Seychelles is made up of a group of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, north of Madagascar and east of Zanzibar. The islands are tropical but fall outside the Typhoon belt. It provides some of the best sailing conditions anywhere!
Mahe is the biggest island and houses the largest portion of the population of around 96,000. Seychelles is a republic and has a stable government.
Historically, both the French and British had occupied Seychelles at different times. This can clearly be seen in the current make up of Seychelles, where Creole (a form of French) and English are the main languages.
Seychelles comprises two groups of islands, the Inner and Outer Islands. The Inner Islands contain the two largest islands, Mahe and Praslin, whilst the outer islands host such gems as the Aldabra atoll, which is a pristine nature reserve and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will need a special permit to visit Aldabra.
There are excellent marina facilities at Eden Island, a man-made island connected to Mahe by a bridge. Eden Island Marina can accommodate boats up to super yacht size and provide services such as electricity, water and good security. The marina is served by Eden Plaza, a modern shopping centre and hotel complex.
Provisions are readily available on Mahe, which now boasts several well-stocked supermarkets and speciality stores as well as several chandlery stores. The SPAR at Eden Plaza is very conveniently located at the Marina and has a good selection of produce.
If anything does go wrong, rest assured that there are a few boat yards where a yacht may be hauled and placed on the hard for essential repairs. However, some engine and electronic spares may not be readily available and may have to be imported.
The best anchorages are on Mahe. The outlying island anchorages are very exposed and can be uncomfortable due to cross-swells.
The anchorages at La Digue and Praslin Islands are particularly striking and one of the chief attractions on the latter is Baie St Anne, with its thousands of Coco de Mer palms, some of them more than 800 years old.
With the increase in the number of cruising yachts visiting Seychelles and also because several charter companies have based themselves on Mahe and Praslin, yachting facilities are steadily improving.
Seychelles still boasts a wonderful variety of underwater life despite the increasing bleaching of coral reefs due to the ravaging effects of climate change. There are many excellent snorkelling and scuba diving locations through the island range. Cocos Island, which is made up of two very small uninhabited rocky outcrops between Praslin and La Dique, offer particularly good snorkelling opportunities.
Fishing with a line and lure from a yacht sailing in a gentle breeze is hard to beat for the feeling of pure joy that it brings, especially if it is accomplished in the beautiful waters of Seychelles, where game fish such as Bonita, Sailfish, Wahoo and Grouper are abundant.
Seychelles is well worth a visit!