islands.
The third largest inhabited island, and forth largest granitic island in the Seychelles. La Digue also has some of the most photographed beaches in the world. There is no airpot at La Digue, so besides cruising, the only way to get to the island is by ferry from Praslin or Mahe. The most famous beaches in La Digue has got to be Grand Anse (first two images) and Anse Source d'Argent (the rest of the images). The rocks formation here at La Digue is really incredible, beaches are separated by giant rocks and plantations. My favorite activity at La Digue is rock climbing, and of course photography. There are endless photo opportunities at all the beaches around this island. And of course many 5 stars resorts have built accommodations around this island for tourists to visit, so La Digue definitely delivers both comfort and natural beauty.
The largest island among all the islands in the Seychelles, also where the capital city Victoria is located. Mahe is named after Bertrand-Francois Mahe de La Bourdonnais, a French governor of Mauritius, and this island accommodates over 86% of the country's total population. The international airport of Seychelles, and major ship dock are located at Victoria, capital city of Seychelles. Mahe is not only famous for its botanical garden and giant tortoises research center, the city shopping center and seafood market are also must see when visiting this country.
A small granitic island in the Seychelles, located 1.2m west of Praslin. It is a nature reserve protected under Seychelles law as Special Reserve, by which it is identified as an important bird area. Since 1999, the population of birds on Cousin island has grown from 353 birds to over 3000 now.
The second largest island in the Seychelles, currently has a population of over 7500 people. There is also an airport and ferry stop transferring locals and visitors between Mahe and many other islands in the Seychelles. As one of the largest islands in the Seychelles, many resort hotels are built on this island to accommodate visitors, definitely one of the most popular islands among Seychelles.
A small granitic island in the west of Praslin Island, Cousine Island has been a nature preserve since 1992. Cousine Island is a breeding ground for seabirds and has a population of transplanted Aldabra giant tortoises. Tortoises can roam freely around the island once it has grown to a certain size, and the babies are closely monitor by researches to guarantee a growth in population. Also one of my most favorite islands among all the different islands in the Seychelles, I highly recommend those who are visiting Seychelles to plan a trip to this magical island. Besides giant tortoises, there are also many hiking trails that leads to more wildlife and amazing view point.