When to visit
|Jan||Good||'Green Season' with rain but beautiful landscapes|
|Feb||Good||'Green Season' with rain but beautiful landscapes|
|Mar||Good||'Green Season' with rain but beautiful landscapes|
|Apr||Best||Generally dry days and cool nights. Large wildlife concentrations|
|May||Best||Generally dry days and cool nights. Large wildlife concentrations|
|Jun||Best||Warm, dry days but cool nights|
|Jul||Best||Great game viewing in Okavango, Chobe and Linyanti and warm, dry days but cool nights|
|Aug||Best||Elephant herds in Chobe and warm, dry days but cool nights|
|Sep||Best||Great game viewing in Okavango, Chobe and Linyanti. Warm, dry days|
|Oct||Best||Hottest of the 'dry' season and animals gather around watering holes|
|Nov||Best||Warm, dry weather with animals gathering around watering holes|
|Dec||Good||High day time temperatures but regular rainfall|
Baie LazareThe pretty village of Baie Lazare on Mahé was named after 18th-century French explorer Lazare Picault, who landed here when the French government sent him to explore the islands. One of the area’s main tourist attractions is the neo-Gothic Baie Lazare Church, dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, which provides a panoramic view of the area. The stunning beaches of Anse Soleil and Petite Anse are favorites, with their striking azure water and dazzling white sand.
Curieuse Island Day Trip
Once known as Île Rouge due to its russet-toned earth, Curieuse Island is now home to a breeding program for giant tortoises, which roam freely around the sandy coves. Curieuse is the only place besides Praslin where the coco de mer palm grows naturally. The island was also once a leper colony, and you can explore the ruins of the leprosarium on the south shore as well as the doctor’s house, a preserved national monument. Most of the island is covered with takamaka and casuarina trees, which shade the white-sand beaches. Curieuse Island is accessible by boat tours from Praslin Island.
Morne Seychellois National Park
The largest national park in the Seychelles, Morne Seychellois National Park covers more than 20 percent of the area of Mahé and is a haven for nature lovers and hikers. Within its lush borders lies the mountain chain named after its highest point, Morne Seychellois, which reaches a height of 905 meters and overlooks the capital of Victoria. Hiking trails ascend into the park from the village of Danzil, passing tea plantations and offering spectacular views of the southwest coast of Mahé from the mountain slopes. The moderate Morne Blanc hike is one of the most popular trails and offers spectacular views from its summit.
Sainte Anne National Marine Park
Encompassing six islands a 15- to 20-minute boat ride off the coast of Mahé near Victoria, Ste Anne National Marine Park became the first national park in the Indian Ocean in 1973. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and glass-bottom boat excursions reveal the rich diversity of marine life in the park’s coral reefs, and you can explore most of the islands within the reserve on day excursions from Mahé. You can also stay overnight on a few of the islands. Sainte Anne Island is an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles and home to a luxury resort, Beachcomber Seychelles Sainte Anne. In spite of its mangroves and crocodiles, the island was the site of a 1770 French settlement, the first in the Seychelles.
Beau Vallon Beach
The alluring curve of glittering sand at Beau Vallon, on Mahé’s northwest coast, is a magnet for both tourists and locals. Looking out to sea, mountainous Silhouette Island shimmers on the horizon, and hotels fringe the shore. Visitors will find a variety of watersports on offer, including jet skis and water skiing. The sea is usually calm here, especially during the southeast tradewinds, making this a good choice for families with small children. Lifeguards patrol the beach. On weekends, locals come here for beach barbecues. Stretching over 1000 kilometres and 250 000 hectares of KwaZulu-Natal’s landscape, the mountains offer unlimited opportunities for outdoor activities including hiking, rock climbing, horse-riding and birdwatching. This mountain range is also home to the richest collection of San rock art paintings in Southern Africa.
On the northeast coast of Praslin, Anse Volbert (also known as Côte d’Or) is one of the island’s most popular beaches. Warm, shallow water laps the sun-bleached sands, and coral reefs beckon just offshore. The calm waters are also safe for swimming with small children. Anse Volbert is one of the island’s main resort areas and you’ll find many hotels and restaurants lining the shores.
Vallee de Mai National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vallée de Mai National Park on the island of Praslin preserves a prehistoric forest that contains at least 4,000 examples of the rare giant coco de mer fruit palm (unique to the Seychelles). Other plants here include vanilla orchids, palmiste, latanier, splayed traveler’s palm, and Chinese fans. Nature lovers, birders, and photographers will enjoy exploring this reserve, where the trees form an overhead canopy, and large prehistoric boulders are strewn across the forest floor. The valley is home to many species of lizards and rare birds such as the Seychelles bulbul; fruit pigeon; and the national bird of the Seychelles, the black parrot. A great way to explore this primeval forest is to wander along the easy marked nature trails. Hiring a guide is highly recommended, so you can learn interesting details about the plants and animals.
Named Port Victoria in honor of the British queen after her coronation, the small capital of the Seychelles on the island of Mahé is the only seaport in the country. It’s easy to see the main sites here in a day. One of the main tourist attractions is the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens. Established almost a century ago, the gardens encompass 15 acres of native and exotic plants as well as flying foxes, giant tortoises, and an orchid garden.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aldabra is the world’s largest raised coral atoll. The central lagoon fills and empties twice a day through four channels, revealing mushroom-shaped pinnacles known as champignons. Tiger sharks and manta rays often prowl the shallows, and the atoll is home to thousands of birds, including the white-throated rail (the only flightless bird in the Indian Ocean). Also on view are lesser and great frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, dimorphic egrets (found only here and in Madagascar), Aldabra sacred ibis, greater flamingos, and the malagasy kestrel. In addition to its rich avian life, Aldabra is the habitat of 200,000 giant land tortoises – five times as many as the Galapagos.