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Where and when we went, how we traveled and where we stayed
Thursday 24 Sept Train, York to Manchester Airport, 1515 flight from Manchester to Paris and overnight flight Paris to Seychelles (Mahe airport)
La Digue
Friday 25 Sept Arrived Mahe 0730, rush to get flight to Praslin, then another dash in minibus to get the ferry to La Digue, which we missed by less than a minute. Waited another hour for the next ferry, then short ride by ox cart to the Paradise Flycatcher Lodge, where we stayed for two nights. Walked in the rain around the Flycatcher Reserve (very simple, no amenities, seemed little visited), some of the small roads inland, and along the local beach.
Saturday 26 Sept No pre-breakfast walk, due to heavy rain. Afterwards, walked around the L'Union Estate (10R admission charge), and over to Point Source D'Argent. The Estate is probably best visited either in the early morning and certainly not at weekends (some visitor disturbance). After lunch, a further inland walk along small roads in the direction of Grande Anse (turned back where the road started to descend). 2-3 hours at a very leisurely pace.
La Digue and Praslin
Sunday 27 Sept Heavy rain again, so no pre-breakfast walk once more! Walked up to the marsh, past the sports field. At 1100, taxi (ox carts just a tourist thing!) back to ferry and then to Praslin. Checked in to Chalet Cote du Mer near Baye St Anne, where we stayed for 5 nights. Lazy afternoon in the area of the Chalet, booked trip to Cousin and arranged car hire (thought we might not need one, but decided it would be useful!)
Monday 28 Sept More morning rain, so again no pre-breakfast walk! Hire car arrived, so after food shopping, morning and picnic lunch at Valle de Mai. Good, leisurely walk in this superb tropical forest. Afternoon swimming at Anse Volbert, then back to Chalet to photograph Seychelles Sunbird on her nest in the garden (see above)
Tuesday 29 Sept

At last - good weather allowed pre-breakfast birding! Found a good wader area of beach, through Baye St. Anne and past the Anse Volbert road, along an unsurfaced road (see map below). Spent the day on a boat trip, visiting Cousin and Curieuse - an absolute must for bird watchers!

Wednesday 30 Sept Another pre-breakfast walk to the wader site (see above). Spent the day driving around Praslin, visiting Valle de Mai, Fond De L'Anse, Anse Bateau (sea watching) and Anse Consolation (beautiful, rocky bay).
Thursday 1 Oct
Pre-breakfast visit to wader site. Drove to Cote D'Or, and then on to Anse Lasair for swim. Drove up 'Zimbabwe' hill - fine views from top, and then revisited Baie St. Anne wader site.
Bird Island
Friday 2 Oct
Minibus transport to Praslin Airport, and then flight to Mahe. Transfer on to flight for Bird Island, where we were booked in for two nights. Visited the Sooty Tern colony and then walked around Northern end of island.
Saturday 3 Oct Pre-breakfast walk across airstrip to boathouse, then worked the beach SW. Snorkling in the morning, lazy early afternoon, then checked out the airfield again. "Nature Walk", at 4 pm, led by Serge, the island manager, was worth taking. Checked out the S point in early evening
Bird Island and Mahe
Sunday 4 Oct Out at 5.15 am to visit S. end of airstrip for emerging Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, then up to boathouse and walked the coastline to the N point, then back along the W coast. After breakfast, worked coastline SW from the boathouse. 11.35 am flight back to Mahe, and then taken by minibus from airport to the Panorama Chalets at Beau Vallon. Lazy afternoon on beach (after a hard morning's birding!)
Monday 5 Oct Pre-breakfast visit to the beach nearby - not much disturbance at this time, so a few birds around. Car delivered to us after breakfast, and drove to Victoria, and round to an area overlooking the Union Vale Mud Flats. There was a car parking area in a new health centre currently under construction, so this viewing point may not be available in the future. Walked around Victoria, and paid brief visit to the Botanical Gardens - not a lot of interest at this time of year. Drove back to Beau Vallon following the 'North Mahe Car Tour' in "The Birdwatchers Guide to the Seychelles" ("BGS"), but little of interest at any of the sites named in the Guide. Arranged for local guide to take us to a Seychelles White-eye site tomorrow.
Tuesday 6 Oct Pre-breakfast drive to site no. 23 in "BGS", by the Perle Noire restaurant. The track is down the RHS of the restaurant - ignore directions in BGS! After 3 rainless months, the marsh was virtually dried up. Little of interest. After breakfast, our guide, Basil Beaudouin, arrived on time. He drove us to Cascade, and then up a road at the side of the church to a small water treatment works. The White-eye site was about an hour's steep climbing in the direction of Mont Sebert, and is on private farm land. In the afternoon, we drove from Beau Vallon to the Slave Mission site - excellent viewpoint.
Wednesday 7 Oct Pre-breakfast, drove to Bel Ombre harbour, and the Perle Noir marsh. Spent the day driving around the South of Mahe, birdwatching at the Columbage, Cascade, Carefree Corner and then over to the West coast past Quatre Bornes. We stopped off at Anse Aux Poules Bleues and then drove over the La Misere road (difficult to spot the junction from the coast road). Stopped at the view point 2 km before La Misere. Back to Beau Vallon via Victoria, and then on to the Auberge Club Des Seychelles for some superb snorkling. No-one seemed to mind visitors walking past their private swimming pool and onto the rocks, where ladders led down into excellent, deep, clear water.
Thursday 8 Oct Awake at 5 am and then mini-bussed to the airport, where we caught the 9 am flight back to Paris and thence back to Manchester and the train back to York. A tiring day!

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http://www.tka.co.uk/birds/seychell/itinary.htm Last updated 27 December 1998