THE SEYCHELLES ISLANDS GEOGRAPHY
‘Archipelago’ is a term used to refer to a group of islands.
The Seychelles Archipelago is made up of 115 islands. They are either Coralline or Granitic, classified as Inner or Outer Islands.
The archipelago is located in the Indian Ocean northeast of Madagascar. The landmass is only 457 km2, but the islands spread over an Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ) of 1,374,000km2.
The granitic seychelles islands are considered to be the oldest and hardest granite in the world and the Seychelles are the only mid oceanic granitic islands in the world. The Inner Islands are a collective term for 42 islands, two of which are coralline. The largest granitic island of Seychelles is Mahe with a size of 142km2. The island is also home to the capital city of Seychelles, Victoria. About 90% of the total population of Seychelles (87,440 people) live on Mahe.
The second largest island of Seychelles is Praslin and the third is Silhouette.
All the granitic seychelles islands are covered in lush green tropical vegetation. The highest peak in Seychelles is located on Mahe. Morne Seychello is rises to 905 m and offers astounding views. Trees are evergreen and many species are endemic only to the Seychelles, such as the Coco de Mer, the world’s largest nut, found on Praslin Island.
The only two coralline islands found in the inner group are Denis Island and Bird Island.
Bird Island, formerly known as Ile aux Vaches Marine, is home to the planets most important sooty tern colonies, close to 2-3 million birds.
Coralline islands have sparse coastal vegetation.
The outer islands of Seychelles are divided into five groups of Coralline islands.
The southern coral group is a collective termfor Ile Plate and Coetivy Island.
The Amirante group.
The Alphonse group.
The Farquhar group.
The Aldabra group.
One of the world’s most important atolls is located in the Aldabra group, and this is none other than the Aldabra Atoll.
Home to the world’s largest colony of Aldabra Giant tortoises, 100,000 of these creatures roam the land in complete freedom and unique isolation.
Unique in the sense that the atoll was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982 and has since remained untouched by man.
Only a fortunate few have set foot on the island, and even then, rules limit what one can see or where one can go.
Due to their isolation from the near inner group, the outer groups only have 2%of the population. These are only wardens or scientists that live in a small base on the islands. The coral islands are flat with elevated coral reefs at different stages of formation. They have no fresh water sources and the close to baron landscapes can sustain human life only with difficulty.
Because many of the islands have remained undeveloped so as to preserve theirendemic beauty, very few of them are accessible by air.
Islands of interest in the inner group that can be visited by plane or Helicopter are Mahe, Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette,Denis, Bird and Sainte Anne.
Islands of interest in the outer group are Desroches and Fregate.
Introducing La Digue
Remember that tropical paradise that appears in countless adverts and glossy travel brochures?
Here it is the real thing, with jade-green waters, bewitching bays studded with heart-palpitating gorgeous beaches, and green hills cloaked with tangled jungle and tall trees.
As if that was not enough, LaDigue is ideally situated as a springboard to surrounding islands, including Félicité,Grande Sœur and the fairy tale Île Cocos.
Named after a ship in the fleet of French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne who visited Seychelles in 1768, La Digueis the fourth largest inhabited island of the Seychelles.
Surrounded by coral reef, the island has no natural harbor, but a jetty serves it where boats from Mahe and Praslin land their visitors by the thousands every year.
There are few cars and motorized vehicles on La Digue and the main means of transport is by bicycle or ox carts. Bicycles are therefore the best way for clients to see the island in all its glory.
Formerly used as a quarantine station for sailors and slaves carrying infectious diseases, it was also used as a penal establishment for political prisoners deported from France and Reunion.
By 1818, the population of La Digue was 414,of whom 365 were slaves, today the population has risen to nearly 2,200 people living on La Digue.
Nid Aigle (Eagles nest) is the highest pointon La digue, rising to 333 meters above sea level, despite being quite a small hike uphill, the sacrifice is worth it for as one reaches the top, one is taken a back by the panoramic views of the nearby islands as Praslin, Curieuse,Felicite, Grande Soeur, Petite Soeur, Marianne, Coco, Fregate and Aride can allbe seen clearly.
A swim in the waters of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Anse Source D’Argent, quite deserves after a day’s expedition around the island, one of the delights of wandering along the beach is the many shells that can be admired.
Admiring and taking photographs of the specimens are allowed but it is strictly forbidden to collect them.
A visit to Anse Marron, Grand Anse and Anse Severe are also well worth the effort. For the snorkeling fanatic, Anse Severe offers a spectacular experience as one remains in awe from the abundance of the diverse marine life, coming in all shapes, sizes and colors. Once inhabited by huge, 8 meter-long crocodiles,the island is now home to the rare Black Paradise Flycatcher, also known as Veuve (widow) in French for its midnight blue, almost black plumage.
Visitors to the Union Estate Park (admission fee charged) can see these birds flying among the trees as they build their fragile nests in the branches of Indian Almond Trees.
Union Estate Park is now a protected special nature reserve between Anse La Reunion and Anse Union.
Despite its lush beauty, La Digue has managed to escape the somewhat rampant tourist development that affects Mahé and Praslin.
Sure,it is certainly not undiscovered, but La Digue has a more laid-back feel than the other main islands, with only a few surfaced roads and virtually no cars,just the odd ox cart.
The place is definitely more of a back-to-nature than a jet-set-tourist kind of haven, making it possible to find that deserted anse (bay) where you really feel like you have been stranded in paradise.
Transport to La Digue is absurdly easy. It’s only about 5 km from Praslin, and getting by boat from one island to the other is simplicity itself, so you’ve no excuse not to spend a day or two at the very least on this island.
If money’s a factor, La Digue has a growing number of quaint family guesthouses and self-catering apartments in which to rest your head and we now introduce you to one such establishment, the luxury villa called LAKAZ SAFRAN..
La KAZ SAFRAN
is located on La Digue, the fourth largest islands of the SEYCHELLES group.
The guesthouse is situated in the rural and fishing district of La Passe in very close proximity of the Jetty and faces the ocean.
The only promenade on the island with some shops, a bank, a post office and a few restaurants of which some are very good, is only about 300 m from the hotel.
An ideal location for anevening walk past the beach and docked boats.
Most attractions likesouvenir shops, groceries and restaurants are close by.
The famous beach, AnseSource D’Argent is only 15 minutes walking distance from the villa.
There are also entertainment facilities only five minutes away e.g. Discothèque, Casino, Boat Charter Operators and Bicycle Hirers.
LA DIGUE is also famous for nature walk, swimming and snorkeling. The island is yours to discover and management will gladly assist you with your choices.
La KAZ SAFRAN is a luxury bed and breakfast apartment and consists of two Triple and two Double rooms,housed on the second floor of a commercial complex with Banks and souvenir shop on the ground floor.
There is also an ATM machine on site. The complex is situated in the main district close to main services and facing the ocean with a small beachfront just across the main road.
The rooms are very spacious and except for one, three rooms has balcony facing the ocean, whilst the other a bit smaller faces the garden.
The laundry service is available on site. Guests are recommended to contact the manageress for other services they may require for guidance.
At present, there are no internet facilities in house but is available next door by a service provider.
The management supports the country’s environmental green program and would encourage the guest to support it in protecting our environment.
The guests are requested to save water and energy by switching off lights and air-conditioning when they leave the rooms and to use water responsibly.
We thank our guest for their support.
Welcome to La KAZ SAFRAN andenjoy your stay with us.