Take a walk on the wild side
Amy and Rupert invite you to take a walk on the wild side as they share their encounters with the diverse nature and wildlife in the Seychelles...
The Seychelles, home numerous nature reserves, stunning coral reefs and an abundance of wildlife, the far-flung archipelagos are an ideal destination to visit if you are seeking remote unspoilt nature, diverse wildlife and desolate wild beaches. With the warm turquoise Indian Ocean waters teeming with vibrant marine life and lush forests full of endemic species of flora and fauna that can't be found anywhere else on earth, the Seychelles truly is a nature lovers' playground.
On our recent trip we visited Mahé, Praslin, La Digue and Denis Private Island, we stayed at spectacular hotels, enjoyed encounters with various types of Seychelles islands wildlife and learnt all about the Seychelles wildlife conservation projects. Whilst all the islands we visited are located quite close together, each remains remarkably unique, so it really is worth taking an island-hopping adventure to try and spot as many different types of Seychelles island wildlife as you can! Read on to discover our top suggestions for where you can take a walk on the wild side to spot Seychelles island wildlife.
During our trip we were lucky enough to meet Toby on Denis Island, the 120-year-old tortoise who has become something of a local celebrity. Tortoises are endemic to the Seychelles and make up the world's largest population of giant tortoises, with at least 180,000 believed to be interspersed throughout the 115 islands. Now officially listed as vulnerable, there are several Seychelles wildlife conservation projects put in place to protect giant tortoises for the future.
There aren't many places left in the world where you can still see them in the wild, but for another chance to enjoy an encounter with these magnificent creatures you could take a short boat trip from Praslin to Curieuse Island where you will find approximately 500 gentle giants waiting to greet you.
Also known as 'Flying Foxes', fruit bats are endemic residents of the Seychelles. Even though they are hunted down for the local delicacy of Bat Curry (which we did try on our trip) they remain abundant in numbers across the islands. You will often find them hanging around upside down or skimming over rivers, lakes and swimming pools. Fruit bats are very social animals, especially when it comes to food time! So do make sure you listen out for their range of piercing shrieks, wing claps and clattering sounds. During our trip we saw these adorable little creatures in many places, but in particular at the Kempinki Hotel where we watched them come out to play at dusk and saw them feasting on breadfruit trees across the resort.
Renowned as one of the best places in the world for spotting birds, around 220 species call the Seychelles home including 17 endemic species. Whilst on Praslin we enjoyed exploring the mystical UNESCO World Heritage site Vallee de Mai Nature Park. World famous as the place to spot the legendary and endangered Coco der Mer nut (the world's largest seed) this area has been placed under protection, with several Seychelles wildlife conservation projects designed to weed out invasive plant species and preserve the original character of the valley. If you are lucky you will also spot the endangered Black Parrot who resides in the palm forests of Vallee de Mai, this species is now protected by law and several Seychelles wildlife conservation projects. Sometimes you might even see them in the hills behind the Black Parrot suites.
Whilst staying on Denis Island we caught sight of a pair of Paradise Flycatchers going through their courtship routine. This rare and endemic species has a striking appearance and is heavily reliant on rich vegetated areas for survival. However with increasing development on their native island La Digue impacting their habitat a second population of Paradise Flycatchers is being established on Denis Island. Our encounter with the happy couple excited our guide as it confirmed the reintroduction on the island is working and there is hope for conserving this beautiful species for the future.
With a rich variety of coral reefs and exotic marine wildlife including sea turtles and vibrant fish who call the clear turquoise waters their home, there are plenty of marine encounters to be had in the Seychelles. During our wonderful stay at Constance Lemuria on Praslin we spotted a few land and hermit crabs - did you know they provide an important service to the islands by keeping the beaches nice and clean? There are several places throughout the resort where you might catch sight of these little critters - we found them in the riversides, wetland areas and even along the golf course!
Although we sadly didn't see any turtles during this trip it is likely that you will spot Hawksbill or Green turtles in the Seychelles, in fact the leafy vegetation and sugar soft beaches of Constance Lemuria make it the perfect place to see turtles nesting (between October to December) and witness hatchlings shuffle to the ocean between September and March. There is even a Turtle Sanctuary and conservation manager at the resort providing fun and educational programmes for guests to visit throughout their stay.
Of course there are plenty of other wildlife to spot across the Seychelles islands and as you wander through the tropical forests you will encounter geckos, non-poisonous snakes, spiders and everything else in between! Our trip really opened our eyes to the efforts taken to implement Seychelles wildlife conservation projects,with many hotels using solar power, banning straws and shops implementing a total ban on plastic bags.These beautiful islands offer a treasure trove of unique flora and fauna just waiting to be discovered.
Would you like to encounter the spectacular Seychelles islands wildlife on your next holiday? Give our friendly reservations team a call to learn more about taking a walk on the wild side in the Seychelles.