Beasts and plants
To Paradise by cattle truck
Creole example 1
Creole example 2
Praslin and La Digue
Sunset Beach Hotel
Nettan and Bill
The smaller islands can be explored on foot, and indeed only Mahé,
Praslin, and La Digue have roads.
However, on Mahé and probably on Praslin too, the problem of
transport requires some consideration. These are the possibilities (I tried
all of them).
- Walking is hot and tiring, and somewhat perilous because you normally have
to walk in the road. There are no pavements, few footpaths, and you won't get
anywhere fast by trying to walk through the forest.
- The buses are quite cheap; they're the only cheap means of transport for
Seychellois (all vehicles have to be imported and are heavily taxed). However,
you may have to wait an unpredictably long time for a bus, and when it comes
it may be crowded or completely full. The engine sounds as though it's being
tortured to death, and the driver does his best to make the ride exciting.
- Going by taxi costs about twenty times more than going by bus, but the
taxis are in good condition, and arguably you get value for money.
- The cheapest car for hire is the mini-moke, often painted bright red or
yellow; these look quite ridiculous but can be seen everywhere. The next
cheapest is the Suzuki jeep (I hired one for three days). You can also hire a
conventional car, although I think these are in rather short supply. Bald
tyres seem to be common on hired vehicles.
The long and winding road
The roads on Mahé are generally well surfaced, with only the
occasional pothole. However, they're quite narrow, very winding, and usually
have a cliff or a steep drop on each side. Even where the ground is relatively
flat, the road is usually raised well above it, presumably so that water can
Therefore, in most places, you stay on the road or you crash. The frequent
bends mean that driving at 40 kph (25 mph) feels dangerously fast. So it takes
longer to drive around the island than you might expect.
There are remarkably few places where you can stop and park. It's very
frustrating to have to go on past wonderful views and deserted beaches simply
because there's nowhere to stop. You can stop in the road, of course, and
people sometimes do, but then you're blocking the whole lane.
At night, the roads are completely unlit, though they are provided with
What you might find in the road on rounding a sharp bend on Mahé
(all examples drawn from my own experiences):
- a pothole
- a pile of stones from a half-finished wall repair
- a group of schoolchildren (very common, this)
- an adult pedestrian
- a cow
- a bus engaged in manoeuvring off the road.