My newly husband prepares a surprise honeymoon trip through Africa’s dramatically diverse landscapes. He knows where the wild things are. I am seduced.We first head to the Seychelles
I am blindfolded at the airport in Rio. Max and I take a flight to São Paulo and from there to Johannesburg, for a stop over at the Saxon Hotel. Then, one day later, at the moment I get on the plane, I learn our first destination is a beach paradise.
We are a thousand miles from the nearest landmass. We land in the Seychelles, a tropical archipelago of 115 Indian Ocean islands off the eastern coast of Africa. Extraordinarily beautiful, these predominantly granitic, lush and mountainous islands have some of the finest beaches in the world.
We stay at Maia, a private villa resort on the main Seychellian island of Mahé, which is also a world-class diving destination. From our room, we have a panoramic ocean view surrounded by lush jungle that clings to cascading cliffs of granite.
Here, at four degrees under the Equator, we scuba dive nearly every day. But there is more than pristine beaches and great diving spots in the largest island of the archipelago. So we rent a buggy and road trip around the island. We visit art galleries, desert beaches and explore Creole houses with verandas and orange roofs. Mahe is particularly alluring with its distinctive Creole culture and spirit. We drive towards the South, as we avoid the more commercialised North Western area around the capital Victoria. From the Maia resort, we first cross the island to the East to Anse Royale Bay and then, we continue to Anse Intendance beach. It is so beautiful, it hurts. We drive all the way up the West coast until the dead end at Anse des Anglais. One thing these islands are mercifully free from is mass tourism. The Seychelles have seen barely any development over the past 25 years. It’s tight and not-so-very-democratic government, ruling since a 1977 coup, has done a good job protecting the environment and controlling development, in fishing and tourism. No wonder 47% of Seychelles is currently under protection.
This jungle-covered island is like some giant spice garden. The landscape, with iconic blue seas and green vegetation, comes close to overwhelming. And the beauty to be found on land – the people, the culture, the cuisine – is just as compelling.
We travelled to the Seychelles from October 5th to October 9th, 2015 (4-day trip). Journey by Designs, a luxury travel agency specialised in trips to Africa, organised our itinerary. We spent four days in Mahe Island at Maia Luxury Resort & Spa. Rented a buggy from http://www.seybuggynjeep.com and flew with Air Seychelles
In the bag: Swimwear; Sunscreen, Mosquito repellent, Diving and Driving license.