Mahé, Seychelles

The Big Island of the Small Seychelles


Road Clearing
Road maintenance worker cuts a huge fallen tree.
Mahé's houses
Houses of the largest of the Seychelles islands, perched on the verdant slopes of Mahé.
photo-cascade
Couple take photographs at the waterfalls of Port Glaud.
Port launay
Lush cove of the Port Launay Marine Park.
Family
Seychelles family chats with their feet on the sand.
Ile-au-Cerf
One of several tropical islands off the mother island of Mahé.
Lonesome islet
An islet lost in one of the coral reefs off the Mahé shore.
An Exuberant Reef
Colors and patterns of corals and sand flats off Mahé.
Sunset in Launay
Sunset ignites the sky west of Port Launay Inlet.
giant turtles
Conflicting specimens of the large Seychelles tortoises.
Port Launay Marine Park
The deep and lush cove of Port Launay.
beach friends
Bathers walk on a tropical, almost equatorial beach of Mahé.
End of the Beach
Teenagers from Mahé leave a sloping beach on the island.
bathing talk
Friends chat in the tepid water of Port Launay.
An (Almost) Private Beach
Solitary bather on a divine beach in Mahé.
The Indian Ocean
Boats dot the blue Indian Ocean off Mahé.
Stream Jump
Mahé Island
Part of the large island of Mahé, the largest in the Seychelles.
Leia and the Turtles
Eastern European visitor converses with a giant tortoise from the Jardin du Roi.
Camouflaged Guide
Guide Danny, cloaked in the vegetation surrounding the Venns Town Mission.
Mahé is the largest of the islands of the smallest country in Africa. It's home to the nation's capital and most of the Seychellois. But not only. In its relative smallness, it hides a stunning tropical world, made of mountainous jungle that merges with the Indian Ocean in coves of all sea tones.

An unexpected plant cataclysm holds us back. We were on our way to the Port Glaud Falls when we came across a line of traffic that stretched along the road.

Danny, brother of driver Teddy who was supposed to drive us curse. “What the hell is this? Traffic jam in the middle of the Seychelles jungle? This is new. Well, I'll see what happens."

Danny replaced Teddy. At the last minute, Teddy found himself assigned to serve in the entourage of a football match between Seychelles and Ethiopia.

The works were to take time. A few hundred meters further on, young workers were carving a tree that the dawn wind had caused to collapse.

The chainsaw man was cutting it where a thick coating of moss gave way to what looked like a new trunk. Other workers placed logs under the section that obstructed the asphalt.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, tree roadBasic, yet ecological and functional, the solution allowed them to push the obstacle to the curb in less than half an hour.

Danny praises the efficiency of his fellow countrymen. In just a few minutes, we reach the trail to the Ribeira de L'Isletta.

In others, we come across the lagoon, lost in a dense tropical forest dotted with low palm trees and supplied by the stream that crashes into it by a sequence of ramps and rocky terraces.

A group of expatriates ventured in fearless leaps. At that time, already aware that Mahé was much bigger than we had supposed, we abdicated the right to our bath.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, Waterfalls By Glaud

Venns Town: The Mission that seeded the Freedom and Identity of the Seychelles

Instead, we checked into Morne Seychelles.

This vast national park occupies a fifth of the island, including the eponymous peak which, at 905 meters, forms the zenith of Mahé and generates much of the rainfall that makes the island lush.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, Mahé Island

Before long, we reach the southern foot of the hill.

It is there, at an altitude of 450m, that we find the ruins of Venn's Town, one of the unavoidable points in the colonial history of the Seychelles, which only gained its independence from Great Britain in 1976.

The walls and other structures that survive there are a solid testimony of the times of the Mission.

Thus became known a boarding school founded by a reverend of the Church Missionary Society of London.

Its purpose was to care for and educate the children of slaves who served the plantations of the archipelago to whom, in a phase of abolitionism, the British Navy granted freedom.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, familyIn its heyday, between 1876 and 1889, Venn's Town occupied 50 acres of the Sans Souci hillside. Of these, a good part was dedicated to the cultivation of vanilla and cocoa.

They welcomed and served the children, their tutors and workers, two large dormitories, washrooms, kitchens, a workshop, a warehouse, a house inhabited by the director of the Mission and his family. Still everyone's final home, the local cemetery.

