See Seychelles for Snorkelling, Nature Reserves and Seafood Cuisine
Event Africa Contributor 07/12/2020 Uncategorized
Our intrepid Publisher Lance Gibbons has ventured abroad for the first time since the lockdown on the invitation of a lifetime: See Seychelles in all its beauty (and of course its events industry attractions, too). He shares thoughts and experiences from days 4-6 on his trip through this magnificent island paradise.
Day 4: Visiting Seychelles’ Pristine Beaches
Visiting one of the worlds most pristine beaches must be the highlight so far. A 15 minute ferry across to La Digue to visit the very famous Anse Source D’argent. Breath taking, the white beach sand against the turquoise ocean, the vivid green foliage against the majestic black rocks. Picture perfect , creation at its showroom best.
On entering the warm,soft,salty water, coloured in by soft banks of seaweed, where fish of all shapes and sizes escort you into their domain. These underwater seaweed pods create natural jacuzzi pools to laze in. The water warm and inviting, the only challenge is not to fall asleep whilst balancing your body as you float in this beautiful island spa.
On route we saw the giant tortoises, the vanilla plantations, giant rock and a funeral procession. The funeral was as wonderful as everything else we had experienced on the island. With only 3000 local inhabitants on the island everyone turns out dressed in white on their bicycles to pay their respects. Beautifully decorated vehicles usher the procession through the village, up and down 20 minutes north to south, ending at the jetty where the remains are sent across to Mahe for cremation. A beautiful vision and a beautiful send off for a loved one.
Lunch was at the Fish Trap restaurant, food was delish, highly recommend the tuna tortilla. The restaurant decorated in that very French beach-chic influence. Very tasteful edgy decor, island style, on the beach of course with that clear turquoise backdrop.
Once again the ferry trip was regimental and protocols strictly adhered too. Not even the cutest kids got to express their excitement, no running up and down the boat. Every one is checked in, temperature tested, given a seat number, forced to stay in your seats and naturally masks are compulsory. As I’ve mentioned before being safe and keeping the island safe is in these islanders DNA.
The local Wakamata rum has proven to be winner for our trip and every sunset is enjoyed with a refreshing Wakamata and coke, island style, a great way to end a spectacular day 🏝.
Day 5: Copolia Rainforest and Carana Beach Hotel
We travelled back to Mahé, the main island this morning.
Domestic flights are every bit as protocol focused as the international ones.
From the air the island looks like droplets of luminous white and green sunbursts dotted in the turquoise water. The 15-minute flight was a quick and easy option to get back to Mahé for our last three days of paradise.
Once our driver had COVID-temperature-tested us on arrival, we headed to the very top of the island to the Copolia Nature Reserve. Guided by a barefoot islander Steve, who has spent most his life protecting this unique natural beauty, we finally got to see the 6th indigenous palm, known as the Cinderella palm. Like a Cinderella dress, with its single red leaf radiating out the centre of the plant. The most elegant palm of all. The natural indigenous vegetation is constantly under threat by alien vegetation brought in over the centuries from all over the world. It’s a never-ending battle in an environment where every plant flourishes due to the rich minerals in the earth and the idyllic climate. The 800m hike through the forest places you at the very top of the island overlooking Eden Bay with breathtaking 360-degree views. One is able to view the reclaimed land the airport is built on in the south, Eden Bay and all the way to the far north of the island. You can see as far as Praslin and La Digue across the pond in the east.
On our way down we got to experience the equatorial forest rain, with the perfectly clean footpath and stairs turning into rivulets and waterfalls. It was exhilarating even though we were drenched throughout as not even the large palm leaves could protect us from this cloud burst. A great memory and a lot of fun! Sadly the planned zip lining was cancelled due to the rains.
Once dried off we headed to our final accommodation at the awe-inspiring Carana Beach Hotel. Walking into the reception was like jumping into a pool of turquoise, the ocean there to usher you in. What a welcome.
Time to relax and soak up some more sunshine and beach beauty now that the rain has left, as quickly as it arrived.
The beauty and tranquility of the islands continue to grow on me 🙌
Day 6: Snorkelling in Eden
A day to remember – snorkelling in the underwater garden of Eden.
Leaving from Eden Bay with Captain Michael from the Dolphin Nemo Glass Bottom Boat tour company at the helm.
Michael is as passionate about the sea as if he actually lived underwater.
Before we got to step aboard his adapted glass bottom Cigarette boat, we sanitised and the headed off to the Sante Anne National Marine Park.
A quick practice swim at a local spot between Long Island and Moyenne.
Before entering the underwater world we had a quick update on the coral and what we would find.
Lettuce coral, mushroom coral, table coral, fan coral, fire coral that are still surviving. Sadly about 60% of the coral and various coral species have died off in the last 15 years due to the warming of the ocean. Lots of white grey remains of the reindeer coral dominate the seabed. All the remaining coral mentioned above are not colourful specifies, more shades or greys and browns so the backdrop is largely greyscaled.
However, nothing could prepare you for these colourful fish. The fish certainly make up for the lack of colour, they are in abundance. The lack of coral has not affected the fish populations by any means. Really full and diverse, many colours shapes and sizes Nemo, Doree and all their friends. A real underwater firework displays of fish playing amongst the coral giving life and sparkle to this monotone backdrop. It was a marvel!
After lunch, we went to another spot where it was evident that some coral even reindeer coral seemed to be coming back to life. The sponge coral was vivid green and the purple lettuce coral giving beautiful colour to this hilly seabed.
We got lucky and saw Nurse sharks, huge 2.5-metre long shark, Moray Eel, Stingray and schools and schools of fish. The fish were inquisitive and inviting, completely happy to have us in their domain. A complete spectacle of colour, the numbers were astounding. Everywhere you looked your eyes had much to feast on. It was another wow moment, it was magical, beautiful in every way. My best day and experience has to be the underwater kaleidoscope of colour and nature, peaceful gentle and abundant life as far as the eye could see.
Lunch was a barbecue at the Jolly Roger on Moyenne Island. An inviting smell of fish braai. Tuna steaks are done Seychelles style, with a host of salads, garlic bread and all the trimmings – if you are vegetarian you’d enjoy the meal as much as any.
After lunch we boarded the Dolphin Nemo again and headed back into the water. What a day!
A little sunburn and a lot of excitement, the shark was possibly the most exciting. We were warned not to react, coming from South Africa with our rather predatory aggressive sharks it was hard not to want to walk on water. It was mind blowing, once my heart rate returned to normal, watching this magestic, graceful king of the ocean.
We head back to the hotel for another fantastic dinner by Chef Sandy from Lorizon, Carana Beach Hotel. We were spoilt to a chefs table, a menu that included marlin fish cakes, beef fillet, butternut soup and a dessert of cream brûlée with vanilla ice cream. Another day in paradise, what an experience!
Travel Tip: Carana Beach Hotel is a 4 star Boutique Hotel has 28 chalets and 12 ocean view pool chalets starting at Euro 450 in the low season from now until Christmas. A perfect setting for you to visit Seychelles.