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Secret Islands of the Seychelles and Aldabra Atoll
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Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

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Premium expeditions are led by a National Geographic expert, an expedition team, or top guides, and tap into National Geographic's worldwide resources to allow for in-depth exploration and special access to sites and experts in the field. Itineraries are fully planned, with some free time. Accommodations are high-end or best available. Ground transportation and most meals and activities are included in the trip price.

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Expedition Overview

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EXPEDITION OVERVIEW

Secret Islands of the Seychelles and Aldabra Atoll - with National Geographic

Trip highlights

Explore the shores and the idyllic deserted beaches with our Zodiac® outings, accompanied by a team of experienced naturalist guides.

Explore the UNESCO sites of the Vallée de Mai nature reserve in Praslin and Aldabra, the largest coral atoll in the world.

Experience Seychelles and Aldabra Atoll alongside a National Geographic Photographer and Expert, who are specialised in the destination.

Snorkel with your expedition team in some of the world’s most pristine waters and explore the possibility of diving (PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent) with an experienced instructor on board.

Kennedy Warne
Author & photographer

Kennedy Warne co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988 and served as editor until 2004 when he stepped down to pursue his own writing and photography. He has written more than a dozen stories for National Geographic magazine since 2000, including four on New Zealand. He writes mostly about natural history subjects and specializes in underwater assignments. His work for National Geographic has taken him from the sea ice of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh, from the rainforests of Fiordland to the coral reefs of Arabia. “The islands of the Seychelles and New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands are close to my heart,” Kennedy writes, “as is my beloved Fiordland.”

Michael Melford
Photographer

Award-winning photographer Michael Melford has produced more than 50 stories for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines over the past 30 years. His assignments have focused on conservation, preservation, and celebrating the beauty of wilderness and national parks around the world. Melford has traveled to numerous countries and all seven continents—from Antarctica to Alaska and from New Zealand to the Seychelles. He also has produced photography for multiple National Geographic books, and is featured in online video courses from National Geographic and The Great Courses (National Geographic Masters of Photography and The National Geographic Guide to Landscape Photography). Michael’s work has garnered prestigious honors, including the Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Photography and recognition from World Press Photo.

Itinerary - 13Days

1 Victoria, Mahé

Mahé is the main island of Seychelles and the largest of the archipelago.
Victoria is one of the world’s smallest capital cities that is a hub for the islands economic, political and commercial activity. Set against an impressive backdrop of luscious green hills that tumble down into the pristine turquoise sea, Mahé is as picturesque as it gets. With an abundance of life underwater, Mahé is renowned for being a diving and snorkelling hotspot so get ready to go exploring.

2 Poivre Island

The Poivre Islands are a group of islands that lie in the Outer Islands of Seychelles. These pristine and remote islands demonstrate mother nature’s work at its finest. The isolated, uninhabited and unspoilt islands are rarely visited so your voyage to them during this expedition should be cherished. Enjoy the kaleidoscopic reef life during a Zodiac® outgoing and soak up the warm sunshine.

3 Alphonse Island and Bijoutier Island

Alphonse Island is an authentic, unspoiled island experience in the Seychelles.
Beautiful white-sand beaches lined with palm trees mark a break between the crystal-clear waters and dense natural forest, of which both are thriving with wildlife.
Bijoutier Island is a very small island that sits within the St. François Atoll. The uninhabited land takes its name from the French word, bijoutier, meaning "jeweller" and it is indeed a land of jewels. In 2007 the Island Conservation Society established a conservation centre on Alphonse to manage conservation on both Bijoutier and Alphonse.

4 At sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the amenities and services onboard. Take a moment to relax in the spa or head to the fitness centre for a workout. There is plenty of entertainment to keep you entertained as well as access to the upper deck which allow you to take in the journey from a spectacular viewpoint.

5-6 Aldabra Atoll

A hidden gem in a faraway archipelago, Aldabra Atoll is one of the last virtually untouched sanctuaries on earth. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Aldabra Atoll is formed by 4 large coral reef islands and 40 smaller islands and rocks. It is one of the world’s most wild and remote regions with the larger reefs surrounding a shallow lagoon teeming with black-tipped sharks, sea turtles and manta rays in the centre of the atoll. Aldabra Atoll truly is a spectacular wonder that is rich in wildlife with Aldabra giant tortoises outnumbering the human population in Seychelles.

7 Cosmoledo Atoll and Astove Island

Cosmoledo is just a stone’s throw away from the World Heritage Site of Aldabra Atoll.
The island is often described as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean due to its picture-perfect sands, turquoise waters and exception coral reef.
The distinct lack of human intervention has allowed this sacred island to thrive with the rarest wildlife existing within the island and its surrounding waters.
Astove is the southernmost island in the Seychelles that is bursting with an abundance of coral life.
Renowned for the richness of its seabeds, Astove Atoll is a popular spot for fishing enthusiasts. The “Astove Wall”, where the sea floor drops to a depth of about 40 metres, is highly popular with divers wanting to explore this flourishing area where you can often find fish and green sea turtles.

8 Farquhar Island

The Farquhar Island is part of the Farquhar Group of islands in the Seychelles and was one of the earliest of the Outer Islands to be discovered. Its coral strewn lagoon is teeming with exotic coral and fish who dance in the crystal-clear waters. The salt-water paradise attracts only the most serious of anglers due to its unique variety of species that live here.

9 Cerf Island and Saint Pierre Island

Like many of the Seychelles islands, Cerf is an oasis of tranquillity.
The tiny island is surrounded by turquoise waters and a thriving coral reef. There are no roads or shops on the island which makes it an ideal spot for those wanting to enjoy nature in its purest form.
The island of Saint Pierre is a unique island that sits west of Providence Atoll. Measuring just 5,000 sqm, the small island is dwarfed by granite rock which raises out of the turquoise sea and protects the central palm crown. Snorkelling on Saint Pierre is amongst some of the best in the Seychelles with a world of magnificent marine wonder lying beneath the surface.

10 Marie Louise Island

Marie Louise Island is a picturesque, low-lying coral island in the Amirantes group that sits within the Outer Islands in the Seychelles. With very few inhabitants, nature and wildlife thrive on Marie Louise Island. There are significant numbers of Fairy Tern, Lesser Noddy and Brown Noddy and it’s the first island in the Seychelles to be re-colonised by Red-footed Booby following a history of extinction on many islands.

11 Desroches Island

Coconut trees, white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, welcome to Desroches Island.
This is the largest island in the Amirantes group in the Outer Islands where you’ll be able to find lush vegetation, spectacular seabeds and incredible wildlife. From sharks and manta rays to sea turtles, Desroches is an island thriving. The small village is home to a chapel and cemetery the lighthouse still in use.

12 La Digue Island and Victoria

La Digue Island is an island like no other. It is the smallest of the three populated islands in the Seychelles, but the tranquillity will make it feel like you’re the only one there. The stunning surroundings should be soaked up from cycling through the vanilla plantations to lying on the white-sandy beaches, your time on La Digue should be cherished. There is a little more to do on La Digue compared to the smaller, uninhabited islands where you can enjoy full moon tours, surfing and snorkelling with a local.

13 Victoria, Mahé

Victoria is the capital of Mahé, the largest of the archipelago. there are a magnificent 70 white sandy beaches in Mahé, each more stunning than the last. The rich underwater life that lives within the crystal-clear waters and coral make for a perfect snorkelling exploration. The island is also famous for its splendid mountain panoramas accessible on hikes, such as the Morne Seychellois, which is 905 metres high and overlooks the Indian Ocean.