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Lonely Planet Mauritius

Mauritius, Reunion and the Seychelles
by Tom Masters
  This is the only guide to give detailed and practical coverage of these Indian Ocean jewels. It contains a special chapter on the world-class diving and snorkelling this region is renowned for. It features top activity coverage in and out of the water, including a dedicated 2 - colour Hiking in Reunion chapter. It includes a new full-colour feature with recommendations, tips and cultural insights from locals. More information and prices from:
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Seychelles: Garden of Eden in the Indian Ocean

Seychelles: Garden of Eden in the Indian Ocean, Sixth Edition (Odyssey Illustrated Guides) (Paperback)
by Eaulin Blondel
In this informative guide, Sarah Carpin examines the rich natural history of the islands, the short but vibrant human history which has shaped the country since people first arrived here just over 200 years ago, and offers tips on how best to discover these paradise islands. Special topics include an argument by a Victorian traveler, General Gordon, that the islands were the site of the Garden of Eden; the unique conservation needs of the far-flung atoll of Aldabra, 'the Galápagos of the Indian Ocean', and how gold fever may strike even today. New sections in this edition include a guide to the best mountain walks on the islands, and a look at "Green Seychelles" and its efforts to preserve its natural history through correct ecotourism practices. More information and prices from:
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Seychelles

The Seychelles

The Seychelles

The Seychelles are a group of about 115 islands, a thousand miles east of Mombasa, in the Indian Ocean. They feature in many travel articles of the 'holiday in paradise - with prices to match' variety. In fact, many of the islands more than live up to the glossy brochure images. According to Lonely Planet Mauritius, Reunion and Seychelles:

"...however seductive the images, they simply can't compete with the real-life dazzling beaches and crystal-clear waters of Praslin and La Digue, or the cathedral-like palm forests of the Vallee de Mai. There are more shades of blue and green in the Seychelles than it is possible to imagine."

90% of the archipelago's population live in Mahé which is 27 km (17 miles) long and 8 km (5 miles) wide. The name of the capital, Victoria, indicates its colonial origins. Mahé is also the location of most of the hotels. The main islands are composed of granite, but there are some 60 coral islands in the group, including Aldabra which has the world's largest lagoon.

The islands also provide some superb snorkelling and diving and the bird life is a twitcher's dream. Because of the relatively recent human settlement (1770) the Seychelles have lost fewer of their native bird species than other islands such as Mauritius. The aptly named nature reserve of Bird Island is home to several species of Terns, Brown and Lesser Noddies, Turnstones, Barred Ground Doves, Frigatebirds and many more. There is a lodge with 24 individual bungalows along the whitest of beaches.

Peak seasons are December-January and July-August when hotel prices are boosted accordingly. The best months from a weather perspective (when accommodation costs are also moderated) are March-April and October-November as the trade winds are changing direction and seas are calmer.

More about the Indian Ocean islands


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