lies in the western part of the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar and 1,593km
(995 miles) east of Mombasa, Kenya. It is between 4 and 5 degrees south
of the equator at a longitude between 55 and 56 degrees east. The
Country is an isolated archipelago of outstanding natural beauty
comprising about 115 islands.
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largest of the islands, it is home to the capital, Victoria, the international
airport, the fishing and commercial ports, most of the population and most
of the hotels including two casinos. Its powdery white, idyllic beaches,
lush vegetation, plantations of coconut palms and cinnamon rise to forested
peaks with unequalled views of the neighboring islands. Surrounded by coral
reefs the clear, calm waters invite relaxation and many water sports. Although
it is the nation's economic hub, it has retained all of its natural beauty
and charm. Mahé is the most important island of the Seychelles archipelago.
This spectacular island is only 27 kilometres long but is dominated by
a mountain range that forms the backbone of the island. The highest peak,
Morne Seychellois, reaches a height of 905metres and provides a perfect
backdrop to the capital city Victoria. Mahé is the largest island
in the Seychelles archipelago 90% of the Seychelles population live on
Mahé Mahé boasts of 75 beaches Mahé is the economic
hub of the Seychelles There are several well organised walks and nature
trails Mahé has two casinos Mahé is often described as the
most spectacular of all the islands
the fourth largest island in the Seychelles, measuring five kilometres
by three, and is part of the granitic group. It lies 43 kilometres from
Mahé and six and a half from Praslin. The most photographed and
beautiful island in Seychelles. The fourth largest island An aura of charm
and tranquillity surrounds La Digue. This island is accessible by boat
and helicopter; about two and a half hours from Mahé and thirty
minutes from Praslin.
lies 37 kilometres north east of Mahé and is accessible by boat
in two hours or by air in 15 minutes. Praslin is the second largest island.
Praslin is home to the Vallee de Mai, a World Heritage Site Anse Lazio
has consistently been voted one of the worlds best beaches. The coco de
mer nut is found in the Vallee de Mai General Gordon thought that he had
found the Original Garden of Eden when he first visited Praslin
A few kilometres
from Praslin is the islet of Cousin. Cousin, a bird sanctuary, can be visited
by arrangement. It is about one and a half hours from Praslin by boat.
The island is owned by the Royal Society for Nature Conservation (RSNC),
administered by the International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP)
and it can be visited on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays by a maximum of
20 visitors at any one time. Cousin extends over 27 hectares and is entirely
dedicated to nature. In fact, the island was made a nature reserve in 1968,
when it was bought by the RSNC as a haven for endangered species of land
and sea birds. Furthermore, the Seychelles Government declared it a Special
Reserve in 1975, thus offering all the wildlife on the island legal protection.
Amongst the species to see are the Seychelles fody, the Seychelles turtle
dove, the white-faced tropic bird, The wedge-tailed shearwater, the fairy
tern, noddies and bridled terns. The Seychelles brush warbler can be found
only on Cousin, Cousine and Aride.
Aride is a Special Reserve. Aride was purchased by Christopher Cadbury
in 1973. Aride
is an important sea bird breeding island Wrights Gardenia plant is unique
to Aride. Aride, 1.6 kilometres long and 600 metres wide, lying some 46
kilometres from Mahé and 15 kilometres from Praslin, is the most
northerly granite island of the Seychelles group. It rises some 152 metres
from brilliantly clear water partly surrounded by a spectacular coral reef.
was purchased in 1973 for the Royal Society for Nature Conservation (RSNC)
by Christopher Cadbury, the
English chocolate industrialist and President of the RSNC. Aride is the
home of the greatest concentration of seabirds in the entire region and
boasts the world's largest colonies of both the lesser noddy and the roseate
terns. Frigate birds roost on Aride and the red-tailed tropic bird can
also be seen. All the reptiles are harmless and Aride has the highest density
of lizards anywhere on earth. The island is also famous for the Wright's
gardenia or bois citron which is an endemic plant only seen on Aride. Shell
collecting and picnics are forbidden. The island is open all year round,
but it is necessary to enquire in advance to ensure that landing conditions
are good. Visits to Aride can be arranged through local tour operators
and the travel time by boat from Praslin is about 45 minutes.
sail to Curieuse, the island with the largest colony of giant land tortoises
near Mahé and the second largest forest of coco-de-mer palms after
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