At 1500 kilometres East of the coast of Kenya and Tanzania, the Seychelles Islands are pretty remote. As a country, it comprises of around 155 islands with a total population of 90 000 people, the majority of whom live on Mahé, the largest island. The capital city is Victoria, located on Mahé, visitors coming in by air will arrive at the international airport.
The Seychelles experience has to begin with the national airline Air Seychelles, the minute you board the plane, in our case at Johannesburg International, the holiday mood kicks in. The catchy tunes playing over the on board speakers, the Seychellois heading home, the love struck honeymooners and families dressed in their colourful island threads make for a festive mood.
Seychelles First Impressions
Arriving in the Seychelles for the first time, even at 6 AM in July, the warmth and humidity hits you like something tangible, coming from a cold wet, wintry Cape Town it takes some getting used to. Victoria is a really cool city, the majority of Seychellois live here and it’s got a vibe that varies from bustling to laid back, you take your pick and you’ll find it. Plenty of restaurants and places to eat, but don’t expect to be welcomed with open arms, the staff seem to think that they are doing their customers an enormous favour by serving them. But the food is pretty good, if you want traditional dishes they are plentiful, if a burger and chips is more your thing, no problem.
Experience The Local Restaurants
There are any number of pubs, restaurants and places to sit and enjoy a Seybrew (beer) on the beach. If you looking for something more formal that’s also available.
Independent Is The Way To Go
Most visitors head straight from the airport to a luxury resort, and while that’s got it’s plus side, to really experience the island I would definitely self cater and hire a car. A small car like a Hyundai Getz is perfect, you are never going to get to travel fast on the island, and it’s ideal for the narrow roads.
The Seychelles is about beaches of course and Mahé has them in abundance. Around every corner seems to be a beach that’s more beautiful than the one that you just passed, and they are all fairly empty, not deserted (although some are), but plenty of space to spread out and feel like Robinson Crusoe on his desert island. Palm fringed beaches, soft white sand, warm clear water, seriously this place has it all.
Mahé is the “main” island, nearby are Praslin and La Digue, the only other 2 islands with significant populations, Praslin is a short ferry ride of maybe an hour, or a 15 minute trip by air. La Digue is another 20 minutes or so by ferry from Praslin, both islands are worth a visit, it can easily be done in a day. Praslin is the only place on earth where the Coco De Mer is found, the nut of the tree resembles a…. well have a look at the photo and see for yourself 😉
The Most Beautiful Beach in The World
Praslin is also where, in my opinion, the best beach in the world is located, Anse Lazio seems too beautiful to be possible, it’s really in a class all of it’s own. La Digue doesn’t do too badly when it comes to natural beauty, the prefered mode of transport on the island is ox cart, which is exactly in keeping with the pace of life in that little piece of paradise on earth.