Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Hotel Updates: Denis Private Island

New developments on Denis Private Island promise enhanced guest experience

Denis Private Island has resumed welcoming guests to the hotel, with several exciting changes in store following its recent maintenance closure.

A newly renovated pool headlines the list of developments on the island, providing a welcome addition to the complement of guest facilities at the hotel.

“The calm and clear waters around Denis provide as close to a swimming pool environment that could be found anywhere in nature,” Denis Private Island Director Alan Mason said. “However, we understand that some enjoy the option of a pool as an alternative to the beach, so we’re delighted to once again offer this facility to our guests.”

In another development, there are plans for a new boat house and gym on the site of the family cottage, which has now been de-commissioned and no longer forms part of the hotel inventory. While there are eventual plans to develop a new family cottage on a new location, the islands’ other cottages and its beach villa are able to comfortably accommodate two adults and two children, providing suitable lodging for families across the hotel’s entire room stock.

The island’s efforts toward greater sustainability are also being bolstered, as progress continues onto the next phase of its photo-voltaic solar array – believed to be the country’s largest private renewable energy investment – which will continuously reduce and eventually eliminate the island’s reliance on diesel power.

Work is also progressing on a new dedicated conservation centre in partnership with the Green Islands Foundation, the NGO that guides many of the island’s sustainability initiatives, including habitat restoration, conservation of endangered species and other environment-related research programmes.

Meanwhile, the hotel is re-affirming that its evening dress code of long trousers for men, while not strictly enforced, is meant to enhance the guest experience by providing a distinct fine-dining atmosphere.

 “We’ve found that many of our guests appreciate the intimate setting of the restaurant after dusk and that the evening dress code adds to that ambience,” Mason said. “As we shift to a more refined concept for our dinner service, casual beachwear tends to intrude on that atmosphere.”

The June/July closure also provided the island’s management with an opportunity to review and attend to safety precautions.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Mason's Travel News

New cultural excursion brings tourists into real homes for authentic cuisine

A new excursion offered by Mason’s Travel will provide visitors with an in-depth cultural experience involving real homes and the Seychellois families that live there.

Combining common lifestyle traditions, like browsing the morning catch of local fishermen, with authentic Creole cooking techniques and ingredients, the Mason’s Back to Roots Excursion aims to give tourists an unfiltered view into the daily life of a local home and its residents, according to Mason’s PR, Branding and Communications Manager Nicole St Ange.

“With the continuing trend worldwide of tourists seeking more culturally enriching and localised experiences, this excursion will provide a new entry to the market, and we’re proud to be able to help offer such a unique product together with our local partners,” St Ange said.

Mason’s is working with local vendors to provide a pool of home ‘venues’ that have been pre-assessed for hygiene and other standards.

The all-day excursion starts with an early visit to the Victoria market to browse fresh fruits, vegetables and fish followed by a scenic drive providing an opportunity to select fresh catches from a village fishermen’s market, for the Creole lunch that will be prepared later that morning.

The group then continues on through local neighbourhoods to the selected home, where guests may opt to help with the preparation of the meal. Grilling breadfruit on an open fire, grating coconut, or wrapping fish parcels in banana leaves are among a range of activities in which clients can participate.

“The lunch may vary from home to home, but will always include some of Creole cooking’s signature dishes, such as grilled fish, coconut curries, and chutneys and salads made from local produce,” St Ange said.

After lunch, guests can try their hand at kapatya (the art of weaving coconut leaves into hats, baskets and other items), as well as taste kalou (fermented palm sap), before departing for their respective hotels.

“We believe our clients will appreciate an excursion about simple, old-fashioned Seychellois hospitality, that is not just for show or part of a scripted performance,” St Ange said. “The host family will be able to welcome visitors with their own brand of hospitality in their own home, and connecting people to places and those that live there is what tourism should be about.”

