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AFRICA > Seychelles
Eastern Africa, group of islands in the Indian Ocean,
northeast of Madagascar

Sitting Pretty - in the Seychelles

Andrew Muigai

Copyright Africa Point

T/T #9

Impressions gained of this dream island paradise will be your refuge when you return to those long working hours

Almost every description of the Seychelles appears to be a bit over the top. Is it only the easily impressed who get to visit and write about the Seychelles? The magic of these islands is, however, very real. Impressions gained of this dream island paradise will be your refuge when you return to those long working hours. Just like everybody imagines paradise, the Seychelles islands are far away, peaceful and stunningly beautiful.

It is the peace and quiet that attracted the writer Somerset Maugham when he sought to work on a novel without interruption. Most visitors do not, however, come here to work. The main draw of the islands has always been its beaches - great places to 'sit pretty' - with snorkeling and diving as an appealing diversion. Then there are the attractions of the natural world, particularly the bird life and tropical fish, with the unique physical environment as a bonus.

After your Seychelles holiday you may want to impress your friends by these two facts. The islands are the only mid ocean island group in the world with a granite rock formation. And that Aldabra, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site, is the largest coral atoll in the world. Some will, of course, not understand what you are talking about - but the point will be clear that you have travelled to a place of distinction.

Jacques Costeau shot his part of the documentary, The Silent World, in the Seychelles. He said he had never been anywhere else with such clarity of water or diversity of reef life.

The islands are also a good place to get married and to enjoy the tropical honeymoon of your life. Few other destinations can beat the combination of beauty and romance. For this, and other reasons I cannot go through here, it is my firmly held position that visitors who get married here go on to a happy married life and are sooner joined by cute little ones!

The Seychelles is a year-round destination. But, if you must undertake a specific activity, you need to pick the most suitable season. Windsurfing and sailing are best at the start and end of the trade winds - May and October. Diving enthusiasts should go for dates between March and May or September to November, although conditions are excellent year round.

Those keen on the bird life should note that April marks the beginning of the breeding season. Bird Island, in particular, is overrun by sea birds between May and September. Due to drier conditions, the period May to September has best conditions for hiking and walking.

The other factor you may want to consider is cost. The Seychelles is considered to be a top-drawer destination. In general, the peak falls between mid-December and early January and mid-July to the end of August, when most Seychelles hotels and resorts trade in the currency known as' top-dollar'. The off-season periods vary with each establishment much more widely than most other destinations.

The discount in designated off-season periods relative to the peak season falls between 20-60%. Some of the smaller premises however charge a uniform rate all year round. If you have a flexible schedule, good planning can result in considerable savings.

the official destination web site for Seychelles

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