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The Seychelles

Tour Code: SYC01

A 14-day holiday in search of the unique birdlife and natural history of the mountains, forests and islands of the Seychelles.

14 days from £5295(inc flights) Land Only Price: £4695 SRS: £650


A tropical Indian Ocean setting provides an idyllic backdrop for this focus on the special flora and fauna of the Seychelles Islands. Based first on Mahe, the largest island, we’ll enjoy the pristine white beaches, turquoise seas and wooded hills which harbour an exciting variety of endemic flowers, birds and reptiles. Then, during 5 days on Praslin, we’ll look for the island’s endemic Black Parrots and Coco de Mer palms, and use it as a base from which to visit the islands of Aride, Cousin, Curieuse, St Pierre and La Digue where a wealth of seabirds awaits, plus five endemic bird species including the Seychelles Magpie-robin and Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher. Our tour concludes on the appropriately named Bird Island where a comfortable hotel lies amidst a profusion of seabirds, especially Sooty and Fairy Terns.

  • Sandy beaches, palm trees & turquoise seas in an Indian Ocean tropical paradise
  • Endemic birds, flora, insects and reptiles galore
  • Seychelles Magpie-robin, Scops Owl, Fody, Black Paradise Flycatcher, etc.
  • Spectacular seabird colonies – terns, noddys, frigatebirds, et al.  
  • Migrant & resident waders, including the impressive Crab Plover
  • Unique flora including giant Coco de Mer palms
  • Seychelles Giant Tortoise
  • Fabulous swimming and snorkelling
  • Learn from our expert Naturetrek naturalist guide

Food

All included in the price.

Accommodation

Comfortable hotels with private factilities.

Masked Booby (unknown)

Masked Booby (unknown)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Depart London

Day 2/5 Mahe

Day 6/10 Praslin; island visits

Day 11/13 Bird Island

Day 14 Arrive London

Brown Noddies

The Republic of Seychelles is composed of a scattered archipelago of wonderful islands in the equatorial western Indian Ocean. Although the combined land area of the islands is small (only 455 square kilometres), they hold an exceptional and incredibly diverse natural history, and the larger granitic islands have a rugged and often precipitous relief that accentuates the appeal of this unique country.

On Mahe, by far the largest island, a sinuous 30-kilometre spine of verdant peaks rises spectacularly to 900 metres, above idyllic bays of clear, turquoise sea, beaches of shining white sand and delightfully old-fashioned coconut plantations. High on the winding and panoramic Sans Soucis road, and in the Morne Seychellois National Park, a rich flora includes the strange, carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher Plant and Seychelles Wild Orchid. Wild ginger, cardamon and philodendron vines grow in the ditches and up the trees here, and in the mountain mist forests we may chance upon the endemic Seychelles Bulbul, the dazzling but highly endangered endemic butterfly, the King of the Seychelles, or the elusive Tiger Chameleon. Our exploration of Mahe will also take us to lovely beaches, past Creole-style houses and tea plantations, and over the reefs at nearby Moyenne Island. A roost of endemic Seychelles Fruit Bats is another highlight on Mahe, while on the mudflats of Victoria many species of migrant shorebird congregate, among them the striking Crab Plover, Pacific Golden Plover and other waders. By day there will be the chance to roam among spices such as Cloves, Patchouli and Nutmeg, enjoying their exotic scents to the full, while at night we will search for the island’s interesting nocturnal inhabitants, among them the Seychelles Scops Owl.

On Praslin we find an environment that is utterly unique. The Valle de Mai is the last relict of an ancient palm forest that once covered much of the islands. Walking along the narrow trails here induces a profound sense of timelessness, augmented by the relative absence of bird song. A variety of palms and the bizarre palm-like pandanus create an eerie, though fascinating environment. Only the occasional flock of endemic Black Parrots, weaving their way through the palm crowns, reminds us that we are in a modern and not prehistoric age. Along the Glacis Noir Nature Trail, Takamaka Trees, Santol and the vulnerable Coco de Mer are among the vegetation of interest; the latter produces the largest seed in the world and, until the true source of the seed was discovered in 1768, it was believed to grow on a mythical tree at the bottom of the sea!

