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Treat with caution! This section is based on our personal experiences!

Travel arrangements
We were very fortunate in making our arrangements through Elite Vacations (Elite House, 98 Bessborough Road, Harrow, Middlesex, UK- Tel: (+44) (0) 181 864 9818 - email: elite@alphauk.co.uk - but no web site!). They have practical experience of the Seychelles, and the Managing Director, Peter Jackson, visits there regularly. He's also very approachable, and we were able to discuss matters with him personally on the phone on a number of occasions. This personal touch makes all the difference when you are wanting to travel reasonably independently, but are not too proud to ask for help and advice.

Seychelles is a pretty healthy area! Our daughter, Christine, spent a couple of months as part of her doctor training in the main hospital in Victoria, Mahe. Despite this, the residents survived! There are a very few cases of some nasty tropical diseases, but these generally don't affect visitors. We had the usual jabs - typhoid, hepatitis, tetanus - but malaria is not in the islands (even though the mosquitos do bite!). We drank the local water with no problems, so you also don't have the problem eating the gorgeous tropical fruits that you have in some parts of the world - enjoy! We were also careful to avoid over-exposure to the sun - take care!

Moving around
Island hopping is a must for Seychelles birders - see our Itinerary. Plane connections are good, and the luggage restrictions between Mahe and Praslin were not rigidly enforced - but observe the limitations on flights out to Bird Island. On La Digue, there's no transport problems, and on Bird Island you just walk to cover the small distances. However, on Praslin, we were advised that car hire wasn't necessary, but after one afternoon in the heat we capitulated and got our apartment host at Chalet Cote Mer to fix one up for us. No problem in local hire. Similarly in Mahe (where the advice is to hire a car), we arranged it through our apartment Panorama at Beau Vallon. We had a 4-wheel drive (not necessary unless you're really adventurous) air-conditioned (yes, yes!) vehicle, and there again were no problems. Road surfaces are pretty good, and driving standards are not a problem.

Being guided
Generally we prefer to find our own birds and risk missing some, rather than having everything pointed out to us. In the Seychelles, we gave way on two occasions. On Cousin, you have no option. You have to be led round the small island by a guide, and we were lucky to have the Reserve warden, Robbie Bresson. On Mahe, we wimped out when we got desperate to find the Seychelles Grey White-eye (Zosterops modesta) which a lot of birders have problems in finding. Our apartment hosts at Panorama introduced us to an excellent guide, Basil Beaudouin (Tel: 241790). At first sight, Basil intimidated the hell out of me with his Rastafarian looks and his powerful tanned legs (which fascinated Ruth!). But he was a very solicitous guide, who took great care with his charges, and introduced us to a lot of the flora as well as the fauna. And yes, we did find the White-Eye with his help! You can get a guide to help you find the Seychelles Scops Owl, but we weren't entirely comfortable with the idea of tape luring (which is what they do), so we didn't bother.


Carefully crafted by of Traynor Kitching & Associates
http://www.tka.co.uk/birds/seychell/advice.htm Last updated 4 September 1999