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Fishing News

Introducing a new exciting species to our already impressive list: the Bumphead Parrot Fish, known as the 'Bumpy' 

Farquhar Atoll is one of the few Seychelles destinations where you will have the chance to target bump’s on the flats. They are most certainly one of the most powerful tailing fish you are lightly to encounter. They shoal in numbers between 5 and 30 fish and can be seen from a mile away when waiving their big blue tails in the air. Join us at Farquhar to tick this specie off your list! 

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Fishing News

Introducing Farquhar Atoll!

Farquhar Atoll

Alphonse Fishing Company is extremely excited to offer trips to Farquhar Atoll,  the most Southerly atoll in the Seychelles chain of islands lying just over 700 km to the Southwest of the main island Mahe. This remote atoll has a total area of 170.5 km2, which is 18 km North to South and 9 km East to West. The atoll is made up of a large lagoon surrounded by ten islands, vast white sand flats, coral fingers and outcrops making for a diverse and wild fishery. 

The package will consist of 7 nights in the Farquhar Guest House and 6 full days of guided fly fishing with 2 anglers per skiff and guide. The trips are scheduled on a Wednesday to Wednesday basis and can be combined with any other outer island destinations.

Guest House

Guests are accommodated in twin en-suite chalets facing the magnificent Farquhar lagoon. Each room enjoys inside and outside showers and occupancy is on a shared basis.  

 All meals will be served on the patio or in the air-conditioned dining, lounge and bar area which is used 'pre and post' meal times to relax, plan and catch up on the days fishing. 

 The menu comprises of an English breakfast in the morning, a packed lunch choice to take to the flats and a Creole buffet dinner. Tea, coffee and water are included as well as soft drinks during activities.  

The Fishing

Farquhar’s fly fishing opportunities are diverse with miles of ocean flats that consist of broken coral, turtle grass and hard white sand which makes for comfortable wading and sets the scene for sight fishing to a variety of species such as bonefish, 3 species of triggerfish, giant trevally, bluefin trevally, barracuda, milkfish, Indo-Pacific permit and bumped parrotfish. 

Surrounded by sheer drop-offs, Farquhar also allows anglers easy access to offshore opportunities targeting species such as yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dogtooth tuna, boar snapper, barracuda and sailfish. 

Friday, 23 August 2019

Mason's Travel News

Mason’s Travel introduces Le Cerf to Seychelles tourism community

Mason’s Travel hosted representatives from across the Seychelles tourism and business community aboard the newest addition to its fleet of leisure catamarans,
Le Cerf, for the first time on Friday 16th August.

The 33.5-metre vessel hosted more than 100 guests onboard comprising hoteliers, suppliers, associates and other partners of Mason’s Travel, for a cruise out to the Ste Anne Marine Park.

The evening offered Le Cerf an opportunity to display its comfort, space and versatility, hosting a casual evening celebration with gourmet food and wine selections catered by ISPC, followed by music and dancing – complete with an onboard DJ – late into the night.

Addressing the guests onboard, Mason’s Travel Managing Director Alan Mason explained the significance of the vessel’s name, noting that Le Cerf is a new and larger iteration of a 40-passenger vessel that began operating excursions from Mahé to Praslin and La Digue in 1979.

“From the day she arrived, our day excursions to Praslin and La Digue became an instant hit and the original concept is still the basis of the experience we offer our guests today,” Mason said. “This year marks exactly 40 years since our original Le Cerf arrived in Seychelles and whilst this new version is much larger and different in design, I am confident that she will be as ground breaking as her predecessor and befitting of the same name.”

The new vessel, constructed by Two Oceans Manufacturing in Cape Town, South Africa, is the largest of its kind to be built in southern Africa. Its capacity of 160 seated passengers or 240 standing will provide much greater flexibility to accommodate not only passengers of the company’s Praslin/La Digue excursion, but a wide range of special events and custom excursions for groups and incentive trips as well as cruise ship clients.

Le Cerf’s 3,000 nautical mile voyage from Cape Town took nearly three weeks and about 380 hours at sea. Two Seychellois were onboard for the delivery of the vessel: Stephane Monthy and Harold Maillet.

