World-renowned as the perfect honeymoon destination, the mesmerising islands of the Seychelles has become a favourite for travellers wanting a beautiful beach destination. However, many are unaware that the Seychelles has far more to offer than meets the eye. With two World Heritage Sites, numerous nature reserves and extensive coral reefs filled with life, this island is of much interest to lovers of nature, both above and below the sea’s surface. We have put together some of the best destinations in the Seychelles to find the islands' wildlife.
Best Known For: Seychelles Scops Owl and Whale Sharks
Although this may be the largest island of the Seychelles, the majority of the population reside in the Capital of Victoria, leaving the rest of Mahé full of rainforests and white sandy shores. More than 20% of the island is taken up by Morne Seychellois National Park. At the highest point of Morne Seychellois Mountain is where you can see the island's endemic Seychelles scops owl. If you are planning to spend more of your time off -shore, the north-western coast of the island is well known for its whale shark sightings.
Best Known For: The Rare Black Parrot
Praslin Island is the second biggest island in the archipelago, whilst being less developed it offers vast expanses of white sand coast and tropical forest. This island is one of only two which grows the famous Coco de Mer coconut, which holds the record for the world's largest seed at 24 kilograms. This island is also one of the only homes to the Seychelles black parrot, which can often be seen in the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve. Praslin Island also holds Octopus Dive School. This dive centre is considered one of the top 10 dive schools in the world, making it the perfect destination for any diver.
Best Known For: The Rare Sheath-tailed Bat
Being the third of the Seychelles three major islands, Silhouette may only be 4,930 acres however it differs from its counterparts entirely. One factor making Silhouette so different from its counterparts is that it is the only one to originate from a volcano. Due to its preservation, it is a wildlife haven with an abundance of both flora and fauna endemic species such as Seychelles blue pigeon, Seychelles bulbul, and Seychelles sunbird. The only way to explore Silhouette is by hiking trails, which is the perfect way to see the rare Seychelles sheath-tailed bat present in large numbers.
Best Known For: The Giant Tortoise and The Rare Sooty Tern
This small island is an island-wide nature reserve that hosts a series of conservation projects including turtle conservation and bird monitoring. Cousin Island is the perfect destination to spot the giant tortoise roaming free, the rare sooty tern and Seychelles white-eyed birds. For the best chance to see the amazing hawksbill turtles nesting along the sandy coastline it is wise to travel between September to March or November to January. All visitors are encouraged to take part in the island's conservation projects.
Best Known For: The Aldabra Giant Tortoise
At only three square kilometers across, this island only has one resort, making it a wildlife haven. Over 2,000 Aldabra giant tortoises freely roam through the forest, as well as the rare hawksbill and green turtles to be seen on the shore between October and January each year. You will find over 100 species of bird, including the rare Seychelles magpie robin which was previously the world's 2nd rarest bird. However, after the island's conservation efforts, there is now a healthy population of this species. Fregate island also has a rich variety of marine life, with whales, dolphins and manta rays passing through its oceans.
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