I have a fascination for some animals. I love sharks for example and swimming with whale sharks in Donsol, Philippines, with stingrays in Cayman and with nurse sharks in Belize, were undoubtedly some of the highlights of trips I have done.
I found out a little too late that I could have seen giant tortoises in Prison Island, Zanzibar when I was there in 2009. Giant tortoises are native to two islands: the Aldabra Atoll in Seychelles and Galapagos in Ecuador. We were planning our Easter trip for 2016 and when I found out that doing a stopover in Seychelles on the way back from Mauritius wouldn’t cost too much more, I jumped at the opportunity. The possibility of finally seeing the giant tortoises in Seychelles on my 30th birthday was all I could dream of.
Moyenne Island is a national park which was once part of the St Anne Marine National Park just off Mahe, the main island of Seychelles. It is unique in that it has more species per square foot than any other part of the world thanks to the efforts of Brendon Grimshaw who planted sixteen thousand trees after buying it for 8000 pounds in 1962 making the island now worth 34 million Euros.
The day started early. We were picked up from our hotel at 8.30am and left Victoria sometime after 9am on the catamaran. It was a very hot day and a difficult trip with a 14 month old baby no thanks to the heat.
We had an enjoyable time in the air conditioned glass bottom boat and even saw a turtle, but unfortunately not much else. The snorkeling in the marine park was rather disappointing but the colours of the water made up for it. I think we are spoilt having been to places like Palau which is almost impossible to beat.
Lunch on the catamaran was such a delight. The grilled tuna was sensational as was the barbequed chicken. After lunch, we were transferred to Moyenne Island in a little boat. The giant tortoises were HUGE!
Ilyas was surprisingly not at all afraid of them and I later found this picture of him even touching the tortoise!
The guide told me to be extra careful as should the tortoise step on the baby, his foot could be crushed as the tortoises weighed up to 300kg and Ilyas is 9kg.
The beach on the island was beautiful.
Ilyas played a lot with the sand.
Overall, our trip in the Seychelles was short and sweet. Although the hotel we stayed at wasn’t the greatest (despite the price tag) after such a beautiful week in Mauritius, the beach was undoubtedly world class. Beau Vallon definitely has one of the best beaches we have ever been to.