One Way to do Mahe, Seychelles.

Earlier this year during a cruise across the Indian Ocean we made a stop at Port Victoria… 

…on the Island of Mahe – the largest island in the Seychelles archipelago: that’s Queen Victoria berthed in mid photograph above.

During our pre-cruise research of what to do and see on the island there were a number of places that came to prominence and as so happened not all were covered by ship’s excursions. On deeper research I discovered through facebook a local resident that specialised in whole day tours and following an exchange of messages and emails we booked a full day tour that essentially covered the whole island including those specific sites I wished to visit. Meet Ian…

…who can be contacted through facebook Mahe Island Tours & Taxi Transfers

https://www.facebook.com/ianseychellestours2018/

And so to our day…

 

Ian arrived promptly at the port gate and after short introductions we were on our way heading out of Victoria and over the central Mahe mountain chain  in the direction of my prime objective, Venn’s Town Missionary Ruins and the nearby Scenic Lookout…

… which is situated at an altitude of 450 metres in the South-West of the Morne Seychellois National Park, some 6 km from Victoria , in the direction of the coastal town of Port Glaud.

The ruins consist mainly of traces of foundations of the 5 buildings which cover a total area of 540 square meters. It is a place of unique historical, cultural, aesthetic and ecological value. It is a mystical place nested amongst the dense and unique vegetation of the  National Park… and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Nearby  there’s a lovely viewing platform where HM Queen Elizabeth II. drank tea during her 1972 visit…

…which affords outstanding views…

*****

*****

Such was Ian’s nature and enthusiasm that on the way up to the lookout he made an impromptu stop to explain to us the unique story of the ‘Coco de Mer’…

A member of the palm family, the  Coco De Mer tree is a monotypic genus and the sole species, Lodoicea maldivica, is endemic  to the islands of  the Seychelles Archipelago.

It is also dioecious with separate male and female plants. The male flowers are arranged in a catkin-like inflorescence up to 1 m long…

…while the the mature fruit can reach  40–50 cm in diameter and weigh 15–30 kg…

…and contains the largest seed in the plant kingdom.

Moving on from Venn’s Missionary we started our decent towards the West Coast making a stop at the Tea Tavern Glacis Nature Walk…

We made a short and interesting hike taking in tea plantations…

*****

…while also taking in additional good views…

…and learning about the islands endemic Pitcher Plants…

 

Continuing our decent while  taking in views of Therese Island and Anse l’Islette…

…we met the West Coast Road,  turned right at Port Glaud Lagoon junction and now headed  in a northerly direction following the coast road…

…before stopping adjacent to  Anse  L’Islette  (Island)…

…which sits neatly in a bay of the same name….

The island belongs to a local entrepreneur who plans to build a resort there, but meanwhile it has  become a household name in Russia due to it being the location for filming the reality television programme ‘The Island of Love’. Indeed, during our visit the film crew were on site…

Also at this location is the entrance to Port Launay Mangrove Forest…

*****

*****

Did you spot the Grey Heron lurking at the entrance?….

 

The Mangrove Forest sits neatly between and Anse l’Islette and  Port Launay Bay…

*****

…where we made a stop to enjoy the beach before heading  back along the West Coast Road, past Port Glaud and on to Grande Anse…

…for another beach stop. One can understand why it’s named ‘Grande’, this was one large beachfront…

Grande Anse turned out to be the only beach that we actually bumped into other passengers on  ship excursions…

*****

We drove past a number of other beaches before stopping at Anse Louis…

…the home beach of the MAIA Luxury Resort…

Continuing along the West Coast Road we passed the rather appropriately  named Pig Rock…

And so we continued our circumnavigation of the island stopping for photographs at Anse a la Mouche,   known also as Lobster Bay…

…before taking a short cut through Lazare Bay Village to view their RC Church…

…and the rather quaint shops on the main thoroughfare…

Lazare Bay, Ian explained to us, has a bit of history. The islands were discovered by  Lazare Picault, an 18th century French explorer whose exploits appear to have had a small monument  placed in his honour…

…albeit not exactly well attended to these days…

The beach itself is fairly large…

*****

 

…and popular with small time local fishermen judging by the car park entrance…

Our next stop was at Anse Takanaka…

…a name that was to crop up again shortly but first Ian took us for a break in the driving and a visit to the outstanding Banyan Tree Resort…

*****

The Banyan Tree is majestically set above Anse Intendance…

Following our break at The Banyan Tree we now crossed from the West Coast to the East Coast of the island where our next stop was Anse Forbans

followed by Anse Royale…

I’d earlier mentioned the word ‘Takamaka’ and it was to reappear at our next stop, La plaine St Andre Visitor Centre…

Located in grounds that also include a meticulously restored Plantation House , the distillery offers both tours and tasting visits which can  make an excellent refreshment and comfort stop on an island tour….

*****

*****

All in all, well worth a visit…

No visit to Mahe would be complete without a call at the Bel Ombre Treasure and Heritage Site…

A short distance from Beau Vallon, legend has it that the fabulous treasure of the 18th century  pirate, Olivier Levasseur, nicknamed “The Buzzard”  was buried in the vicinity…

It was at Beau Vallon that we made our final beach stop…

Interestingly,  this proved the most popular in terms of beach users…

…and even then one couldn’t claim it was crowded. Here, among the many hawkers attending the needs of holidaymakers we enjoyed some Seychelles seafood…

Time alas was no longer on our side, though we did still find time to stop at Port Victoria’s Botanical Gardens…

…to see the amazingly large tortoise population there…

…before Ian gave us a whistle stop tour of Port Victoria itself…

…with its fine colonial buildings…

…before returning us  to the ship.

Cheers Ian, that was one awesome tour you gave us…

 

Summary

I certainly hope readers have enjoyed our experience around Mahe with Ian. There really is no better way to do it and this guy was just so helpful and informative. Nothing was too much trouble and no stone left unturned.

Details of how to contact Ian through his facebook page…

https://www.facebook.com/ianseychellestours2018/

Many thanks again for a fab day out. 

If you have enjoyed this review of the Seychelles Island of Mahe and would like to be amongst the first to hear of new reviews, including a new experience for my wife and I, the Yacht Club on MSC’s Preziosa and P&O’s latest offering, Iona, plus Solent Richard’s next guides to Port Elizabeth in South Africa and Salerno in Italy   in his ‘One way to do…’ series, why not join over 500 followers by clicking on the ‘Follow’ link on the front page.

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©2018 – 19 * Solent Richard’s Cruise Blog * All Rights Reserved

Duplication in part or whole without prior written consent is prohibited by international laws.

 

Disclosure to potential conflict of interest:

It is common throughout the travel industry for travel journalists and many cruise bloggers to be provided with complimentary cruises for the purpose of their reviews.

Solent Richard has no ‘conflict of interest’ as he is not an accredited journalist, he pays for his cruises, and is happy to confirm that all his reviews are his own given without fear or favour.

3 responses to “One Way to do Mahe, Seychelles.

  1. Pingback: Cruising Mates | Solent Richard's Cruise Blog·

  2. Dear Richard:

    I always enjoy your cruise and travel reports, in no small part because you always include pictures of your wife. What a beautiful woman! You’re a lucky man indeed.

    Now, I hate to do this, but my inner copy editor is compelled to point out a grammatical error at the very end of the Mahe post. You said “…a new experience for my wife and I.” it should be “…my wife and me” (object of a preposition, as my Jesuit teachers drilled into us). The good things is: some of us actually read every word you write!

    Jim Duzak

    Arizona, USA

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