From sunrise in the Mara to a tropical sunset, Alison Mitchell writes about her 'babymoon' to the Seychelles, where she found peace and paradise on the islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue
As our plane descended towards the Aéroport de la Pointe Larue, I looked out of the window and was welcomed to the Seychelles by the extraordinary sight of the archipelago rising out of the vast blue Indian Ocean. Steve and I had decided that after a visit to the lodge and before The November Arrival, tropical islands just a three hour flight from Nairobi were the perfect destination for a babymoon – and our last escape before the arrival of our first borns (in our case, two!). So it was time to dump the mum-to-be jeans, jerseys and sneakers, and pack bikinis, kikois and Havianas, and as we stepped out onto the tarmac in the middle of the Indian Ocean, I knew we had made the right decision.
Our first home was Praslin, the second largest island, where we explored one glorious beach after the next (my favourite being the well-known Anse Lazio); walked through the protected tropical forest of the Vallée de Mei in search of the Coco de Mer, the largest nut in the world; and befriended local fishermen who were on hand to sell us their sea-to-pan catch of the day.
After a few days, having adjusted to the tropical climate and slower pace of life, we decided to explore another island nearby: with giant tortoises, aromatic vanilla plantations, limited-to-no motorized transport, and its proud claim to having the most beautiful beach in the world, off we went to La Digue. (More than a dozen other islands could surely make the same claim – such is the blessing and abundance of crystal-clear turquoise waters and boulder-cladded coastline here.)
Our final stop was Mahé, the largest and best known of the islands, and home to 90% of the Seychellois population. Here we enjoyed a glorious few nights at the Four Seasons – with villas high up in the forest and views out over the ocean, we were only too happy to be whizzed around in golf cart buggies, from the villa to the beach and back again. The Four Seasons enjoys its very own secluded beach, and so with no reason to venture beyond, we could be forgiven for thinking that we were enjoying our own private island.
As I passed the days doing nothing much at all, sipping mocktails under palm trees and cooling off in the crystal waters of the Indian Ocean, I reflected on our trip and a comment our butler had made on arrival: “Many people say that this is like paradise, but they are wrong. It is paradise.”
I wholeheartedly agree.
Note from the Editor: Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways (or KQ as it is affectionately known in short-hand) flies four times per week direct from Nairobi to Mahé. With departures from Jomo Kenyatta at 11am, travellers can watch the sunrise over the Mara and sip cocktails on a Seychellois beach at sunset. It’s that easy. Steve & Ali travelled through the Seychelles courtesy of 7 Degrees South.