24 June 2011

Tortoise @ Curieuse Island, Seychelles

Curieuse Island lies just off the north-western coast of its close neighbour Praslin and is a reserve managed by the Seychelles Centre for Marine Technology - Marine Parks Authority.

Once known as Ile Rouge on account of its red earth, Curieuse was eventually named after one of explorer Marion Dufresne's vessels which explored the islands of the Praslin group in 1768.This rugged island was once home to a leper colony situated at Anse St. Joseph, and whose resident doctor's house dating back to the 1870's has recently been converted into an eco-museum and visitors centre.Aside from Praslin, Curieuse is the only other island where the Coco-der-mer grows naturally, and also boasts an endemic vine and eight different species of mangrove.Today Curieuse is home to an exciting giant land tortoise rearing project. The island is also an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles.No accommodation is offered on this island, but excursions can be arranged.

Visiting the island was only possible through a boat. We hired a private tour with our hotel. We are greeted by the island's giant granites. Tortoises are all around the place. Visitors are free to roam around the island. Picnics and lunch can also be arranged here.

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