The Seychelles archipelago is a refuge for many rare plant and animal species. He also inherited an impressive setting. In other words, it is a true Garden of Eden. That is why it is on the list of the best tourist destinations in the world. White beaches, transparent water, lush vegetation, giant turtles…, these are some of the wonders of nature that have made the Seychelles famous! If you are a nature lover, a stay in this living natural museum will amaze you. Discover its geography, its fauna and flora!
Discover the Seychelles!
The Seychelles archipelago is located between Africa and India. It is a group of lands in the heart of the Indian Ocean, located 950 km north of Madagascar and 1,580 km east of Kenya. Its total surface area is only 455 km². On the other hand, it covers a maritime surface area of 1,400,000 km².
The Seychelles archipelago is made up of 115 tropical islands. They are divided into two groups. First, there are the Inner Islands. There are 41 of them, they have a granitic base and occupy 55% of the archipelago’s surface.
Please note that the three main islands of the Seychelles, including Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, are part of the granite islands. They are home to the majority of the country’s population.
The remaining 74 islands are scattered south of the archipelago. Composed of islets and atolls, they are called the Outer Islands or Coral Islands. They have a small size. In addition, they are sparsely populated. Most of these coral islands are preserved natural sites that are inaccessible to tourists.
It should be noted that the archipelago is covered with natural sites in the wild. It also has beaches of rare beauty, including Georgette Cove and Lazio Cove.
The 115 islands of the Seychelles archipelago form a single state. Its capital is Victoria. It is a city in Mahé. This small granitic island with an area of 142 km² is quite special. Its major advantage is that it shelters the highest point of the archipelago, including the Morne Seychellois. Located at an altitude of 905m, it is home to the Morne Seychellois National Park, created in 1979. It is arguably the largest land park in the country. It covers an area of 3,045 km.
This park is open to visitors and can only delight nature lovers. Hiking trails run through it, allowing tourists to discover the natural treasures it hides. The expedition can last one day or half a day. It all depends on the chosen circuit.
The fauna and flora of the Seychelles
First of all, it should be pointed out that in Seychelles there are no animal species that are dangerous to humans. Even the crocodiles have disappeared. That said, the archipelago has nothing to envy to other tourist destinations in terms of fauna and flora.
His is both unique and diversified. Its protection is also at the heart of the country’s authorities’ concern. Seychelles has created several protected areas. They cover 43% of the territory.
The local flora
The Seychelles islands have more than 400 species of tropical plants and 60 of them are endemic species. This is the case of the “Coco de buttock”, a sea coconut tree that is found in the May Valley of Praslin. The poaching almost caused the distinction of this plant. Currently, it is one of the protected species. Its export, regardless of the quantity, is prohibited without legal authorization.
In the coastal forests of the Seychelles, you will find takamaka. It is a fruit tree that grows on sandy and salty soils. It produces edible fruits that require special preparation before being consumed because they are toxic. Nowadays, takamaka has also become a protected species.
Another plant species that make the Seychelles flora special is the square cap with its quadrangular fruits. The country is also full of rosewood, renowned for its beauty and robustness, badamiers and gayacs.
We must not forget the flamboyant. If your stay takes place in November, you will have the chance to see it bloom. We also mention the sandragon, a species of plant that lets out a substance with blood colors if you cut it.
The banyan with its aerial roots is also a rather remarkable tree. Originally from Asia, it can be seen in Intendance Bay, southwest of Mahé Island.
Seychelles also has a wide variety of flowers such as hibiscus, bougainvillea and egrets. In addition, several orchid species live there in the wild.
Finally, Seychelles is one of the countries with the largest number of fruit trees. Tropical fruits are in the spotlight. This is the case for banana, mango and papaya trees.
During your stay in the Seychelles, don’t forget to observe the giant turtles, the only reptiles in the country. These are protected species and they are the pride of the Seychelles. Turtles are domesticated.
You should also know that it is in the Seychelles that you will find the smallest frog in the world. In addition, during your walks, you will find different types of lizards.
Seychelles is a prestigious destination for ornithologists. Many migratory birds such as gulls, shearwaters and terns stay here. To observe them, you must go to the islands of Bird Island, Fregate and Cousin. Species that like to live in warm countries also exist in large numbers. This is the case for hummingbirds and kingfishers.
The archipelago is also home to rare birds that do not exist anywhere else, to mention only the widow of the Seychelles. Like the Seychelles shama and rousserolle, it is one of the endemic species. A reserve has been created especially for them on the island of La Digue.
When you visit Cousin, you can meet the warbler or the knock-tock-knocker. Finally, when you are in Mahé, open your eyes! There is a good chance that a banana bird will fly over the sky.
Seychelles’ marine fauna
The Seychelles archipelago can dazzle you with its rich marine life. If you are lucky, you will find some species swimming along the coast. To discover others, you have to dive to the bottom of the ocean.
Big fish addicts are well spoiled. The sea surrounding the Seychelles is home to giant fish species such as bonito, dolphinfish, tuna, sailfish and marlin. It also shelters smaller fish such as mullet, sardine and bourgeois. Octopuses, lobsters, sperm whales and several species of small fish are added to the batch. During the diving sessions, you can meet some very special specimens such as the stonefish that melts into the rocks, the colourful fish like the Picasso and the angels of the sea.
Finally, the archipelago is also famous for its sea turtles. In 1777, 4 different species were discovered, including the green turtle, loggerhead turtle, leather turtle and hawksbill turtle. Marine turtles are used to laying eggs on beaches. If you are lucky enough to attend this beautiful show, it is forbidden to collect eggs. Similarly, animals should not be disturbed or injured. You should also know that this turtle species is protected.
Protected areas of the archipelago
The Seychelles archipelago is the country with the largest number of protected natural sites. The valley from May to Praslin is one of the most famous. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is home to a forest of sea coconut palms. Its fauna and flora are exceptional.
The island of Aldabra is also added to the list of Seychelles’ special reserves. It is home to a Ramsar site and a bird conservation area. Red-spurred phaetons and Ariel frigates live in colonies. An endemic bird called the Cuvier’s Rail also lives there.
Finally, we must mention Silhouette National Park created in 2010, Curieuse Marine National Park, Baie Ternaie Marine National Park and Île aux Vaches Marines Nature Reserve. The list is not exhaustive.
If you want to discover all the fauna and flora of the Seychelles, especially its marine fauna, you should opt for a boat cruise.
A catamaran rental with skipper to enjoy
If you dream of discovering the Seychelles in a different way, we offer you a catamaran rental offer with a skipper. Our boat, called Aquatic 2, has a fairly large capacity, ideal for an excursion with family or friends.
Our objective is to allow you to choose a tailor-made cruise. Thus, there is no circuit to follow. It’s up to you to design your travel plan! The skipper can advise you if necessary.
In addition, you will discuss together the itinerary and activities to be done during the adventure over a welcome cocktail. Scuba diving will of course be on the agenda and the skipper can show you the best spots.
The catamaran at your disposal is a boat rich in comfort. Indeed, it is equipped with a spacious cabin, a lounge at the front that will allow you to have a view of the surrounding landscapes, a shower room and WC.
Cooking him on board the boat also has a great talent for preparing typical Creole dishes. You can count on this chef if you want to discover Seychelles specialities.