During his remarks, Mason noted that Maillet had developed his skills and reputation on the original Le Cerf and was its primary skipper for many of those years: “I am extremely proud that (Maillet) was instrumental in delivering her replacement and namesake.”

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Hotel Updates: DoubleTree by Hilton Seychelles - Allamanda Resort and Spa

A Fresh feel At DoubleTree by Hilton Seychelles – Allamanda Resort & Spa

Checking in to the Double Tree by Hilton Seychelles Allamanda Resort and Spa, one can truly feel welcome when entering a room. This is because the resort has recently gone through a soft refurbishment. The rooms themselves have gone through a complete re-grouting and a new paint job which includes the balconies, giving them a refreshed look and feel.

Further to the rooms, the roof and deck have also been renovated, not to mention all Air-Conditioning Units have been serviced and updated. The hotel facilities have also been upgraded to include new beach and pool chairs, new tables and chairs in the breakfast area and more activities onsite. The new activities include table tennis, a pool table, a weekly Creole night on Thursdays which takes place in the moonlight on the beach.

The Eforea Spa is world-class, boasting various packages where you are guaranteed to feel brand-new. The experience presents three different journeys: the essentials, the escape and its highlights which include luxury treatment rooms, an amazing view of the Indian Ocean, and a steam room, just to mention a few.

All in all, the whole experience of Double Tree Allamanda located on the coastal shores of Anse Forbans is nothing less than pure luxury.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Airline News

Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher to fly higher with the New Airbus A320neo

The iconic Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher spreads its wings wider as the Seychelles’ national carrier; name its new acquisition after this rare endemic species.

It was a proud moment for the nation as Air Seychelles welcomed the Airbus A320neo on Friday August 2nd 2019 with ceremonial water canon salute, making it the first airline in the Indian Ocean and Africa to operate the aircraft.

Talking about the procurement of the new aircraft Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alan Renaud mentioned a symbolic of a new era.

The Principal Secretary was present at the inaugural ceremony alongside high government officials, Air Seychelles management team and Airbus representatives.

Principal Secretary Renaud further mentioned that the aircraft is fuel-efficient one, which will allow Air Seychelles to save on both fuel and operating costs, as well as helping the nation in its efforts for sustainability.

He further mentioned that the Airbus A320neo’s fuel efficiencies mirrors national ambitions for sustainability and support for a greener future. Therefore, showing the world how far the Seychelles’ dedication to the environment goes. 

“The paradise flycatchers needs us, and we need them. “Veuve” is meaningful in another sense - the paradise flycatcher is a delicate bird, once critically endangered, but today with a future that is brighter because we chose, as a nation, as citizens, as a family, with our friends, to nurture its survival,” said the Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine in his speech.

Commenting on the new addition to the Air Seychelles fleet, Mrs. Sherin Francis Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) stated that the symbolism of the name behind the plane is not only a pride for Seychelles but also for the conservation ideologies, the destination defends with vehemence.

“It is a pleasure for STB to be present at such a memorable event for our partners. We can only applaud our partners for their consistency and hard work to make the company prosper amidst adversity. This new plane is the beginning of a new chapter in Air Seychelles history. It gives us more confidence to maintain our great promotion work of the destination,” said Mrs. Francis. 

 “The arrival of “Veuve” definitely marks the start of a new chapter in the development of the national airline, the increase in seat capacity available on the aircraft will enable Air Seychelles to continue delivering a significant contribution towards both the growth of tourism and the Seychelles economy.” said the Principal Secretary for Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine, Alan Renaud.

The aircraft, named “Veuve” after the endangered bird commonly known as the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, is a symbol of hope and prosperity for the Seychelles.

On Monday August 12, 2019, Air Seychelles’ brand new Airbus A320neo aircraft operated its official flight between Seychelles and the capital of Gauteng, Johannesburg, amongst the passengers for this favourable occasion was Ms. Jenifer Sinon STB Deputy Chief Executive.  

Friday, 2 August 2019

Seychelles in the Spotlight

Seychelles to shine at the Dubai Expo 2020

Set to take place from October 2020 until April 2021, the Dubai Expo 2020 will go down in history as the first expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region.

