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Treasure islands: 5 reasons to visit Seychelles in 2020

Chances are if you have a palm-tree-lined beach scene on your computer screensaver, it’s a photo of the Seychelles. This 115-island granite and coral archipelago has long been a favourite of the rich and famous, and consistently ranks one of the world’s most welcoming destinations. Here are 5 more reasons you should plan a trip to this western Indian Ocean gem this year:

1. Travel is a breeze — even with the Green Mamba

Good news for Saffas, the Seychelles are a visa-free country, which can make a huge difference when planning (and saving for) a trip! You will still, of course, need a valid passport and proof of accommodation, but visitors’ permits are issued on arrival and are valid for up to 30 days.

As always, confirm visa requirements with the High Commission of Seychelles in Pretoria (+27 12 348 0270 or email sez@seychelleshc.co.za) before you leave, or ask your nearest Sure Travel agency for more information.

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2. Buried treasure, swashbucklers and legend

Keep an eye out for buried gold — the Seychelles were once a thriving pirate haven, with many of its coves and beaches acting as stashes for loot. 

Legend has it that at least one buccaneer, a French pirate named Olivier Levasseur, may have used these bays to hide treasure worth millions of rands. 

Soak in some sun and the lingering legends at Mahé’s Anse Forbans beach (Pirate’s Cove) or Praslin’s Côte d’Oron beach — both were favoured hideouts with thieving sailors.

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3. There’s a new (affordable) luxury resort on the block

Tucked away on the private island of Sainte Anne (just 4km from Seychelles main island, Mahé), Club Med’s newest resort opens in October 2020 and promises to be an idyllic retreat for couples and families. 

Feel relaxed in solitude amidst a picture-postcard landscape — the 5-Trident Exclusive Collection Resort is seamlessly integrated into its natural environment, between tropical gardens and three white sandy beaches.

It’s also gateway to the protected Ste. Anne Marine National Park (the first such park in the Indian Ocean). Club Med’s new eco-resort offers something for everyone — unbeatable snorkelling, glass-bottomed kayaks, water sports, wellness facilities, trekking, yoga, and beach bars.  

Sainte Anne Island is the largest of Sainte Anne Marine National Park’s eight islands. It has perfect holiday weather, with temperatures rarely dropping below 24°C or rising above 32°C, making Club Med Seychelles a year-round destination for sun worshippers and beach lovers.

Visit Sainte Anne Island with Sure Travel

Go there with Sure Travel and Club Med, starting from just R38,880 pps, including round-trip flights! Contact your nearest Sure Travel agency to enquire or book, or call 0861 47 48 49. Click here for more information, and full terms and conditions.

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4. More to see, under the sea

Thanks to strict conservation rules and the isolated position of the archipelago, Seychelles is a treasure trove of marine life, corals and sponges. Home to one of the largest seagrass meadows, it’s not uncommon to come snorkel to beak with hawksbill turtles, or bottle nose dolphins. 

Divers should keep an eye out for angelfish, butterflyfish, squirrelfish and soldierfish. Or if it’s sharks you want to see, head to the outer islands for the chance to spot a variety of species: Grey Reef, Silver Tip, Nurse or the occasional Hammerhead. 

Visitors have also been known to see the elusive giant Whale Shark between August and October.

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5. Unparalleled nature and wildlife

Much of Seychelles’ islands and marine areas have been given over to nature reserves, with nearly half the limited landmass in the country occupied by national parks and reserves. 

The republic has two Unesco World Heritage sites — including one of the largest atolls in the world. It’s home to one of the most important natural habitats for studying evolutionary and ecological processes.  

Some of the rarest species of birds can be found in Seychelles, such as the bare-legged scops owl or Syer. Once thought to have gone extinct, it was rediscovered in 1959; keen twitchers can now find them at the Morne Seychellois National Park on Mahé. 

And if you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of Esmeralda, the heaviest living land tortoise in the wild (and one of the oldest, at more than 175 years). He tips the scale at a whopping 304kg and calls the northernmost island in Seychelles home. More than 20 Giant Aldabran Tortoises roam freely around Bird Island.

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Visit the Seychelles with Sure Travel

Club Med packages start from just R38,880 pps, including round-trip flights to Seychelles International Airport. Contact your nearest Sure Travel agency to enquire or book, or call 0861 47 48 49. Click here for more information, and full terms and conditions.

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