Paradise Islands | Seychelles Travel
Seychelles is an Island republic in the western Indian Ocean that lies off the coast of East Africa northeast of Madagascar & east of Kenya, comprising of about 115 Islands (with only 3 Islands inhabited). Sometime in 2015, I was extremely eager to visit Seychelles but let's just say my account humbled me. The truth is that Seychelles is an expensive holiday destination. Fast forward to 2017 & Oto Tom, Founder of The Wakaholic organised her annual group travel event to the Island. Find out below what made us red with love. Perhaps you will also discover love is not enough, we need money to travel :)
Hi, my name is Oto and I'm excited about sharing my travel story to Seychelles with you all.
We (Myself and the group of tourists) spent 2 nights in Nairobi, Kenya and 6 nights in the Seychelles Islands. Seychelles is arguably one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in Africa and we are extremely delighted to have experienced the beauties of the islands.
We travelled from Lagos on Kenya Airways, spent a night in Nairobi- Kenya and left for Seychelles the next day. We arrived the beautiful Island of Mahe, Seychelles in the evening. It was a three (3) hour flight from Nairobi. The aerial view of the Seychelles Islands as we touched down is one of the best things I have seen.
Day 1 - We settled in
On arrival, we stamped our passports for the duration of our stay, after presenting a valid hotel reservation and return ticket. Visitors from some African countries (including Nigeria) are required to present a yellow fever vaccination certificate upon arrival. The process was seamless and fast.
Stepping out of the airport to the beautiful scenic view of the city is a picture that will linger on my mind for a long time. We were picked up by our chauffeur to our hotel apartment on Mt. Simpson, Bel Ombre. The drive up the mountain through the narrow steep roads with sharp bends was absolutely breathtaking.
Day 2 - We explored Victoria
The next day, it was a beautiful morning in Seychelles. I woke up to the views at The Palm Seychelles. We get prepared, had breakfast and hit the ground running. We took the bus from Bel Ombre to Victoria, the Capital, and explored the city on foot, making stops at every exciting spot. The bus service in Mahe appeared to be easy, cheap and convenient.
We visited the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens, Victoria Market and even gambled at the Grand Kaz Casino in Victoria. Did I win this time? Yes!!! Don’t ask me how much.
Day 3 - Hiking in Morne Seychellois National Park and sunset watching at Beau Vallon Beach.
It was our hiking day and we set out for the Anse Major Hiking Trail by 1:00pm. We did a 2 hour hike through Morne Seychellois National park over granite rocks, caves & little wooden bridges. We stopped at various heights on the mountain to admire the scenic views and take pictures of the Indian Ocean, the beach and the coastline.
Finally, we got to the mountain top, located the beach and made our way down to Anse Major beach to relax, then took a boat ride back to our hotel apartment. We were too tired to hike back!!
Day 4 - We went on a helicopter ride
We did the helicopter Tour courtesy of Zil Air and experienced a bird-eye view of Mahe and its adjourning islands. This was such a beautiful experience.
In the evening, we watched the sunset at Beau Vallon Beach and attended the famous “Bazar Labrin“, a local food market that attracts locals and tourists which is held every Wednesday in Beau Vallon from 4pm to 9pm. Bazar Librin presents a great opportunity to meet and interact with locals, explore the local food market and buy some locally made arts, crafts, and souvenirs. You also enjoy music, drum beats and dance performances around a campfire by a group of locals.
Day 5 - Island hopping
It was time to turn up the heat, so we went Island hopping. We took the catamaran from Victoria, Mahe to Praslin. The journey took an hour.
1. Praslin Island
In Praslin, we explored Valle de Mai, a UNESCO world heritage site where we learned about the famous coco de mer, one of the botanical wonders of the world. This beautiful site which is where the coco de mer grows in its original state, was once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden.
We visited the first museum in Praslin Island. The museum exhibits a garden of endemic and medical plants of Seychelles as well as the culture of the people of this island. We participated in some traditional activities (such as cracking a coconut with a stick), learned about the lifestyle of the fruits bats, turtles, the history of spices and a wide range of plants and their use in medicines.
2. La Digue Island
In La Digue Island, we had lunch in the stunning Domaine De L’orangeraie Resort. La Digue is definitely my favorite of the Seychelles Islands. With a population of 3,000 people, you can count the number of cars on this island as most locals and tourists move around with bicycles which can be rented on arrival.
The beach here is the best I have seen.
Day 6 - Cooking and Dining
We spent a greater part of the day cooking and dining. Then we explored Victoria Market where we shopped for souvenirs and other locally made items.
Day 7 - Explore Eden Island
It was our last day in Seychelles and we explored Eden Island. We had 4 hours to play around, so we checked in at the airport and took a taxi to Eden Island. Eden island is about 10-15mins away from Seychelles International Airport. We also shopped at Eden Plaza
When we were done, we left for the airport just in good time to catch our flight back to Nairobi, Kenya.
Final words on travelling to Seychelles
So far, Seychelles is my best African Destination. Good news.....English is widely spoken.
The Seychelles islands are a choice place for newly weds. A visitor’s permit is issued free of charge for the first 3 months on arrival in Seychelles.
Mahe is the largest island of the Seychelles and is home to the Seychellois capital, Victoria. This island accommodates 86% of the country’s total population.
Things to do in Seychelles
Spend time in Victoria and explore the city.
Visit the National Museum of history and Seychelles National Botanical Gardens in Victoria.
Visit the beaches: Anse intendance in Mahe Island, Anse Source d’Argent in La Digue Island and Anse Lazio in Praslin Island.
Expolre Valee de Mai Nature Reserve in Praslin
Visit Aldabra Atoll: Aldabra is the original home of the giant land tortoise and tiger sharks.
Go scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing.
Go hiking in Mahe Island. The Seychelles tourism office has a few descriptions of the hiking routes with maps available to be purchased.
Seychelles is an expensive holiday destination but you can save on accommodation like we did.
Taxis are not easily available in Seychelles except at airports, taxi parks and hotel resorts. Most holidaymakers rent cars for their use; this can be achieved with 35-70euros a day, depending on the choice of vehicle.
Driving in Seychelles is on the left side of the road. Caution should be exercised especially when driving around Mahe Island as the roads are narrow and mountainous with sharp bends.
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open - Jawaharlal Nehru