Seychelles, my first African affair

Recently I saw an offer for return flights from Brussels to Seychelles for €312 per person. The first instinct, as with every cheap flight for a far away destination was to check it out and book. But wait, we actually visited, so here is our experience which maybe will inspire you to take advantage of the offer Ethiopian Air have right now.

We visited Seychelles during 06-13 February 2015. The vague idea I had about this place was that it’s a paradise destination, with hot weather and turqouise waters washing up big granite boulders somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Fact: the Seychelles are the only oceanic granite islands on the planet!

In terms of weather and when to visit, probably anytime of the year is ok. Seychelles has two seasons determined by the winds trade and the period with the most rain is between November and January. With average temperatures of 27°C all year long you will find a brief shower really refreshing.

We stayed at Coral Strand in Beau Vallon, in the North-West side of Mahe, the main island from the 115 that make up Seychelles. Although not a big luxurious resort, the hotel is well maintained, has nice amenities and serves good food. The major plus of this hotel is its location. I wanted to find in close proximity things we might need like a supermarket, an exchange office, pharmacy, restaurants and a beach where we could snorkel.

We had a sea view room and the fabulous beach was just a stone away from our room. We ate everyday somewhere else but the one restaurant that still sticks to my mind where I had the best vegetarian lasagna yet is La Plage. Highly recommend it!

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Snorkeling – we had our own equipment and while driving around the island we stopped at this delightful strip of white sand and black stones set beneath palms. It was extremely quiet and the water crystal clear. The place is called Anse Royale and can be found in the South-Eastern part of the island. Bring water and food as there is nothing on the beach.

After snorkeling, while we were getting ready to leave we met this guy, Antonio. He seemed friendly and before we knew it, we were eating from a coconut he picked up and opened in front of us. While talking, we realized he was like a local guide making his existence from whatever tourists could throw at him. He offered to show us around the island if we were willing to drop him off at his uncle place.

We definitely saw places we wouldn’t have reached otherwise. Antonio patiently waited for us in the shadow during each of our stops. The few which turned into many beers we were buying kept him busy I guess 🙂

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Organic plate a la minute 🙂
Pinnaple plant Seychelles
Pinnaple plant

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Takamata Beach
Takamata Beach
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We walked through Four Seasons Resort to reach this beautiful beach

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Another day we picked a German hitchhiker who told us about this waterfall we checked together. To reach it, you have to pay someone who would show you the way there and negotiate your passing via a local’s garden. Even if there is no sign anywhere informing you of this “fee”, we agreed on a small amount in the end to be able to reach the waterfall.

While debating the fee, I got distracted by someone’s garden:
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As a reference point, we were told the waterfall is behind this church:
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On our way to the waterfall, a 10 minutes walk through vegetation:

Cinnamon tree
Cinnamon tree

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Eden Island, just off of Mahe but connected via a road is a new development of luxirous villas and appartments, with a marina, a mall, restaurants, bars and even a casino:

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While on Mahe island and if you have enough time, you should also consider exploring La Digue or Praslin islands. We left Praslin for our last day, but were told there were big waves at sea so we couldn’t take the ferry anymore. Something for next time maybe.

Instead, we discovered Sunset Beach. The beach is rather small and maybe because it’s not so easy to sight, it was rather deserted. It is located next to the Sunset Beach Resort and can be accessed by going through the hotel.

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Quick info:

Driving: on the left side like in the UK.
Rental car: we booked via this website. The car was in good condition, we didn’t have any problems.
Visa: Seychelles is visa-free, no visa requirements for anyone visiting. However, you will have to show a valid passport and proof of accomodation.
Getting around: besides rental car, on the main island there is a bus service. On Praslin you can rent a car or a bike and on La Digue, being very small, people use bikes and ox carts. Between islands there is a ferry (the main provider CatCoco).
Airport: the main airport is found in the capital of the country, Victoria (on Mahe island).
Currency: SCR – Seychellois Rupee. The most popular Seychelles Rupee exchange rate is the SCR to EUR rate.

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