Seychelles North Mahé Nature Travel Photos
The Seychelles North Mahé Nature Travel photo album features coastal landscapes, Victoria, and Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens. Also, two scenic walk photos essays in Morne Seychelles National Park. It covers the geographic area north of Sans Soucis Road, which runs across the island from Victoria to Port Glaud.
North Mahé Nature Travel Coastal Landscapes
North Mahé Nature Travel Coastal Photo Tour
Starting from Victoria, the North Coast Road goes anticlockwise around the north of Mahé, finishing on the Danzilles Road in Bel Ombre. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of the beaches along the road from Machabee in the north to Bel Ombre on the northwest coast. The area had little to no photographic appeal.
Anse Nord D'est
The first stop on the North Coast Road’s anticlockwise tour is a two km-long beach exposed to reef limestone rocks at low tide.
Anse Major is a famous beach on the northwest coast, within the Morne Seychelles National Park, but has no access road. To reach the beach requires a boat trip or a walk along the coastal trail from Danzilles Road in Bel Ombre.
The northwest section of the coast starts at the cross-island Sans Soucis Road junction with the Port Laundry and West Coast Roads. The first stop on the Port Laundry Road is Saint Pierre et Paul Church at Anse L’islette. And it is possible to wade out to the island at low tide. The final beach on my photo tour is Port Launay Beach (Marine Park).
Victoria and the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market
Victoria and the Market
Victoria is the small capital city of Seychelles, which has some good restaurants but virtually no hotels. Victoria’s architecture is uninspiring, with few buildings or monuments of note. However, a few exceptions are places of worship and clock tower dating back to 1903. The main reason to visit is for dining and Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market. Moreover, it sells fresh produce, fish and the upper level has boutique shops and a cafe/restaurant. Free parking is available at the stadium (Francis Rachel Street). It is just a short walk to Victoria Clock Tower, bear right onto Independence Ave for the Pirates Arms or straight on and next left after Revolution Ave for the market.
Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens
Mont Fleuri Botanical Gardens
These small gardens are on the outskirts of Victoria. An attractive place for nature photography or to relax amongst exotic plants, trees, and flowers. And, the Gardens have collections of some Seychelles endemics together with introduced species. Also, the gardens attract wildlife, so a great place to visit for nature photography.
The gallery features a Coco De Mer Palm, planted by HRH Prince Philip in 1956. This endangered palm species is an endemic species indigenous to the Mai Valley on Praslin. Also displayed is the critically endangered bottle palm, endemic to Round Island and Mauritius’s coast, and a water banana, a Madagascar endemic.
Glacis Trois Freres Photo Essay
Glacis Trois Freres Trail
Glacis Trois Frères Trail, in the Morne Seychelles National Park starts from a small carpark near the Sans Soucis Forestry Station bus-stop on the Sans Soucis Road. Driving from Victoria, take the first minor side road right after the Forestry Station bus stop, go uphill past several houses, and park near the trail entrance.
The trail makes its way through the tropical forest, where you get occasional glimpses of the east coast. The last few hundred metres of the track passes over steep granite slopes with rope handrails and steps to make the climb easier. It is easy to moderate 2.8 km, 90-minutes return walk without stops.
Near the end, there is a marked footpath to where the endemic carnivorous Seychelles Pitcher Plant grows. These plants grow in nutrient-poor soils and extract nitrogen and phosphorous from the bodies of animals trapped inside their pitchers, modified parts of the leaves’ tip.
At the top, there are breathtaking vistas of Victoria, the east coast islands; Sainte Anne, Ile Moyenne, Long, Eden and Ile au Cerf. There is a picnic bench at the top near the edge of the mountain cliff.
Anse Major Trail Photo Essay
Anse Major Trail
Anse Major is a small cove accessible by boat or walking the coast path from Danzil on the north coast. The track has spectacular sea views, runs through interesting vegetation, crosses large steep granites slopes, and culminates in a disappointing crowded and rubbish-strewn picnic area and beach. Danzil on the north coast of Mahé, reached by driving from Beau-Vallon to Bel Ombre, then to Danzil, is the start of this 6 km, 90-minute return coastal walk.
The path winds its way along the rocky coastline, much of which is within the Morne Seychelles National Park. Along the way, there are some spectacular sea views, granite rock formations, granite slopes (glacis) and plants. The aptly named paradise plum or cocoplum, an invasive species, has become naturalised in Seychelles but is native to the Atlantic tropical region. Next, an image of a non-indigenous invasive variety of busy lizzie (Impatiens walleriana) naturalised in Seychelles. It has its origins in East Africa. Finally, there is a rare critically endangered endemic species, Impatiens gordonii, almost pure white.
The walk culminates at Anse Major beach, a major disappointment (lots of rubbish on the beach and crowded) and not worth climbing over the rocks to reach the beach. That said, the walk was rewarding and took about half a day for the round trip. However, if you are young and fit, allow two to three hours and do not indulge in nature and seascape photography.
Mission Ruins of Venn's Town
There are some magnificent panoramas from the historic Mission Ruins of Venn’s Town towards the west coast of Mahé. The Church Missionary Society set up as an industrious school in 1876-1889 to accommodate children of liberated slaves. Declared a National Monument in 1984, the site is now on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.