Seychelles Trip Report

Dec 8th, 2000, 11:00 AM
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Seychelles Trip Report

In early October we spent a week in the Seychelles, after a safari in Tanzania. Being veteran Caribbean vacationers, we were thrilled to see that the islands were like St. John times 10. Stunning! We stayed at L'Archipel on Praslin and at Alphose Island Lodge on Alphonse. Praslin is a hilly, granitic island with lush forests and long white beaches. Water was extremely clear and warm. It was a new [good]experience for us being the only Americans at the hotel. Mostly, tourists were Europeans and South Africans. We rented a little Suzuki one day and hiked in the Valley de Mai in the a.m. The Valley is amazing with the Coco de Mer Palms overhead. It would have seemed perfectly natural for a dinosaur to come 'round the path - it really seemed prehistoric. After the hike, we drove to the "beautiful beach" - Anse Lazio. Lunch at Le BonBon Plume at Lazio was the best meal on the island. We day tripped to La Dique on the schooner ferry. What a sleepy charming island. More beautiful beaches. I wish we spent a night or two there. Next we flew on to Alphonse. It is a small (1 sq. mile?) atoll, way out in the Amirantes Group. My fly-fishing husband was dying to go there, as the bonefish stories describe big flats and plenty of fish. I agreed to go and assumed we would stay at a fishing lodge; I didn't expect much. Boy, was I happily surprised! The island used to be a coconut plantation so the trees are still everywhere. The island itself is ringed in white sand beach, then ringed in an outer coral reef and on one side opens to a lagoon. The lodge is new but very charming(opened Jan 2000). Everything is very well done: pool, bar, lounge, billiard table, open air dining area. Very well appointed cottages are set along the beach. We loved our little place - a great bathroom, wonderful linens and furnishings and the best outdoor shower I have ever experienced. You are given bicycles and snorkel gear upon arrival. There is a full dive center, offshore fishing and flyfishing (arranged seperately)and lots of snorkeling. The food was first rate: lots of fish (caught just off the island). They have not done a very good job of promoting this place. Of the 20 - 30 cottages they have, I think only 10 were filled. While it was discovered as a fishing destination, the Lodge really is a beautiful resort. At that, it was mostly fisherman who were gone all day on the flats. We went offshore one day and caught a yellow fin tuna and grouper - grouper for lunch and tuna sushi that night! We liked the fact that what we caught would be used to feed the guests and staff. Again, wonderful staff. I just loved this place - what a feeling to realize you are on a square mile island, all of 5 feet above sea level, in the remote Indian Ocean! My husband had a great time with the bonefish - I relaxed on the island to the point of feeling like jello. The Europeans really are right in taking two week vacations. That is how you really relax! I have not felt that carefree and at ease since summer vacation as a child!
So - I would say, as a trip of a lifetime, the Seychelles are worth it. Would I go back? Probably if I made an enormous amount of money. Otherwise, it was great to splurge and see this unique part of the world. Email me directly with any questions!
Dec 8th, 2000, 01:25 PM
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Melissa, your trip sounds amazing. Unfortunately, the idea of a 'trip of a lifetime' never really appeals to me - there's always somewhere I want to go and somehow I have to be able to fund it! But who knows - maybe I'll win the lottery and the Seychelles will be on my list.

On a cold snowy day here in Toronto, thanks for giving me something fun to dream about!
Dec 9th, 2000, 02:43 AM
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You don't have to just dream! We depart in just 8 weeks for a trip to this exotic wonderland, and have found a way to accomplish it that doesn't break the bank. We're traveling with Renaissance cruises. Our trip starts out with a four-day photo safari in Kenya and is followed by an 8-day cruise in the Seychelles Islands (visiting 5 islands) and finally a two day stop in Luxor, Egypt - quite a comprehensive itinerary! It's actually tree vacations in one. The price of this trip is quite reasonable and all the details are taken care of for you. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride! We're so filled with anticipation - CAN'T WAIT!!!!
Dec 9th, 2000, 08:44 AM
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Hi Cajuncruisers
You sound like a travel agent selling this trip. We did take very similar trip last year and we saw many nice places but it was too much to see in such a short time. 4 days on safari in Kenya - you must be kidding. 5 islands in 8 days - too little time for these many places, two days in Egypt- this was the biggest disappointment. No, it wasn't any dream vacation. To fully experience these places we should do what Melissa did. Stay at least one week on two islands and at least one week on safari. All we have to do now is make money.
Dec 12th, 2000, 10:04 AM
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Melissa -- Just curious about the cost of the places you stayed, and also about food prices and airfare. Did you get a package or do it yourself?
Dec 18th, 2000, 05:45 AM
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We used African Portfolio out of Greenwich, CT to plan and book our trip. They were very patient with my frequent changes to itinerary. Everything went off without a hitch. It was an all-in price, but I think L'Archipel was approx 300 - 350 per night (including breakfast and dinner). Alphonse was considerably more but included bfst, lunch & dinner. Sorry not too helpful...

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