So yes.. my honeymoon continues, from Praslin to La Digue. If you missed my love affair with first island of Seychelles, have a quick look here. I knew very little about La Digue before visiting , only the things mentioned in Wikipedia but there was lot more that I was about to discover. I was excited and intrigued both at the same time.
My First Impressions of La Digue:
- Coconut palms, magnificent white beaches, zero commercialization and plenty of bicycles all add up to laid back way of island life.
- The people are polite and eager to help as if its one big happy family always ready to welcome guests.
- The beauty of the island is unmatched. Sculptured granite rocks and exquisite beaches make it look dramatic and breathtaking.
- The island is traditional and rural in way of life(they use ox-carts for transportation) and no one is ever in hurry.
How to reach La Digue:
La Digue , the fourth largest of the granitic islands lies a short ferry ride from Praslin’s Baie Ste Anne. There is no airport on
La Digue but there is a helipad. From Mahe, you can take helicopter ride but needless to say that its expensive and not worth time saving.
By Sea : From Mahe you can take Cat Cacos ferry till Praslin and then either use the regular schooner service or Cat Rose’s ferry between Praslin and La Digue. A round trip costs 30 Euros. We took ferry from Praslin’s Baie Ste Anne and it was very convenient. I will advice to pre-book your spot in ferry since it gets crowded in peak season and it leaves Praslin three times a day. If you are adventurous, boats of various descriptions may also be chartered to make your own voyage of discovery.
By Air: Since there is no airport on the island, helicopter ride is your best bet. You can book helicopter rides from big resorts like Kempinski ( I stayed at Kempinski in Mahe…awesome resort.) in Mahe or directly with Zil Air.
When to Visit:
La Digue seems more tropical than any of the nearby islands because of its dense forests. I think that is the reason why it remains more humid too. During the rainy season which is December to February it can get very wet with even some parts flooding. Besides humidity which made my hair go crazy (Cmon I am a girl.. I am allowed to get upset if my hair are not looking good ) ,I had one more problem. That was mosquitoes. Those blood sucking little vampires made it so hard to roam around in dark that I never left my room after sunset. So do carry mosquito repellents. So coming back to the point of when to visit:
Best time to visit : June to September.
Wettest months : December to February
Hottest months : March and April
Where to Stay :
Most of the accommodation La Digue consist of guest-houses and budget hotels. However if you are seeking luxury then Le Domaine and La Digue island lodge might be your answer. They both are big villa style hotels with their own restaurants ,private gardens and swimming pools. I found the guest houses and hotels in general slightly overpriced in La Digue. We stayed at La Diguoise Guest house near Anse Reunion. Almost all hotels and guesthouses provide bicycles to explore the island. Most of the guesthouses have a typical relaxed Creole atmosphere and provide delicious homemade meals that you cannot miss. The welcome drink of La Diguoise Guest house was the best juice I have ever had and that was homemade.
Things to see in La Digue :
Cycling is the preferred way to get around the island. You can walk too, the island is not very big. There are several bicycle hire shops near jetty and it costs around 6 Euros per day.
1) The North from La Passe to Anse Patates : This area is heart of La Digue. It has all the amenities like public restrooms, post office, police station and several souvenir kiosks. If you want to try your luck, they have a casino too ,Jugglers Inn Casino and Fun Park.There are good photographic opportunities on the beaches in this area with spectacular view of Praslin island on one side and Takamaka trees on the other. If you are in this side of island , do not miss Patatran Restaurant. It has stunning ocean views and serves delicious creole food.
2) Island Hopping to Coco and Felicite: Often known as sister islands , their main features include huge granite boulders, forests of coconut palms and naturally fabulous beaches frequented by turtles.You can book day trips from La Digue to these islands but its little costly. Seclusion comes with a healthy price tag, so if you want to stay at these islands, you need to have a good budget. For a day trip , you can enjoy swimming at beautiful beaches, fishing and snorkeling as the marine life is superb.
3) Beaches : The east coast boasts of beautiful beaches specially Petit Anse. The beaches are framed by lush forested mountains and pink granite boulders. Anse Fourmis (circular road) weaves continuous set of beaches like Anse Gaulettes, Anse Patates and Anse Severe. South From L’Union beach, is the epicenter of La Digue’s gorgeous beach rock formations named Anse Source d’Argent. I still remember that unforgettable scenery of sparkling blue ocean ,clear blue sky, the green foliage of the shore embracing the smooth granite rocks and a scene so beautiful and serene that it brought me to total peace. In nutshell a must see of La Digue. It has an entry fees since it is privately owned but totally worth it.
4) La Digue Veuve Reserve: This 37 acre reserve is area of natural habitat for the birds. The reserve has an information center from where you can get trail map and a guide. I think guided tour is better option here since the guide will also point out the best place to spot the rare yellow-bellied and star-bellied terrapins. If you are lucky , you will be able to spot black paradise flycatcher, one of the most endangered birds in the world.
I hope this all helps in planning your trip to La Digue. Most of the travelers come for a day to visit the island as island hopping tour but I will advise to stay for at-least a night to enjoy everything. If Seychelles is termed as “Another World” as one of their tag lines reads(“Welcome to Another World”), the island of La Digue deserves its own for sure. I was there for 2 days and somehow I still feel that I could not explore everything. If you have any questions leave me a comment or send me an email and I will be more than happy to help. Thank you for stopping by.
PhotoCredits : Photostains
Photo of Map : http://www.ekoafrica.com/pagine/SEYCHELLES%202.htm