Over the years, the jungle engulfed the complex and the structures collapsed. Still, in 1984, the Seychelles government recognized the importance of the place and declared it a National Monument.

After all, after centuries of oppression of enslaved Africans, their descendants were the protagonists of a new phase of freedom and human rights. They also formed the social fabric and economic matrix of the Seychellen nation.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, private beach

Danny isn't sure if his family's history happened there. In any case, he overcomes his shyness and allows us to photograph him there in his t-shirt with a camouflage pattern.

It lands, a little awkwardly, half hidden in the surrounding prodigious forest, full of plants and animals that are more than endemic, unique, such as Sooglosus, the smallest frog in the world measuring 10 to 40 millimeters.

Morne Seychelles: Vast National Park and the Mahé Ceiling

From the Mission viewpoint, we admire the domain of the frog and the PN Morne Seychelles, extended by successive leafy hills, overlooking a peninsula that furrows the surrounding cyan Indian Ocean.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, isletFrom the Mission and the province of Port Glaud, we moved to Bel Air. Then to São Luís and finally to Beau Vallon. The latter is bordered by the large bay and homonymous beach, one of the widest in Mahé, popular to match.

When we toured it, Beau Vallon attracted, above all, families from the Victoria capital. It hosted dozens of picnics, barbecues and distinct Seychellois evasion moments and events.

It aroused in us the suspicion that other coasts of the island would prove more fascinating. So we continue our discovery, along the Bel Ombre coastal road.

Nearby, Danny reveals to us a muddy and rocky seaside. We start by wrinkling our nose.

The Cruise-Wilkins Clan and the Treasure of the Pirate Olivier Levasseur, La Buse

Until the guide explains to us that there were concentrated excavations conducted for twenty-seven years by Reginald Herbert Cruise-Wilkins, until his death in 1977, and then by his son, John.

Reginald conquered – and bequeathed to his son – the name of Treasure Man in the Seychelles. As is often the case, with regard to the era of discoveries, of navigators and of pirates, the demand to which both gave themselves, has a Portuguese origin.

In 1721, the famous French privateer Olivier Levasseur, best known for La buse (vulture), due to the sense of smell he had to find and tear apart other vessels and crews, he detected the Portuguese galleon “Our Lady of the Cape” in the port of Bourbon Island (today, Reunion), disguised with a union flag.

La Buse attacked him with 250 men and murdered the crew. When he examined the cellar, he found an unquantifiable wealth in bars of gold and silver, precious stones, coins, argent and other religious artifacts.

Once the loot had been accomplished, the corsairs withdrew. The British Navy followed them. Once in their lair in Madagascar, they divided the lot. La Buse kept the main portion and left for the uncertain part.

Mahé Seychelles Islands,The Cruise-Wilkins' Intense but Unsuccessful Excavations

Reginald Cruise-Wilkins was almost certain that the Gallic corsair buried his treasure in a cave there, however, collapsed by the sea. After his men closed the hole, he executed them.

For this reason, the whereabouts of the treasure remained unknown.

The Cruise-Wilkins family continues to try to find him. Until today, in vain. We only saw mud, rubble and small walls half sunk by the tide.

The Marine Sanctuary of Port Launay

With the sun about to enter its western hiding place, we returned to the northwest corner of Port Glaud where we were staying, along the same path we had come.

At the bottom of the endless “thoses” that lead to the west coast, we take the Port Launay road.

Eventually, this path reveals the zigzag of the Riviére Cascade.

And the Marine Park Port Launay, another protected area on the island, filled with tidal mangroves and pristine coral reefs, like the one on Therese Island off the coast.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, Port LaunayTo the west stretched a jagged peninsula, home to some of the best beaches in the archipelago, the Anse des Anglais, Lans Trusalo and others.

On islands like the Seychelles, pressure from resort chains on idyllic areas is inevitable. In those parts of Port Launay, one of them had taken over the Anse des Anglais and the beach at Lans Trusalo.

Also tried the exclusivity of the great inlet of Port Launay.

But the indignation of the Seychellois population, who had been bathing there for a long time, made the authorities leave her safe.

Port Launay and the Exuberant Sunset to the West

When we get there, with sunset imminent, we find an exuberant bathing celebration. There was music from bars and cars parked among the coconut trees.

