Thursday, April 7, 2011

Flora and Fauna of the Seychelles

guest post by David Collins of

If your idea of the perfect break involves fantastic wildlife and plants then you may want to consider going on holidays in the Seychelles.

As the African island nation is awash with amazing flora and fauna, you are sure to have a fascinating time discovering the country's natural beauty during your break.

And as it is home to some of the rarest animal and plant species in the world, you could soon get back to nature.

With just under half of the country's landmass consisting of natural parks and reserves, there should be plenty of opportunities for you to take in some beautiful fauna and flora.

Be sure to visit Aldabra, which is the world's largest raised coral atoll. By visiting this set of four coral islands you will be able to see a range of plants and creatures that have been specially protected from the effects of human habitants.

Some 152,000 giant tortoises live on the atoll, the largest population of the creature to be found in the entire world. This number includes 100,000 of the Aldabra species, with the islands their only remaining habitat in the world. If you want to see these creatures in their natural environment you will have no option but to go on a holiday to the Seychelles.

However, the Aldabra giant tortoise is just one of hundreds of species of fauna to be found at the Unesco World Heritage site. Flying foxes, the Aldabra brush warbler and the Aldabra drong can also be seen here.

It is also the only place in the world where a reptile - in this case, the tortoise - is the dominant herbivore.

You will also find the atoll is home to a diverse array of flora. Some 273 species of flowering plants and ferns are to be found here, including seagrass meadows, mangroves and pemohis acidula. Around 20 of these are endemic, with a further 22 only shared with neighbouring islands.

Tourist access to the atoll is carefully controlled, so you may need to book in advance in order to see the stunning sights that can be found here.

Some fantastic natural scenes can also be seen at the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve on Praslin Island. Like the Aldabra atoll, this is a Unesco World Heritage site and contains an amazing array of species, including the coco de mer plant which bears the largest seeds in the entire plant kingdom.

Numerous other forms of palm trees can be seen in the reserve so make sure you take the time to check these out, you may want to pack a digital camera to show your friends and family back home the fantastic flora you have seen!

There will also be plenty of birdspotting opportunities for keen ornithologists, including the endemic black parrot, the cave-nesting swiftlet and the Seychelles kestrel (photo).

If you like reptiles, keep an eye out for green geckos, chameleons and Seychelles wolf snake - these are just some of the cold-blooded creatures that can be seen.

Flora fans should also consider visiting the Kot Man-Ya Exotic Flower Garden in Mahe. More than 200 species of plants can be seen here, so it is the perfect place for any horticultural enthusiast to stop by when on a holiday to the Seychelles.

A range of animals can also be found here including rabbits, giant tortoises and guinea pigs.

However, in order to preserve the precious plants and species that are in the garden, groups are requested to make a reservation before visiting.

The Seychelles is home to such a diverse array of beautiful flora and fau you are bound to find a holiday here to be captivating.

Photo Credits: sunset, tortoise, coco de mer, kestrel, flowers


sgabraki23 said...

Seychelles looks like an amazing destination for nature lovers!! I've never heard of this island before. Now that I'm reading about it I can't believe that it's one in 115 islands in the Indian Ocean! I wonder what life is like for the inhabitants, but I'm willing to guess it's awesome! Apparently in the past people from Asia, Europe, and different parts of Africa have come to Seychelles bringing with them traditions and customs. I'd really love to see this blend illustrated in their everyday life. I'm sure the people and culture of Seychelles are a colorful blend of people!

Heather Dugan (Footsteps) said...

The Seychelles have been on my Travel Dream Trip list for a loooong time! Need to just go! Nice read.

Mark H said...

@heather: Even its name makes it conjure up images of such an exotic nature.

Mark H said...

@sgabraki23: It is fairly remote (somewhere east of Africa near Mauritius) and is the smallest country in Africa by population.

Spencer said...

I love the Seychelles. It is such a beautiful place to visit. The people are really friendly too!

RingBali said...

Nice flora and fauna..what a lovely place to visit

Mark H said...

@spencer: Everyone who has been there raves about its beauty and friendly population.

@ringbali: Great opportunity to see island birdlife and marine life.

PNR Status said...

I wonder what life is like for the inhabitants, but I'm willing to guess it's awesome!

Mark H said...

@pnrstatus: Should be very relaxing but with some of these island paradises, sometimes life is tougher for the local population than the idyllic location suggests.

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