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.
Couple take photographs at the waterfalls of Port Glaud.
Port launay
Lush cove of the Port Launay Marine Park.
Seychelles family chats with their feet on the sand.
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.

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.

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.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Faithful light candles, Milarepa Grotto temple, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 9th Manang to Milarepa Cave, Nepal

A Walk between Acclimatization and Pilgrimage

In full Annapurna Circuit, we finally arrived in Manang (3519m). we still need acclimatize to the higher stretches that followed, we inaugurated an equally spiritual journey to a Nepalese cave of Milarepa (4000m), the refuge of a siddha (sage) and Buddhist saint.
Sheets of Bahia, Eternal Diamonds, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

Lençóis da Bahia: not Even Diamonds Are Forever

In the XNUMXth century, Lençóis became the world's largest supplier of diamonds. But the gem trade did not last as expected. Today, the colonial architecture that he inherited is his most precious possession.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Ceremonies and Festivities
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Aswan, Egypt, Nile River meets Black Africa, Elephantine Island
Aswan, Egypt

Where the Nile Welcomes the Black Africa

1200km upstream of its delta, the Nile is no longer navigable. The last of the great Egyptian cities marks the fusion between Arab and Nubian territory. Since its origins in Lake Victoria, the river has given life to countless African peoples with dark complexions.

A Market Economy

The law of supply and demand dictates their proliferation. Generic or specific, covered or open air, these spaces dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging are expressions of life and financial health.
Jingkieng Wahsurah, Nongblai Village Roots Bridge, Meghalaya, India
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
M:S Viking Tor Ferry-Wrapped Passenger, Aurlandfjord, Norway
Flam a Balestrand, Norway

Where the Mountains Give In to the Fjords

The final station of the Flam Railway marks the end of the dizzying railway descent from the highlands of Hallingskarvet to the plains of Flam. In this town too small for its fame, we leave the train and sail down the Aurland fjord towards the prodigious Balestrand.
Tatooine on Earth
Matmata Tataouine:  Tunisia

Star Wars Earth Base

For security reasons, the planet Tatooine from "The Force Awakens" was filmed in Abu Dhabi. We step back into the cosmic calendar and revisit some of the Tunisian places with the most impact in the saga.  
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

royal of Catorce, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Chapel of Guadalupe
Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

The Depreciation of Silver that Led to that of the Pueblo (Part II)

With the turn of the XNUMXth century, the value of the precious metal hit bottom. From a prodigious town, Real de Catorce became a ghost. Still discovering, we explore the ruins of the mines at their origin and the charm of the Pueblo resurrected.
Street Scene, Guadeloupe, Caribbean, Butterfly Effect, French Antilles
Guadalupe, French Antilles

Guadeloupe: a Delicious Caribbean, in a Counter Butterfly-Effect

Guadeloupe is shaped like a moth. A trip around this Antille is enough to understand why the population is governed by the motto Pas Ni Problem and raises the minimum of waves, despite the many setbacks.
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.
shadow vs light
Kyoto, Japan

The Kyoto Temple Reborn from the Ashes

The Golden Pavilion has been spared destruction several times throughout history, including that of US-dropped bombs, but it did not withstand the mental disturbance of Hayashi Yoken. When we admired him, he looked like never before.
Machangulo, Mozambique, sunset
Machangulo, Mozambique

The Golden Peninsula of Machangulo

At a certain point, an ocean inlet divides the long sandy strip full of hyperbolic dunes that delimits Maputo Bay. Machangulo, as the lower section is called, is home to one of the most magnificent coastlines in Mozambique.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
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.
View of La Graciosa de Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain
Natural Parks
La Graciosa, Canary Islands

The Most Graceful of the Canary Islands

Until 2018, the smallest of the inhabited Canaries did not count for the archipelago. Arriving in La Graciosa, we discover the insular charm of the now eighth island.
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Zapatismo, Mexico, San Nicolau Cathedral
UNESCO World Heritage
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico

The Home Sweet Home of Mexican Social Conscience

Mayan, mestizo and Hispanic, Zapatista and tourist, country and cosmopolitan, San Cristobal has no hands to measure. In it, Mexican and expatriate backpacker visitors and political activists share a common ideological demand.
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

They are the protagonists of events or are street entrepreneurs. They embody unavoidable characters, represent social classes or epochs. Even miles from Hollywood, without them, the world would be more dull.
Fisherman maneuvers boat near Bonete Beach, Ilhabela, Brazil
Ilhabela, Brazil

In Ilhabela, on the way to Bonete

A community of caiçaras descendants of pirates founded a village in a corner of Ilhabela. Despite the difficult access, Bonete was discovered and considered one of the ten best beaches in Brazil.
Cape Espichel, Sanctuary of Senhora do Cabo, Sesimbra,
Albufeira Lagoon ao Cape Espichel, Sesimbra, Portugal

Pilgrimage to a Cape of Worship

From the top of its 134 meters high, Cabo Espichel reveals an Atlantic coast as dramatic as it is stunning. Departing from Lagoa de Albufeira to the north, golden coast below, we venture through more than 600 years of mystery, mysticism and veneration of its aparecida Nossa Senhora do Cabo.
The Toy Train story
On Rails
Siliguri a Darjeeling, India

The Himalayan Toy Train Still Running

Neither the steep slope of some stretches nor the modernity stop it. From Siliguri, in the tropical foothills of the great Asian mountain range, the Darjeeling, with its peaks in sight, the most famous of the Indian Toy Trains has ensured for 117 years, day after day, an arduous dream journey. Traveling through the area, we climb aboard and let ourselves be enchanted.
Parade and Pomp
Saint Petersburg, Russia

When the Russian Navy Stations in Saint Petersburg

Russia dedicates the last Sunday of July to its naval forces. On that day, a crowd visits large boats moored on the Neva River as alcohol-drenched sailors seize the city.
Saksun, Faroe Islands, Streymoy, warning
Daily life
Saksun, streymoyFaroe Islands

The Faroese Village That Doesn't Want to be Disneyland

Saksun is one of several stunning small villages in the Faroe Islands that more and more outsiders visit. It is distinguished by the aversion to tourists of its main rural owner, author of repeated antipathies and attacks against the invaders of his land.
Fluvial coming and going
Iriomote, Japan

The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote

Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
Full Dog Mushing
Scenic Flights
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.