Mahe Island, Seychelles
Mahé, at 28km long x 8 km wide, is the largest island in the Republic of the Seychelles and is a fantastic destination for a holiday in Seychelles. As well as being the cultural and economic hub of the inner islands Mahé is also the gateway to the other islands of Seychelles. With a mountainous backdrop of 1000 metre towering peaks, Victoria is the capital of Seychelles and home to Seychelles International Airport.
Mahé is essentially a lush, almost tropical, island that offers much much more than just some of the world's most beautiful beaches.
Mahé the Island
Mahé is home to almost 90% of the total population - 80,000 plus people - reflecting Seychelles diverse ethnicity and decent from African, Indian, Chinese and European populations. Victoria - in the North east of the island is also the seat of government and the chief centre of commerce.
A leisurely tour of Mahé by car will take no more than 2 to 2 1/2 hours and will reveal the lions share of Seychelles Hotels and accommodation facilities, cultural heritage and attractions.
Mahé is also the transportation hub for the Seychelles, all scheduled flights by Air Seychelles and Seychelles Helicopter Services originate at Seychelles International Airport located just south of Victoria.
For island hopping by sea most journeys originate a short distance from the centre of Victoria at Marine Charter harbour and a little further away you can connect with the high speed Cat Coco inter island ferry service to Praslin.
Although considered by the Seychelleois to be the busy hub of the islands it is nevertheless "quiet" by European standards! Most evening entertainment revolves around experimentation with the wide variety of local cuisine and the sampling of an excellent assortment of primarily South African wines, although fine wines from around the world are readily available.
History and Culture Mahé, Seychelles
First visited by the British in 1609, Mahé was left alone for almost 150 years until Lazare Picault's expedition of 1742 when the gradual process of settlement by the French began. In 1814 the Seychelles returned to British rule until independence was gained in 1976. Seychelles is now a fully independent self governing Republic.
The physical administration of Mahé as Seychelles principal island, as well as its cultural orientation, has been greatly influenced by French and British customs, traditions, cuisine and architectural styles. This process has been further enriched by the steady influx of others, particularly those of Chinese and Indian descent, all of whom contribute to form the basis of what is a very vibrant and multicultural society.
Mahé, Seychelles - Flora and Fauna
Mahé is an extraordinary treasure house of flora that has evolved over centuries of splendid isolation.
Beyond the attractive frangipani, hibiscus, bougainvillea and tropical fruit trees that adorn the flat coastal plateau, there are rare endemic jewels such as the Jellyfish tree which inhabit Mahé's verdant mountainous forests.
These mist covered primary and secondary forests are home to the carnivorous pitcher plant and unique orchids including the splendid Seychelles Vanilla Orchid together with many other species of moisture loving plants.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Seychelles Tourist Board from aspureasitgets.