For six months, Seychelles, our small Island nation will be represented through the participation of various national entities and NGO’s to showcase the destination’s natural lush environment, opportunities for investment and its achievements towards Sustainability and Nature conservation.

Seychelles will therefore share a spot alongside the 192 participating countries from all over the globe. The Dubai 2020 Expo site, which will cover a total of 438 hectares, is located in the Dubai South district, near the Al Maktoum International Airport.

The country’s preparations to the international event is spearheaded by the collective effort of CINEA and the Seychelles Tourism Board.

Representatives of the two organisations are working alongside the Dubai Expo 2020 team and the Seychelles Country Manager, John AddoObiri, to ensure that Seychelles’ participation carry every single visitor onto an imaginary journey that will touch their hearts.

Through the discoveries of the Seychelles pavilion, each visitor will get a feel of the Islands, as one will discover its various features through visual, audio and graphics presentations.

Seychelles will also be granted the tribute of celebrating its national day through an honour day, event during which, various high officials from the country will be invited to attend.

Aside from the official events, Seychelles will also be engaging the Expo Dubai 2020 visitors through conferences and workshops centred around culture, finance, environment and tourism.

Speaking about Seychelles preparations to the Expo, Mr. Galen Bresson CEO of CINEA, stated that the Dubai 2020 moto: “connecting minds and creating the future”, incorporates the mind-set of the organising committee working effortlessly towards the success of this event for the country.

“Seychelles might be small in size, but we are placing ourselves on the global market next to many countries through our participation. The concept for this Expo reflect a lot of our country’s conservation philosophy. Our aim is to show the world that, in spite of our 250 years of existence, we have been able to maintain a good balance in co-existing with our natural environment,” said Mr. Bresson.

On her part, Mrs. Sherin Francis, STB Chief Executive, mentioned that the STB team is working in close collaboration with CINEA and the other government agencies and NGOs to make Seychelles’ participation a success.

“Seychelles’ participation in the Dubai 2020 Expo is an excellent platform for visibility for the country, not only as a tourism destination, but also as a nation. More than ever, we need to place ourselves on the map in showcasing our natural beauty, our culture and our various achievements in all aspects,” said STB’s Chief Executive.

The first world expo took place in 1851 in London and has since been a platform for countries to showcase their achievements and culture to the rest of the world. The Dubai 2020 Expo is expecting over 25,000,000 visits over the 173 days.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Conservetion News: Fregate Island Private

Marine Biodiversity Baseline Assessment Around Fregate Island Private


In May, our Conservation Team carried out a pilot study to find suitable survey sites for the upcoming marine life baselines assessment around Fregate Island Private.

Specialists from The Green Island’s Foundation and the University of Seychelles, joined the team for the surveys which involved diving twice a day and deploying Baited Remote Underwater vehicles (BRUVs). BRUVs are tripods with an underwater video camera attached to film species that visit a bait canister at the end of the tripod. In total 12 BRUVs were deployed during the week, resulting in 18 hours of footage to analyse.

On first look, parts of the reef have a high diversity of coral reef fish species like bannerfish, butterflyfish,angelfish and excitingly several shark species. During the dive surveys, the team concentrated on the diversity and health of the corals around the dive sites. With the survey sites now confirmed, in November 2019 the work begins with 3D mapping the sites with Bluenomads and Coralive.org, shortly followed by further BRUV and dive surveys. The aim of this SeyCCAT* funded assessment is to compare the marine life around Fregate Island Private with other islands in the Seychelles, with a view to apply for a marine protected area around the island protecting the coral reef for future generations.
*SeyCCAT envisions for Seychelles’ ocean and islands to be stewarded by the people of Seychelles, generating sustainable benefits for future generations to share. SeyCCAT strategically invests in ocean stakeholders to generate new learning, bold action and sustainable blue prosperity in Seychelles.

For more information on SeyCCAT: https://bit.ly/2LPyvK6