Children played on ropes and swings hanging from trees.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, bathing talk

Groups of natives drank beer and danced, some even out to sea. In the sea of ​​the inlet, others chattered, massaged by the coming and going of the tepid water.

Finally, sunset settled and set the skies on fire over the mouth.

It generated dramatic silhouettes of the boats anchored there and the marine cross that blesses them.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, sunset in Launay

The West Coast, the Jardin du Roi and the Seychelles Giant Tortoises

The next morning, as early as we could, we dedicated ourselves to descending the west coast, with strategic stops for bathing in the bays that invited us the most.

We only detour inland to an embassy to the Jardin du Roi, inspired by the original XNUMXth century site, which the French royalty installed and expanded there with the aim of promoting the spice trade between their colonies.

Today, more than the spices, it is the giant and centennial turtles from the Seychelles that attract outsiders there.

Mahé Seychelles Islands, Giant Tortoises

The Secular Attraction of the Seychelles Giant Tortoises

Almost all arrive determined to live with the creatures, too many, eager to photograph themselves and mount them, as did, in 1995, the then Portuguese president Mário Soares, with the same ease with which, on the neighboring island of La Digue, sat back in the chair of the erotic “Emanuelle”.

Without waiting, in the Jardin du Roi, we witness a scene worthy of another famous saga.

A Russian visitor, with Leia's hair but dressed in denim outfits much smaller than the princess's, seduces a turtle with some freshly picked fruit.

As soon as he sees us leaving the room, he shouts at his companion. As planned, this one photographs it installed on the animal's centuries-old carapace.

The island's giant tortoises have been through much worse. As Mahé passed, Praslin, La Digue and the other Seychelles that host them.

are the smallest nation of Africa and one of the most desirable on the continent.

La Digue, Seychelles

Monumental Tropical Granite

Beaches hidden by lush jungle, made of coral sand washed by a turquoise-emerald sea are anything but rare in the Indian Ocean. La Digue recreated itself. Around its coastline, massive boulders sprout that erosion has carved as an eccentric and solid tribute of time to the Nature.

Praslin, Seychelles

 

The Eden of the Enigmatic Coco-de-Mer

For centuries, Arab and European sailors believed that the largest seed in the world, which they found on the coasts of the Indian Ocean in the shape of a woman's voluptuous hips, came from a mythical tree at the bottom of the oceans. The sensual island that always generated them left us ecstatic.
Maldives

Cruise the Maldives, among Islands and Atolls

Brought from Fiji to sail in the Maldives, Princess Yasawa has adapted well to new seas. As a rule, a day or two of itinerary is enough for the genuineness and delight of life on board to surface.
Male Maldives

The Maldives For Real

Seen from the air, Malé, the capital of the Maldives, looks little more than a sample of a crammed island. Those who visit it will not find lying coconut trees, dream beaches, spas or infinite pools. Be dazzled by the genuine Maldivian everyday life that tourist brochures omit.
Cilaos, Reunion Island

Refuge under the roof of the Indian Ocean

Cilaos appears in one of the old green boilers on the island of Réunion. It was initially inhabited by outlaw slaves who believed they were safe at that end of the world. Once made accessible, nor did the remote location of the crater prevent the shelter of a village that is now peculiar and flattered.
Reunion Island

The Bathing Melodrama of Reunion

Not all tropical coastlines are pleasurable and refreshing retreats. Beaten by violent surf, undermined by treacherous currents and, worse, the scene of the most frequent shark attacks on the face of the Earth, that of the Reunion Island he fails to grant his bathers the peace and delight they crave from him.
Mauritius

A Mini India in the Southwest of the Indian Ocean

In the XNUMXth century, the French and the British disputed an archipelago east of Madagascar previously discovered by the Portuguese. The British triumphed, re-colonized the islands with sugar cane cutters from the subcontinent, and both conceded previous Francophone language, law and ways. From this mix came the exotic Mauritius.
Fianarantsoa, Madagascar

The Malagasy City of Good Education

Fianarantsoa was founded in 1831 by Ranavalona Iª, a queen of the then predominant Merina ethnic group. Ranavalona Iª was seen by European contemporaries as isolationist, tyrant and cruel. The monarch's reputation aside, when we enter it, its old southern capital remains as the academic, intellectual and religious center of Madagascar.
Morondava, Avenue of Baobabs, Madagascar

