After my first visit to the Seychelles in 2010, it was time go back for another trip to the Indian Ocean archipelago, this time staying on Praslin island and visiting La Digue, after having seen Mahe and the capital Victoria during my last visit.
The Seychelles probably represent some of the most stereotypical island beauty features there are.
The best way to get around! We took the trip from Mahe's airport straight to the hotel.
We stayed on Praslin, the second biggest island of the Seychelles. Its most famous beach - Anse Lazio - in the foreground, seemingly voted one of the Top 5 beaches in the world.
The hotel is located on the north eastern side of Praslin, with its close to 100 villas nestled along the hillside.
The Raffles has some gorgeous ocean view villas.
The clear skies and lack of light pollution make for good stargazing, but no Milky Way this time of the year.
Someone must have spilled something here...
An old furnace from the early 1900s, now serving as Tortoise home at Raffles hotel.
The Seychelles giant tortoise is clost to extinct in the wild; there is only one large population of more than 100000 in the Aldabra Atoll.
Giant tortoises are not made for climbing obstacles, but they can find their way around.
Can't say I observed any effort by this misguided tortoise's colleagues to correct the situation.
The roads aren't in the best condition, but at least there are attempts to make drivers aware.
Out of Order
Temporarily or permanently?
The Seychelles are full of greenery - and not so full of proper roads like this one.
Not sure what the Teddy on top of this sign is meant to represent.
Didn't manage to visit this souvenir shop.
Referred to as one of the Top 5 beaches in the world (don't ask me for sources), I took the 30min walk from the hotel. Worth it? Yes. Top 5? Maybe...
The beach doesn't get to see the actual sunset as the sun disappears behind the peninsula to the west, but the view is nice enough.
Owing to its Top 5 fame, there are always a few boats in the bay and a few dozen people on Anze Lazio.
Like many beaches on the island, some water inlets run into the forests from the beach - tides and waves generate some beautiful colours in the process.
The typical granite stones in the water make for beautiful scenery on Anse Lazio.
I was lucky to see the moon rising as the sun was setting, just peaking through the red and purple clouds.
As sunset approaches, you start to see the large Seychelles fruit bat in the sky - at least half a metre in width.
This cruise ship anchored between Praslin and Curieuse islands for a day.
Islands and Islands
The Seychelles consist of around 115 islands, 45 of which are the typical granite islands the country is known for.
Le Digue Island
We visited Le Digue, which is the third largest of the country's islands with a population of just over 3000. This is the local pizza and burger joint.
The famous beaches are frequented by quite a number of tourists, and the locals surely have found ways to monetize their presence.
Postcard material around every corner.
More Beach Bliss
Did I already meniton the postcard material?
The hot and humid climate classifies the island nation as tropical rain forest.
The country is famous for its granite rocks sprinkled around the beaches, but less than half of its islands actually feature them, the others are coral islands.
The old cemetary is an eerie location with the dying tree in the back. Watch for the new (and more colourful) version a few photos down...
The group of Granitic Seychelles are fragments of the ancient supercontinent Gondwana.
90% of the population are Christian, the majority of which roman-catholic.
The Elusive Flycatcher
Sadly, less than 300 are still in existence in the wild, and the island of Le Digue houses most of them, except a few pairs which were moved to another island to preserve the species. It took half an hour of wandering in the nature reserve to spot this male.
The island features some beautiful houses of different styles.
Showing off the lack of football taste that is or was once present on the island...
More colorful for sure, although its worth mentioning these flowers aren't real.
More of the local architecture.
Stress didn't seem too common.
Marine life is abundant and fishing is the largest export of the country.
Given that I have just completed my up to 12m skipper license, I thought it would be a good idea to bring the new boat along.
Just kidding, this is mine.
Small reef sharks live around the rocks until they grow into adults.
And occasionally, smaller rays also pass by.
Funny little creatures that live on the rocks perching out from the water, walking and jumping with help of their fins if danger approaches. They are able to breath outside of water.
Leaping Blenny - Large version
It's bigger cousin, captured under water with an iPhone XS (as are the few other underwater photographs).
Some snorkeling around the beach was enough to spot a few beautiful corals.
A variety of stony coral colonies.
I think this is some type of Gorgonian or Sea Fan.
The most common fish roaming the shallow waters on the beach.
Anyone knows the species?
A point of view.
A crystal ball can't always predict the future, but it can give you a different perspective of the present.
Glass balls are an interesting tool for photography... if you don't overuse them.
One point to note - be very careful when using a crystal ball in direct strong sunlight, the refraction can immeditely burn whatever you put the ball on, including your hand...
Home in a Hole
A crab village.
An early morning rain triggered this guy to come out from hiding.
Worth getting up for at 5am.
The Red Fody
A common bird in the Indian Ocean, this one took a bath in the pool.
Cat photo can't be missing. This mum was hanging out in the hotel grounds with her two kitten.