Praslin will serve as a base from which to visit the smaller granitic islands which shelter vulnerable but still surviving populations of rare species such as the Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher and Seychelles Fody. From Praslin we will visit the islands of Aride, Cousin, Curieuse, St. Pierre and La Digue. The former rises impressively from the sea, cloaked in rich woodland with a fertile coastal plateau on the south side and it is the picture of an idyllic tropical island. The wildlife here has remained undisturbed for centuries and the island is, arguably, the most important bird reserve in the Seychelles. It is host to more than 750,000 pairs of 10 breeding seabird species, including several thousand Greater and Lesser Frigatebirds, and five species endemic to Seychelles, amongst them the very rare Seychelles Magpie-robin. La Digue is the fourth largest of the granitic islands and famous for its unique Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher, which can be seen in the Veuve Special Reserve.

Owned by the conservation organisation Nature Seychelles, the tiny island of Cousin has provided a sanctuary for the Seychelles Warbler and efforts to protect this species have certainly resulted in saving it from extinction. Some 250,000 birds nest on the island each year, most of them seabirds, but among the others are Seychelles Fody, Seychelles Sunbird, Seychelles Warbler and Seychelles Turtle Dove. The reserve is also home to a wide range of other fauna, including skinks and giant tortoises.

There will be opportunities for snorkelling for those who wish, and among the exciting potential underwater delights of these islands is the critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle, which nests in the Seychelles.

On Bird Island the emphasis is on leisure and wildlife in whatever blend you fancy, making it the perfect location to round off our Seychelles holiday. White-tailed Tropicbirds and Common Noddy nest on Bird Island in large numbers and, thanks to careful management practices, the island has seen a return of vast numbers of Sooty Terns — about a million pairs at the last count! Fairy Terns, Lesser Noddy and Green-backed Heron are all seen here, and Bird Island is also home to Esmerelda, the largest tortoise in the world!

Together with the warm hospitality of the people and delicious seafood, this relaxing yet rewarding holiday in these enchanting islands is sure to fulfil and exceed all expectations.

Bird Island AerialSeychelles BeachSt Anne Marine ParkFairy Tern eggGiant TortoiseBrown NoddiesFairy TernBrown NoddyRed-footed Booby (Martin Harvey)Male Lesser Frigatebird (Martin Harvey)Frigatebird colonySooty terns in flightGreat Frigatebird and Brown Booby (Martin Harvey)Fairy Tern (Martin Harvey)Fairy Tern (Martin Harvey)Turtle hatchlingsGiant TortoiseThe SeychellesBrown Noddy (Martin Harvey)Fairy Tern  (Martin Harvey)Red-footed Booby (Martin Harvey)Masked Booby (Martin Harvey)
M.T.
East Sussex
Bird Island was a delight and the accommodation excellent. Our leader Gemma Jesse was knowledgeable about history, politics, botany, everything which made for enjoyable conversation.
R.L.
Kent
Gemma was a fantastic leader - very knowledgeable, helpful and good fun.
A.L.
Kent
Gemma was brilliant! One of best leaders we have had. Knowledgeable naturalist and very able leader. Gemma made a good holiday excellent.
E.G.
London
Gemma was superb - immensely knowledgeable and keen for us to have the best possible experience. No praise would be too high. The huge range of wildlife that we saw; Gemma's immense knowledge and experience and her willingness to share it; the fact that Gemma helped to add more snorkelling opportunities for those who love it; snorkelling with turtles; visiting Cousin; the barbecue on Curieuse, the Vallee de Mai; the whole ambience of Bird Island - and the very interesting fellow passengers worked well on the tour.
G.B.
Shropshire
Just to say how much I enjoyed the Seychelles Holiday. Gemma Jesse, our wonderful local guide is a real expert on natural history of the islands, very encouraging to a beginner birdwatcher like myself and wonderfully friendly, energetic and engaging.
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Sun 23rd September 2018 - Sat 6th October 2018

5

£5295

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £4695 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Seychelles

Detailed tour map

Can I help You?

Kerrie Porteous
Operations Manager

Email Kerrie

01962 733051

Tour Focus

Birds

Tour Leaders

Tour Reviews

Bird Island was a delight and the accommodation excellent. Our leader Gemma Jesse was knowledgeable about history, politics, botany, everything which made for enjoyable conversation.
M.T., East Sussex