The Malagasy Way to Dazzle

Out of nowhere, a colony of baobab trees 30 meters high and 800 years old flanks a section of the clayey and ocher road parallel to the Mozambique Channel and the fishing coast of Morondava. The natives consider these colossal trees the mothers of their forest. Travelers venerate them as a kind of initiatory corridor.
Fianarantsoa-Manakara, Madagascar

On board the Malagasy TGV

We depart Fianarantsoa at 7a.m. It wasn't until 3am the following morning that we completed the 170km to Manakara. The natives call this almost secular train Train Great Vibrations. During the long journey, we felt, very strongly, those of the heart of Madagascar.
Zanzibar, Tanzania

The African Spice Islands

Vasco da Gama opened the Indian Ocean to the Portuguese empire. In the XNUMXth century, the Zanzibar archipelago became the largest producer of cloves and the available spices diversified, as did the people who disputed them.
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles

From Francophone "Establishment" to the Creole Capital of the Seychelles

The French populated their “Etablissement” with European, African and Indian settlers. Two centuries later, British rivals took over the archipelago and renamed the city in honor of their Queen Victoria. When we visit it, the Seychelles capital remains as multiethnic as it is tiny.
Felicité Island and Curieuse Island, Seychelles

From Leprosarium to Giant Turtles Home

In the middle of the XNUMXth century, it remained uninhabited and ignored by Europeans. The French Ship Expedition “La Curieuse” revealed it and inspired his baptism. The British kept it a leper colony until 1968. Today, Île Curieuse is home to hundreds of Aldabra tortoises, the longest-lived land animal.
Serengeti, Great Savannah Migration, Tanzania, wildebeest on river
safari
Serengeti NP, Tanzania

The Great Migration of the Endless Savanna

In these prairies that the Masai people say syringet (run forever), millions of wildebeests and other herbivores chase the rains. For predators, their arrival and that of the monsoon are the same salvation.
Annapurna Circuit, Manang to Yak-kharka
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna 10th Circuit: Manang to Yak Kharka, Nepal

On the way to the Annapurnas Even Higher Lands

After an acclimatization break in the near-urban civilization of Manang (3519 m), we made progress again in the ascent to the zenith of Thorong La (5416 m). On that day, we reached the hamlet of Yak Kharka, at 4018 m, a good starting point for the camps at the base of the great canyon.
Treasures, Las Vegas, Nevada, City of Sin and Forgiveness
Architecture & Design
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Adventure
Boat Trips

For Those Becoming Internet Sick

Hop on and let yourself go on unmissable boat trips like the Philippine archipelago of Bacuit and the frozen sea of ​​the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia.
Military Religious, Wailing Wall, IDF Flag Oath, Jerusalem, Israel
Ceremonies and Festivities
Jerusalem, Israel

A Festive Wailing Wall

The holiest place in Judaism is not only attended by prayers and prayers. Its ancient stones have witnessed the oath of new IDF recruits for decades and echo the euphoric screams that follow.
Sanahin Cable Car, Armenia
Cities
Alaverdi, Armenia

A Cable Car Called Ensejo

The top of the Debed River Gorge hides the Armenian monasteries of Sanahin and Haghpat and terraced Soviet apartment blocks. Its bottom houses the copper mine and smelter that sustains the city. Connecting these two worlds is a providential suspended cabin in which the people of Alaverdi count on traveling in the company of God.
Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo, Japan
Meal
Tokyo, Japan

The Fish Market That Lost its Freshness

In a year, each Japanese eats more than their weight in fish and shellfish. Since 1935, a considerable part was processed and sold in the largest fish market in the world. Tsukiji was terminated in October 2018, and replaced by Toyosu's.
scarlet summer
Culture

Valencia to Xativa, Spain (España)

Across Iberia

Leaving aside the modernity of Valencia, we explore the natural and historical settings that the "community" shares with the Mediterranean. The more we travel, the more its bright life seduces us.

combat arbiter, cockfighting, philippines
Sport
Philippines

When Only Cock Fights Wake Up the Philippines

Banned in much of the First World, cockfighting thrives in the Philippines where they move millions of people and pesos. Despite its eternal problems, it is the sabong that most stimulates the nation.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Traveling
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
Impressions Lijiang Show, Yangshuo, China, Red Enthusiasm
Ethnic
Lijiang e Yangshuo, China

