Turtle Tracking and Discovery
Going with the flow
Alphonse Atoll is a hotspot for both Green Turtles and Hawksbill Turtles to nest. Our activities team will explain the life cycle of these beautiful and unique animals from hatching to laying their own eggs - back on the same beach that they hatched from themselves.
Both the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle have been legally protected in Seychelles waters since 1994. Join our Island Conservation Team on their daily routine of looking for and measuring turtle tracks, identifying and marking new nests, tagging nesting turtles if found in the process, discovering hatched nests and occasionally guiding hatchlings to the ocean.
Hawksbill Turtles usually nest in the daytime (mainly from September to March), while the Green Turtles tend to do so at night (usually from January to September). Eggs take around two months to hatch. A turtle will lay between 150 to 200 eggs in each nest, and will nest 4 - 5 times per nesting season.
Throughout this experience you will learn more about these gentle endangered animals, and we’re sure you will leave our shores with a newfound respect for their natural habitat.
Castaway for a Day
Explore the uninhabited island of St. Francois on a nature hike unlike any other. Follow your guide through mangroves where birds roost high in the treetops or watch other species wade across the vast white sand flats. The wildlife on this piece of untouched paradise will amaze you, and you are sure to spot amazing sights such as mangrove crabs and nursing baby sicklefin lemon sharks. Look out for manta rays, pelagic fish and cetaceans on the 40 minute crossing from Alphonse Island.
Bijoutier, meaning jewel in French, has earned its name through and through, and we are sure you will agree once you’ve been to visit. Spend the day exploring this beautiful island, stroll the deserted beaches and swim in the crystal clear water. This is a hotspot for turtle nesting and our activities team will explain the life cycle of these beautiful and unique animals from hatching to laying their own eggs. If you are lucky you might even see the nests of the Wedge-tailed Shearwater when peering into the depths of the forest!
Free as a bird
There are wonderful opportunities for bird watchers to get great sightings of a wide range of species throughout the Alphonse Atoll. The best time of year is October to April when the many migrant species have flown back from their breeding grounds in the high arctic to over-winter in the tropics.
With its larger land area Alphonse Island acts as a magnet for vagrant bird species during these months. Of the Outer islands of Seychelles, Alphonse boasts the second highest number of recorded bird species with over 100 species now recorded by the Seychelles Bird Records Committee.
One of the more spectacular birding sights for visitors to Alphonse occurs around sunset when several thousand Red-footed booby return to roost and hundreds of Frigatebirds gather to greet them. The scene that ensues is akin to a Top Gun dogfight as the Frigatebirds chase and harass the Boobies to make them give up the food that they have collected throughout the day.
The vast sand flats and mangrove areas around St. Francois island are ideal habitats for a range of bird species, particularly waders. Visitors to Alphonse Island can undertake bird watching trips to St. Francois accompanied by a knowledgeable guide. It is best to visit the island on a high tide as this reduces the amount of exposed sand on which the birds are able to forage and causes them to congregate in dense flocks. The Crab Plover population is particularly significant.
Guided Nature Walks with ICS
An island with a life of its own
The resident conservation team at the Island Conservation Society offers guided informative nature walks around the island where guests can learn about current research and conservation projects and the fauna and flora of the island.
Established in 2007, the Island Conservation Centre has ensured that the key aspects of the ecosystem around Alphonse Island is well-maintained and cared for. Conservation is something we hold very close to our hearts here on Alphonse Island. Without the ICS team’s sound knowledge, our ecosystem on the atoll would not be where it is today, and the team is passionate about sharing their knowledge with our guests.
Should you prefer to explore on your own, you are off course free to do so at your own pace. The running and hiking paths around the island pass through coconut groves and lead to the various secluded beaches of Alphonse. Our team can provide you with a map of the jogging routes as well as the distances. Just don't forget to take enough water - one tends to dehydrate faster in the tropical surroundings than what you'd imagine.
Relax and Refresh your Mind, Body and Soul
Unwind after long, hot days spent fishing, diving or relaxing beside the pool. Our qualified masseuses work magic on tired bodies in need of special attention or those simply wanting to indulge.
From head and shoulder treatments to full body massages, we are able to tailor treatments to each individual and their needs. Special packages such as the Fishermen’s Massage for instance would concentrate on key muscles and pressure points overused or strained during a day on the flats to ensure you leave feeling pampered and rejuvenated.
The most fun you can have on two wheels
Cycling is by far the best way to explore and discover the island. Each guest receives their own bicycle for the duration of their stay, so hop on your bicycle and meet with our activities team who will take you on a tour across Alphonse! Stopping at major landscapes and seascapes allows you to familiarize yourself with the forest trails and most secret spots of the island. During the tour you will learn interesting facts such as who the earliest settlers to Alphonse were and how the change came about from indigenous forest to coconut plantation. Learn about the bird-life, fish and plants who call this paradise their home and explore every nook and cranny of the island with our knowledgeable team.
Should you prefer to explore on your own, you are more than welcome to! The tracks around the island lead to various corners and beaches that the island has to offer. So choose a spot and head out to any one of the many pristine beaches and hidden corners of your own unique island getaway.
Game, set and match
If you’re feeling sporty, challenge your friends and loved ones to a game of tennis on the tennis court and practise your serve to a backdrop of palm tree jungle. Tennis rackets and balls are provided at your request. There’s nothing like a bit of tennis to build anticipation for that crisp cocktail or ice-cold beer before a delicious dinner, so switch the floodlights on for a twilight game when the temperature of the day starts to cool down a little.