Unique by a thousand miles, is the tropical destination known as Seychelles. Located in the Indian Ocean, east of the African coast of Kenya, the Seychelles comprises of 115 Islands. It is renowned for it’s beauty and year round warm weather, and offers attractions that are second to none. It offers countless white sandy beaches, azure warm waters, coral reefs, fishing locations, pristine nature reserves, and both rare and unique creatures and plants that date back to prehistoric times. It’s remoteness adds greatly to the allure that it has for those wanting to visit or holiday there.
There are many beautiful places in the world, but there are very places where you can go somewhere and not see another soul in sight. Seychelles is a popular destination for European tourists during their winters and also to the rich and famous, including royalty. Prince William and Kate Middleton had visited the island of Desroches in 2007 and it is widely accepted that they spent their honeymoon on North Island, in 2011. George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin spent their honeymoon also on North Island in 2014. Both couples Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston and Ronan Keating and Storm Uechtritz, choose the island of Fregate as their choice honeymoon destination. Other celebrities have included, Nicky Hilton,, Salma Hayek, Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Due to the large number of islands, there is so much variety of locations to visit and activities to do. Some islands are renowned for their beaches, some for great diving, some for unrivalled fishing, some for ultimate privacy, but all for their beauty.
The vast majority of the islands do not have motor vehicle transportation and therefore moving around relies on walking, pedal power or the historic ox cart. The total population of all the islands add up to approximately 93 000 people. The locals are extremely relaxed, friendly and generous, and the islands are extremely safe, other than the occasional opportunistic petty crime. Most of the residents speak three languages, which are French, English and the native language of creole. Arising from the fusion of European, African and Asian peoples, there is a large variety of exotic foods to enjoy. Open fire grilled fish and curry dishes are staples of the locals and are unmatched anywhere in the world. Some of the most delicious curries are made from a variety of fish and other seafood and include my personal favourite, octopus curry, which comes in two varieties, the hotter and spicier indian style and the locally inspired curry made with coconut milk. Both are uniquely tasty.
Travelling to the Seychelles in not inexpensive, however those who are willing to experience the islands in its purest form can save a lot of money by experiencing the simpler versions of accommodation as opposed to the at times expensive hotels and resorts. To experience the most the islands have to offer it’s also a good idea to interact with the locals who are more than willing to suggest the best activities to do or the best locations to visit. Many are also more than happy to be personal guides and to take tourists to local generally ‘hidden’ locations or fishing trips. A small contribution or something as simple as buying them a few beers for their time is all that is required as payment. Sometimes you can even just ‘tag’ along with locals heading on family or group outings without paying a cent, although it’s only polite to contribute to the excursion in some manner. Be open and friendly with the locals and you can find out a lot about what you can get involved in.