The majority of
big game fishing charters depart from Mahé’ s Victoria wharf,
Beau Vallon, and on the east coast. The boats vary in size but are all
well-equipped. If you are going out during the monsoon season it is worth
trying to get a group together to charter a bigger boat to minimise the
impact of the rough seas! There are serious game fishing operations on
Silhouette, Bird and Denis islands and also liveaboard options.
The best fishing grounds are at the drop off at the edge of the Seychelles
Plateau about 30-40km off shore and within easy reach of all the inner
isles. The waters between Mahé and Silhouette are good for sailfish.
Hot spots from Beau Vallon include the Malgache and Stork Patch areas.
Seychelles is surprisingly mountainous and there are some excellent hiking
trails as well as more gentle forest and beach walks. The Ministry of
Tourism produces informative brochures on the popular, longer trails in
the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé. The best time for
hiking is during the cooler, drier season from June to September when
there is a bit of a breeze. It can get very humid and sticky during the
rainy season – particularly in December and January – when
the paths get muddy and slippery.
For forest and mountain hikes head for the Morne Seychellois National
Park, The strenuous Congo Rouge Trail leads through the mist forest encircling
the summit, at 905m, the archipelago’s highest point. Other good
trails include the Morne Blanc Walk, a steep climb to the summit of one
of the smaller peaks and the Dans Gallas Nature Trail, a moderate trail
through cinnamon forest, tall palms and Albizia trees which also affords
great views. The La Reserve and Brulée walk is beautiful. It leads
through Mahé’s best area of palm forest, which contains five
of the six palm species unique to Seychelles (only the coco de mer is
missing – head for the Vallée de Mai on Praslin to see this).
A guide, to point out the interesting species as well as show you the
route, is a good investment particularly if you are heading for the higher
The scramble along the scenic coastal path from Danzilles to the deserted
beach of Anse Major is great. It’s a five kay, easy return trip
along the stunning coastline to one of the island’s most picturesque
There are plenty of other excellent beach walks including those around
the Baie Ternay and Port Launay Marine Parks.
Praslin’s exotic Vallée de Mai is home to numerous beautiful
and rare palms including the coco de mer, the erotically shaped nut of
which is the national emblem of Seychelles. Much controversy surrounds
the interpretation of the shapely fruit – the outline is indisputably
of the female pelvis – but is it viewed from the back or the front?
You’ll be able to judge for yourself by studying the immigration
stamp in your passport or when you view the exhibit at the start of the
trail. Either way history records the excitement that the early sailors
experienced when stumbling on the coco de mer nut after enduring months
at sea. A number of short nature trails lead through the reserve.
Otherwise there are plenty of opportunities for beach hikes, see Cote
d’Or in the Praslin section.
La Digue is a good place to walk; the island is small and there is much
of interest. The best hike is from Grand Anse on a faint trail up and
down over the headlands and along the beaches of the east coast. The sea
is beautiful and wild and the beaches become less populated as you progress.
It will take about an hour to walk to the furthest beach, Anse Cocos so
bring water as there is none on route. There is not much shade, and the
main beaches are unsafe for swimming, but it’s a dramatic coastline
and at the far end of Anse Cocos there is a deep sheltered gully where
you can swim safely and picnic in the little cove.
The small forest reserve is great for nature lovers and you can enjoy
a very short hike under the canopy listening to the sound of birds and
the rustle of leaves.
Flora and Fauna
The dramatic beaches with their towering granite boulders and turquoise
waters may be Seychelles major drawcard, but its birds, and exotic palms
and plants are also a major attraction. The Morne Seychellois National
Park on Mahé has wonderful forests and full of interesting native
species whilst Praslin is famous for the erotically shaped nut of the
Coco de Mer palm – just one of the wonderful plants found in the
Vallée de Mai. Bird lovers will find plenty amuse in the reserves
and on the nearby sanctuaries of Cousin, Curieuse and Aride.