Some interesting facts about the Seychelles from Wiki:
As the islands of the Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois are composed of people who have immigrated to the island. The largest ethnic groups are those of French, African, Indian, and Chinese descent. French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole, which is primarily based upon French. Most Seychellois are Christians; the Roman Catholic Church is the predominant denomination.
We traveled around the island via the local bus system (only 3 rupees = $0.40! per ride) with it’s natural air conditioning of permanently opened windows AND doors. Drivers were very friendly and always helped us with where we needed to go. Roads were very narrow with lots of sharp bends and steep inclines/declines.
Some photos from our two days in Praslin:
Hiking in the Vallee de Mai (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), which is one of only two places in the Seychelles where the Coco de Mer palm grows in its natural state.
The female Coco de Mer palm produces a seed that looks like someone’s bum and is the world’s largest seed – to bring one back as a souvineer will set you back 200 Euros and is rather heavy! The male palm produces a phallic looking flower stem. A young Coco de Mer Palm:
Guess which is the male and which is the female part:
Anse Lazio – considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world:
We dove with White Tip Divers out of the Paradise Sun hotel in Anse Volbert. Great operation and attentive service – from the dive shop manager to the dive masters. Would highly recommend this operator.
Boat ride was a bit rough though as another big storm was approaching. Abundant fish life but not much coral.
Sadly, the reefs suffered severe coral bleaching in 1998 where almost 75% of all coral suffered mortality.
Coral bleaching is when high water temperatures cause the coral to release their symbiotic algae, leaving them colorless, and without these photosynthetic and nutrient-producing algae, the corals eventually die.
Visibility was relatively poor due to the recent storms but any diving day is a good day!! Unfortunately, due to all the particulate in the water, most of my photos had a lot of back scatter, looking like it was snowing underwater.
Besides the usual fish life, we also saw turtles, octopus, sharks, sting rays, and the following…
Small Panther Electric Ray (about 7 inches):
Next Stop – the island of La Digue…