Being one of the 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world, Seychelles is a must visit for nature enthusiasts. The archipelago is blessed with some of the world’s rarest species of flora and fauna, including endangered birds and plants.
However, Seychelles’ biodiversity remains at risk from a variety of human induced pressures; making the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity to be of vital importance for the country’s sustainable development. In this regard, the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Lable (SSTL)was developed to assess and recognize accommodation establishments in Seychelles that achieve best practice standards in sustainable tourism and environmental management systems. With almost 50% of its limited landmass set aside as national parks and reserves, Seychelles prides itself on its record for far sighted conservation policies that have resulted in an enviable degree of protection for the environment and the varied ecosystems it supports.
Nowhere else on earth will you find unique endemic specimens such as the fabulous Coco-de-mer, the largest seed in the world, the jellyfish tree, with only eight surviving examples, the Seychelles’ Paradise flycatcher and Seychelles warbler. Seychelles is also home to two U.N.E.S.C.O World Heritage Sites: Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll and Praslin’s Vallée de Mai, once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden. From the smallest frog to the heaviest land tortoise and the only flightless bird of the Indian Ocean, Seychelles nurtures an amazing array of endemic species within surrounds of exceptional natural beauty.
La Digue, fourth largest island in Seychelles ranks among its most-visited islands. Being a car-free island the popular modes of transport there are ox-carts and bicycle rides. This is an initiative to protect the island’s biodiversity that features some of Seychelles’ rarest species of fauna such as the Paradise Flycatcher, found nowhere else in the world.
The giant tortoises, despite having their population diminished, are perhaps the most notable of the land animals found in Seychelles. Today, Curieuse Island is home of more than 300 Aldabra giant tortoises and also has a large population of sea turtles. Nature enthusiasts must take a day trip to this island to experience turtle nesting and watch giant tortoises roaming in their natural habitat.