Giant tortoises, pirate treasures and so much to learn!
The day trip around Ste Anne Marine National Park is quite expensive (not as expensive as the one to La Digue & Praslin, though!), but it was so great to have a guide explaining everything. We booked it through a kiosk on the beach of Beau Vallon, and got down the price from $ 110 to $ 90 per person (always bargain, guys! 😉 ).
Even though you’ll see a lot of wind propellers on the nearby man-made island, they only produce 7% of the energy in Mahe, which is quite low. The electrical plants are polluting their air, but the locals are very focused on decreasing this pollution. They plan on putting solar panels, so in 10 to 20 years, their energy will be 100% green! This is really inspiring, hope more countries focus on decreasing pollution.
This is another made-made island. But! It has been exclusively built for the wealthy. If you can afford one of their gorgeous houses, you automatically become a citizen in the Seychelles! The houses are fantastic and start at around $ 500,000 (see them here). You could also get a yacht, and there is a pretty high fee for yearly maintenance. Well, fingers crossed that we win the jackpot from the lottery 😛
If you look closely on the top left of the photo, you’ll see a huge mansion. This actually belongs to the president of Abu Dhabi, wow! I can only imagine the view from there.
The marine safari itself included the see-through floor, where we could see so many fish! They also gave us bread, so we could feed the fish – and hey – they were really hungry! As soon as they saw our boat, they started piling up 🙂 After that our boat stopped and we dove right between all these fish, it was truly incredible <3
Another thing that was very evident on the ocean floor were many, many dead grey corals. Our guide also told us about the mass coral bleaching in 1998 – the Seychelles were heavily affected by it and about 95% of their corals died. This is why it is incredibly important to be careful and not step on any corals when snorkeling or swimming, you can ruin years of nature’s work. The country is doing its best to preserve the new-formed corals as much as possible and they will always warn you to watch your step.
This island, that gives the name of the marine park, is the first island to be populated from all islands of the Seychelles in the 18th century. One of the nearby islands was actually women’s prison until recently, but they moved it to the main island. Why? Well… Many of the female prisoners were getting pregnant! 🙂 They often let them swim around and… I guess it was too tempting for the fishermen 🙂
The entrance fee to the island is about 10 euros. It included hiking around the island (for less than an hour), and taking lots and lots of photos with the giant turtles! Brendon Grimshaw purchased the island for £8,000 in 1962 (wish I knew where to get me such a great deal nowadays!) and he completely transformed the island into something magnificent – he planted 16,000 trees over time and he made the island a true home for the giant tortoises. Currently, the island harbors over 2000 birds, 2 very cute dogs and 100 giant tortoises.
The cute giant creatures now “run” freely around the island, so you can see many of them while hiking around. The giant turtles have no natural enemies, so they mostly die of old age. And they are said to live up to 180 years! They are really friendly and you can pet them too (I did… for maybe a whole hour 😀 )!
It is believed that Moyenne island holds a large treasure. Many have looked for it, but have failed to find it (I did too 🙁 ). There are 4 graves in Moyenne and two of them are labelled “Unhappily Unknown”. These are believed to be of the two pirates that buried the treasure. So maybe… the graves hold their secret somehow? Hmmm…