The tropical islands of the Seychelles lie scattered through the Indian Ocean. Consisting of 115 islands divided into the Inner Islands and the Outer Islands. With so many choices, we are here to try and help narrow the best islands and accommodations down for you. The Seychelles are your typical tropical islands with powder white sandy beaches, the clearest of clear waters, palm trees swaying in the sea breeze and lofty mountains clad in thick forest. Offshore the reefs teem with sea life and tropical fish making it a scuba divers paradise.
Who should come to the Seychelles? The Seychelles have become world famous for some of the best beaches and most exclusive lodges in the world and so a trip to the islands does not come cheap. There are however a wide range of accommodations to choose from on the different islands. For us the Seychelles is a special place and lends itself perfectly to couples on honeymoon looking for that special end to their safari in Africa.
What is there to do in the Seychelles? The answer is as much or as little as you want. This also depends on the island you choose. On some of the main islands like Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, there are shops, bars, restaurants and markets to explore if you can tear yourself away from the beaches. On the private islands there are often biologists on hand to give talks on the ecology of the islands and ocean. Many islands offer cycling to get around and explore on. There is more to the islands than just beaches though and often the islands have taken conservation very seriously, eradicating alien plants and animals and reintroducing natural plants and animals. Scuba dicing and snorkelling are common throughout all the islands and with so few tourists the reefs are pristine and teeming with life. For those looking for some adrenalin, there are options for deep-sea fishing. Oh, we almost forgot, you can find your own private piece of beach and just relax.
How do I get to the Seychelles? Getting to Mahe, the main island is easy enough with direct flights from Kenya and South Africa, so it combines well with both East and Southern African safaris. From Mahe it then depends where you are staying. Often you will need to overnight in Mahe before heading off to some of the other islands. North Island requires a helicopter transfer while the Outer Islands require a flight of between 1 and 3 hours and then sometimes another 1 hour by boat.
Where to stay in the Seychelles? There are so many options of big resorts and hotels, especially on the main islands of Mahe, La Digue and Praslin, but at Stanley Safaris we prefer the smaller, more intimate, privately owned lodges and so here are our favourite Seychelles accommodations.
As the name suggest, North Island is north of Mahe and requires a 30-minute helicopter flight to get there. North Island is a 201-hectare private island with just 11 exclusive villas right on the beach, making it the perfect barefoot luxury destination perfect for families and couples. The food is prepared by a team of chefs using the freshest ingredients straight from the sea and their own vegetable garden. With regards to activities, there is so much to do on and under North Island from scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, SUP, boat cruises, cycling, island walks, yoga, spa and beach picnics.
Why we love North Island:
Rates are All-inclusive of all activities
Conservation efforts? Before the lodge was erected on the island, rats and alien plants had taken over the island killing the indigenous animals and plants. Before they built the lodge, they cleared the alien vegetation and got rid of the rats and reintroduced indigenous plants and animals that are now thriving. Rehabilitation and conservation efforts continue today through the Conservation Centre.
Alphonse Island Lodge
Situated on the Outer Island of Alphonse, the Alphonse Island Lodge is the perfect starting point for island hoping around the Outer Islands. It is also perfect for families as there is plenty for kids to do. Accommodation is in 22 beach bungalows set amongst lush tropical plants and only meters away from the beach. For families there are also 5 beach suites each with their own plunge pool and direct access to the beach. For those looking for ultimate exclusivity there are 2 beach villas. Dining takes places directly on the beach and the food is prepared fresh with seafood and vegetables straight from their own garden. With the whole island and offshore reefs to explore, there is so much for guests to do. Scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, boating, kayaking, SUP and beach picnics as well as a spa and just chilling on the beach. Getting to Alphonse requires guests to overnight in Mahe and then fly 1 hour south to the island.
Why we love Alphonse Island Lodge:
Located on the Outer Islands
Only lodge on the island
Great for families and couples
Conservation efforts: the preservation and protection of the ecosystems on and around the island is at the heart of what they do. There is a dedicated Island Conservation Centre that does beach patrols and clean-ups, turtle monitoring, bird monitoring, giant tortoise breeding, marine rehabilitation and general education to the guests.
Astove Coral House
Astove Coral House is located on one of the remotest islands in the Seychelles and is over 1,055 Km from Mahe. The beach house has just 6 rooms surrounding an inner courtyard and offer rustic accommodation. Meals are served in the dining room or as a picnic lunch to take to the beach with you. Food is freshly prepared and is centred around the sea with freshly caught fish the main ingredient. Due to its remote location and limited accommodation, the reefs around Astove Atoll are untouched and therefore teeming with marine life. This is a divers’ and snorkellers’ paradise. The Astove Wall is world famous as one of the best dive sites on the planet. The reef drops from 1-2 meters to well over 50 meters in a short distance and is home to tropical reef fish as well as large predators that come from the deep ocean to hunt here. Fishing, both fly and deep sea are excellent here. Kayaking and SUP are also available, or you can simply relax on your own stretch of beach.
Why we love Astove Coral House:
One of the furthest islands from Mahe
It is remote
Has the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere
Is the only lodge on the island
Conservation efforts: Astove Coral House is the sister lodge to Alphonse and so they work together on conservation efforts within the Outer Island Atolls.
Cosmoledo Eco Camp
Located on Wizard Island, which is over 1,000kms from Mahe, Cosmoledo Eco Camp is also one of the remotest island camps in the Seychelles. This is where nature meets conservation hospitality. There are just 8 Eco Pods that are literally meters away from the beach. Each pod has a double bed, small veranda and ensuite bathroom. The dining and lounge area are both under canvas with sand floors, the perfect beach setup. Meals are served here, except for picnic lunches for those that want to stay out all day. The food is fresh and often caught that day in the ocean, while fresh vegetables come their sister lodge on Alphonse Island. This is a fly-fisherman’s paradise with long flats to cast their flies. For the non-fishermen there is sea kayaking, SUP, island tours, reef tours and snorkelling. Very little diving has been done around Wizard Island and so this opens up exciting opportunities to explore and discover new sites. The islands are also the breeding sites of some of the Seychelles endemic birds including all three species of booby including the last viable population of brown booby.
Why we love Cosmoledo Eco Camp:
no Frills beach camp
completely different to any other property in the Seychelles
Feeling of being in the middle of nowhere
Only lodge on the island
Conservation efforts: Cosmoledo Eco Camp is the sister camp of Astove and Alphonse and so is involved in the ecology and preservation of the Outer Islands.