I end up in Seychelles unintentionally. My initial plan is to visit Nairobi and Zanzibar from Dubai but time constraints prevent this. Not one to be deterred, I look up flights departing Dubai to the African continent and the flight to Seychelles works perfectly!
Seychelles is an island nation located to the east of the African continent in the Indian ocean. It consists of over 116 islands, 46 of which are granitic and considered the the oldest and strongest granite in the world. The largest of these islands is Mahe and here is where my introduction to Seychelles begins.
I choose the Bliss Boutique Hotel in Vista do Mar for their proximity to the water, the simplicity of the decor and the incorporation of local materials in the furnishing for the rooms. The views from the hotel are not bad either! You can see the island of Silhouette in the distance as well as the world famous granite boulders in the foreground.
Ready to explore, I head down the road towards Beau Vallon taking in the beautiful views of the beach along the way.
By the time I get to Beau Vallon I am hungry and my nose leads me to fresh fish being grilled right on the beach. I get some tuna and a fresh coconut to wash down my food. The creativity with which the stall owner decorates his stall and coconuts were too hard to resist.
As I walk into the capital of Victoria I walk past the buses that provide public transportation for the island. The walls surrounding the bus terminal are covered in drawings and messages; to my delight I can vaguely translate some of the creole.
In the centre of Victoria is a replica of Little Big Ben which was erected to mark the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. I have a hard time grabbing a photo as it is located in a traffic circle.
I must either stand out or my camera gives me away as I am stopped a couple of time and engage in lively conversations with some locals. These conversations lead me to my next destination, the Botanical Gardens where I have the pleasure of feeding the Giant Aldabra tortoises. Males can weight up to 250kg and females up to 150kg. They are considered by some to be the world’s longest living animals, up to 250 years and are one of the last 2 existing species of giant tortoises.
They can survive up to 3 months without food and water and are able to drink water through their noses if the water source is too shallow.
Heading back as the sun sets I reflect on my day. Although I consider myself a world traveller I have somehow managed to miss the African continent. Maybe the beauty of this place will encourage me to do more? Stay tuned!