Seychelles – My 100th Country On This World Journey
I don’t know why, but I always wanted to travel to 100 countries before turning 30. And here we finally go, Seychelles was number 100.
I was thinking about traveling to Palau, but then my plans got cancelled due to the pandemic, so I changed it to Seychelles. In general, if you have read my blog for a while, you’ll know that I love islands. I have always loved living on small islands like Bali or Taiwan.
Visiting Seychelles was a real pleasure for me. Despite the fact that my French was quite bad as you have read in my DRC article, most locals were very willing to help me all the time.
When I landed on Seychelles, I committed myself to walk from the airport to the other side of the island to get to my homestay. It took me around 2 hours to walk more than 11km in the humidity with my backpack. Sometimes, I would wonder to myself while walking why I am doing this, especially in the heat and humidity. On the other side, you can see so much more of the beautiful island!
Victoria is the capital of Seychelles and is located on Mahe Island. From there, I took little boats to visit nearby islands, such as La Digue and Praslin.
Welcome to La Digue
La Digue was probably my favourite island on the Seychelles. I loved how small and walkable every little corner of the island was.
I visited the most famous beach, which everyone might think about when they hear Seychelles: Granite rock formations on Anse Source d’Argent Beach. Due to COVID, it was quite empty so I could walk along all the formations, and it was very beautiful to witness all of it mostly by myself. The rocks and white-sanded beach are absolutely impressive. The water is crystal clear, and you can see a lot of small and big fish without even snorkeling.
At the same time, I made a visit at L’union Estate Park to see the big tortoises. I had never seen in my life such big tortoises like the ones I saw there! Of course, I can’t visit a place without a proper hike. Hence, I hiked the Nid D’Aigle trail by myself. It is kind of a steep hike and not very well marked as far as I remember. Dusk would be great time to hike (less humidity and fresh breezes). In general, I can recommend to stay for a few days on this little gem of an island.
Visit Praslin on the Seychelles
In general, I would recommend getting a bicycle to get around in Praslin. It is not as small as La Digue, but also not as big as Mahe. A bicycle would help you explore the island better. My highlights on this island were Fond Ferdinand National Park and the beach Anse Lazio.
You can only enter the Fond Ferdinand National Park with a tour. I had such a great tour in this National Park, and we did a small hike together with the tour guide to get to an amazing view point and could see La Digue from far away. But more interestingly, I learned a lot about something which only exists in the Seychelles, which I never knew about before: Coco de Mer.
Legend of the Coco de Mer
For centuries, those coconuts, formerly known as Maldive coconuts, fell down on the shore. The nuts float after the germination process, when they are hollow inside. They were carried on the sea eastwards by the prevailing sea currents to the Maldives, where they were gathered to give it to royalty or to use as medicine. By the way, Coco de Mer’s scientific name is Lodoicea maldivica. Due to their rarity, the seeds of Lodoicea are highly prized and expensive. The shells are often used to make bowls and music instruments.
For a long time, it was believed that there was a mythical tree at the bottom of the sea that released its fruit every now and then. The truth of the nut was then discovered in 1768 by Dufresne. European nobles in the sixteenth century would often get one of the shells and decorate it with valuable jewels. The Coco de Mer tree is now a very rare and protected species.
The fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine and also Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammation or nausea.
The Conservation of Lodoicea
Nowadays the Coco de Mer is officially classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with only thousands of wild mature trees left. Reproduction takes a long time, where the palm produces large amounts of pollen. The fruits cannot be spread around, but rather, they must fall to the ground at the base. The exploitation is continuing, and habitat loss is another reason why the palm is being lost on three Seychelles islands nowadays.
The Fond Ferdinand National Park in the Seychelles is a World Heritage Site. Therefore, they are doing lots of efforts to protect the areas. The main populations of Lodoicea are found within the Praslin and Curieuse National Parks. Besides protecting the populations, they also enforce the regulations and effective fire control.
I am glad to be able to show to all my readers the beauty of the nature we are all living in and to underline how nature is all connected. I highly appreciate my work with Perfect Corp. and Cyberlink, sharing awareness of the protection of our planet.
Mahe – The Largest Island of Seychelles
Mahe is the main island of the Seychelles, and my favourite location to stay in Mahe is Beau Vallon. Walking at the beach in Beau Vallon made me feel like I understand where George Camille got his inspirations for his paintings.
You can visit the George Camille Gallery in Victoria if you like art and paintings like I do.
Besides that, I spent most of my time diving in Mahe. Diving sites are great to explore and safe, a different environment than the ones in Mozambique but worth it. If you want to know the diving company I went with, write me an email. It is a small family business, and I really enjoyed the diving I had with my instructor and 2 other people.
That’s a wrap?
After 7 years of wandering around, I made it finally to my 100th country, the Seychelles. Now, I am slowing down on my travels and achieving my next big goals in life. But there will still be more articles coming up about the different countries I will travel to in the future or have been visiting.
I can’t say enough how grateful I am to be on this adventure of endless travels, meeting wonderful people around the world, sharing and eating the greatest meals with others, and immersing myself in all the different and beautiful cultures and adventures around me!