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.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
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.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Architecture & Design
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Salto Angel, Rio that falls from the sky, Angel Falls, PN Canaima, Venezuela
PN Canaima, Venezuela

Kerepakupai, Salto Angel: The River that Falls from Heaven

In 1937, Jimmy Angel landed a light aircraft on a plateau lost in the Venezuelan jungle. The American adventurer did not find gold but he conquered the baptism of the longest waterfall on the face of the Earth
Correspondence verification
Ceremonies and Festivities
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.
Jerusalem God, Israel, Golden City
Jerusalem, Israel

Closer to God

Three thousand years of history as mystical as it is troubled come to life in Jerusalem. Worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims, this city radiates controversy but attracts believers from all over the world.
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
Sculptural Garden, Edward James, Xilitla, Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, Cobra dos Pecados
Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico

Edward James' Mexican Delirium

In the rainforest of Xilitla, the restless mind of poet Edward James has twinned an eccentric home garden. Today, Xilitla is lauded as an Eden of the Surreal.
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.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Women with long hair from Huang Luo, Guangxi, China
Longsheng, China

Huang Luo: the Chinese Village of the Longest Hairs

In a multi-ethnic region covered with terraced rice paddies, the women of Huang Luo have surrendered to the same hairy obsession. They let the longest hair in the world grow, years on end, to an average length of 170 to 200 cm. Oddly enough, to keep them beautiful and shiny, they only use water and rice.
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

life outside

Almada Negreiros, Roça Saudade, Sao Tome
Saudade, São Tomé, São Tomé and Principe

Almada Negreiros: From Saudade to Eternity

Almada Negreiros was born in April 1893, on a farm in the interior of São Tomé. Upon discovering his origins, we believe that the luxuriant exuberance in which he began to grow oxygenated his fruitful creativity.
Drums and Tattoos
Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tahiti Beyond the Cliché

Neighbors Bora Bora and Maupiti have superior scenery but Tahiti has long been known as paradise and there is more life on the largest and most populous island of French Polynesia, its ancient cultural heart.
Boats on ice, Hailuoto Island, Finland.
Winter White
Hailuoto, Finland

A Refuge in the Gulf of Bothnia

During winter, the island of Hailuoto is connected to the rest of Finland by the country's longest ice road. Most of its 986 inhabitants esteem, above all, the distance that the island grants them.
Kukenam reward
Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

Persist on top of Mte. Roraima extraterrestrial scenarios that have withstood millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never set foot on it.
Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
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.
Horseback riding in shades of gold
Natural Parks
El Calafate, Argentina

The New Gauchos of Patagonia

Around El Calafate, instead of the usual shepherds on horseback, we come across gauchos equestrian breeders and others who exhibit, to the delight of visitors, the traditional life of the golden pampas.
UNESCO World Heritage
Cascades and Waterfalls

Waterfalls of the World: Stunning Vertical Rivers

From the almost 1000 meters high of Angel's dancing jump to the fulminating power of Iguaçu or Victoria after torrential rains, cascades of all kinds fall over the Earth.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Dominican Republic, Bahia de Las Águilas Beach, Pedernales. Jaragua National Park, Beach
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
holy plain, Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar

The Plain of Pagodas, Temples and other Heavenly Redemptions

Burmese religiosity has always been based on a commitment to redemption. In Bagan, wealthy and fearful believers continue to erect pagodas in hopes of winning the benevolence of the gods.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Nissan, Fashion, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo's fashion

In ultra-populous and hyper-coded Japan, there is always room for more sophistication and creativity. Whether national or imported, it is in the capital that they begin to parade the new Japanese looks.
Daily life
Arduous Professions

the bread the devil kneaded

Work is essential to most lives. But, certain jobs impose a degree of effort, monotony or danger that only a few chosen ones can measure up to.
Fishing, Cano Negro, Costa Rica
Caño Negro, Costa Rica

A Life of Angling among the Wildlife

One of the most important wetlands in Costa Rica and the world, Caño Negro dazzles for its exuberant ecosystem. Not only. Remote, isolated by rivers, swamps and poor roads, its inhabitants have found in fishing a means on board to strengthen the bonds of their community.
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.