An Impressive China

One of the most respected Asian filmmakers, Zhang Yimou dedicated himself to large outdoor productions and co-authored the media ceremonies of the Beijing OG. But Yimou is also responsible for “Impressions”, a series of no less controversial stagings with stages in emblematic places.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

capillary helmet
History
Viti levu, Fiji

Cannibalism and Hair, Fiji Islands' Old Pastimes

For 2500 years, anthropophagy has been part of everyday life in Fiji. In more recent centuries, the practice has been adorned by a fascinating hair cult. Luckily, only vestiges of the latest fashion remain.
Terra Nostra Park, Furnas, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal
Islands
Vale das Furnas, São Miguel (Azores)

The Azorean Heat of Vale das Furnas

We were surprised, on the biggest island of the Azores, with a caldera cut by small farms, massive and deep to the point of sheltering two volcanoes, a huge lagoon and almost two thousand people from São Miguel. Few places in the archipelago are, at the same time, as grand and welcoming as the green and steaming Vale das Furnas.
Correspondence verification
Winter White
Rovaniemi, Finland

From the Finnish Lapland to the Arctic. A Visit to the Land of Santa

Fed up with waiting for the bearded old man to descend down the chimney, we reverse the story. We took advantage of a trip to Finnish Lapland and passed through its furtive home.
Baie d'Oro, Île des Pins, New Caledonia
Literature
Île-des-Pins, New Caledonia

The Island that Leaned against Paradise

In 1964, Katsura Morimura delighted the Japan with a turquoise novel set in Ouvéa. But the neighboring Île-des-Pins has taken over the title "The Nearest Island to Paradise" and thrills its visitors.
Suspension Bridge, Cabro Muco, Miravalles volcano
Nature
miravalles, Costa Rica

The volcano that Miravalles

At 2023 meters, the Miravalles stands out in northern Costa Rica, high above a range of pairs that includes La Giganta, Tenório, Espiritu Santo, Santa Maria, Rincón de La Vieja and Orosi. Inactive with respect to eruptions, it feeds a prolific geothermal field that warms the lives of Costa Ricans in its shadow.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Autumn
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
El Cofete beach from the top of El Islote, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain
Natural Parks
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain (España)

Fuerteventura's Atlantic Ventura

The Romans knew the Canaries as the lucky islands. Fuerteventura, preserves many of the attributes of that time. Its perfect beaches for the windsurf and the kite-surfing or just for bathing, they justify successive “invasions” by the sun-hungry northern peoples. In the volcanic and rugged interior, the bastion of the island's indigenous and colonial cultures remains. We started to unravel it along its long south.
Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
UNESCO World Heritage
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Zorro's mask on display at a dinner at the Pousada Hacienda del Hidalgo, El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico
Characters
El Fuerte, Sinaloa, Mexico

Zorro's Cradle

El Fuerte is a colonial city in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. In its history, the birth of Don Diego de La Vega will be recorded, it is said that in a mansion in the town. In his fight against the injustices of the Spanish yoke, Don Diego transformed himself into an elusive masked man. In El Fuerte, the legendary “El Zorro” will always take place.
Cargo Cabo Santa Maria, Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde, Sal, Evoking the Sahara
Beaches
Boa Vista Island, Cape Verde

Boa Vista Island: Atlantic waves, Dunas do Sara

Boa Vista is not only the Cape Verdean island closest to the African coast and its vast desert. After a few hours of discovery, it convinces us that it is a piece of the Sahara adrift in the North Atlantic.
Motorcyclist in Sela Gorge, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Religion
Guwahati a Saddle Pass, India

A Worldly Journey to the Sacred Canyon of Sela

For 25 hours, we traveled the NH13, one of the highest and most dangerous roads in India. We traveled from the Brahmaputra river basin to the disputed Himalayas of the province of Arunachal Pradesh. In this article, we describe the stretch up to 4170 m of altitude of the Sela Pass that pointed us to the Tibetan Buddhist city of Tawang.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
A kind of portal
Society
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Daily life
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Tombolo and Punta Catedral, Manuel António National Park, Costa Rica
Wildlife
PN Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Costa Rica's Little-Big National Park

The reasons for the under 28 are well known national parks Costa Ricans have become the most popular. The fauna and flora of PN Manuel António proliferate in a tiny and eccentric patch of jungle. As if that wasn't enough, it is limited to four of the best typical beaches.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.