Preserving Paradise for now and forever
The Seychelles is a special place. Not only because it is home to the Seychellois creole culture, and Takamaka Rum, but also because of its natural beauty. Since the 1970s the islanders have been dedicated to preserving paradise and have bucked the “island normal” trend of devastating environmental depletion. As a collective the world is thankful that the Seychellois excelled in saving their natural environment so that we can all enjoy this paradise. Here are three pieces of preserved paradise that you can enjoy as a visitor.
Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve
Home to the famous coco de mer, which boasts the plant kingdom’s largest seed, the reserve is situated in the middle of the granite island of Praslin, the second largest island in the Seychelles. Unchanged for millennia, the palm forest is a tranquil 19,5ha journey into the past.
While the coco de mer enjoys the most of the limelight, the nature reserve is also home to a number of other endemic palm trees, plants, and animals. The small reserve is situated in the middle of the much larger 300 ha2 Praslin National Park. This park is mainly made up of coco de mer plantations, but it’s purpose is to act as a buffer from other non-indigenous plants on the island, such as pineapple and coffee.
This is a UNESCO site, making it a truly inspiring place to visit. If you do visit the reserve with a Takamaka Rum, remember to clean up, maybe enjoy on the outskirts of the park. Be protective of paradise is all we’re saying.
Aride Island Nature Reserve
A current success story of conservation, this northern Seychelles island wasn’t always so well preserved for future generations. For over a century birds eggs were harvested off the island leading to the extinction of all land birds. In 1967 it was declared a reserve by its owner. It is now managed by the Island Conservation Society of the Seychelles.
Since then the island has seen no hotel developments and a massive increase of wildlife returning to its shores. Sea life around the island has also improved with sting-rays and sharks returning to the waters. But it is Aride’s bird life that has flourished the most, with ornithologists discovering/rediscovering new species on every visit.
The island has only four park ranger inhabitants and can’t be visited during certain months of the year due to the swell and the danger of landing boats on the shore. You’ll need to book your visit to the island, and we suggest you do so well in advance.
If you decide to have a Takamaka Rum cocktail, may we suggest enjoying it once you return to the hotel as the only mode of transportation on the island of Aride is by bicycle. So be responsible while enjoying natural beauty.
Sainte Anne Marine National Park
This marine park is 5 kms away from the capital city of the Seychelles and was the first of its kind in the Indian Ocean. No jet-skis or fishing are allowed around the six islands comprising the reserve. This has helped to protect the islands from the encroaching human habitats. It is now truly a marine paradise and is very popular with scuba divers and glass bottomed boat tours.
A few of the islands have eco resorts on them, where visitors can lap up the natural environment. This makes for the perfect island-hopping experience where a visitor can grab their backpack, hop into a kayak, and discover the untouched natural beauty.
If you’re looking to paddle, boat, and/or explore this is the destination to visit. And don’t worry, most of the larger islands will serve Takamaka Rum to the thirsty traveler.