My family and I went to The Seychelles over Spring Break. Wow! What a beautiful place. It is so green, lush and unspoilt. We had an amazing time swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean, and exploring the islands of Praslin, La Digue and Silhouette on foot and on bikes. The beaches and jungles there are pristine. Ahmed was super excited when he spotted a sea turtle at Anse Lazio beach! Then I spotted several Black Parrots at Vallée de Mai – so we’re even. Ha! Vallee de Mai was so cool. The giant palms and Coco de Mer made us feel like we were on a prehistoric King Kong island! Awesome!!
I’ve read that The Seychelles are one of the top destinations in the world for sustainable tourism. That means that there are strict rules about development and strong conservation and environmental protection. We saw this in action in our stay at Hilton Labriz on Silhouette Island. Slhouette Island lies 20km northwest of the main island of Mahé. Today 93% of the island is Silhouette National Park plus a Marine National Park also extending a mile off shore. The Island Conservation Society (ICS) has a team based on Silhouette attached to Hilton. My mum, Ahmed and I went to a talk they did for guests to inform and educate about their work to protect the island’s wildlife and biodiversity, especially the critically endangered Sheath-tailed bat. It was fascinating.
The Hilton and ICS work closely together to protect the environment and conserve resources. The resort and local villages are entirely dependent on the natural water source of Mount Dauban and guests were encouraged to reduce the frequency of linen changes to every 3 days (we did 4 days!). In an effort to reduce plastic, they used refillable glass bottles to replenish our in-room water. You could also purchase a stainless steel bottle and have it refilled complimentary throughout the resort at various water stations. Brilliant! Kids were encouraged by staff to go trekking, bird watching and immerse themselves in nature. The hotel grows its own vegetables and herbs in their organic garden and works with local fishermen. Every day we received the hotel newsletter and they always had updates from the ICS or tips on how to be a more eco-friendly tourist. We all celebrated Earth Hour on March 24, when the resort switched off all the lights for an hour. It was amazing to be a part of that!