La Digue Island – Inner Islands, Seychelles

A Photographer’s Nirvana

The huge, artfully weathered granite boulders that distinguish this most popular Seychelles island are actually the peaks of Gondwanaland, submerged millions of years ago midway between Africa and India. Simplicity and a slow-moving serenity mark life for the 2,000 hospitable Digueois.

On this traffic-free island, dancing schoolchildren of a beguiling ethnic mix run to greet the oxcarts that plod through thick vegetation along unpaved roads to different points of interest. Anse Source d’Argent is La Digue’s most brilliant beach, divided into one incredibly beautiful hidden cove after another; its sculpted pink and rust-colored boulders have eroded into sculptural forms that bring the work of Henry Moore to mind.

The warm, luminescent waters are a spectrum of pastel blues and greens, so clear you could submerge a (waterproof) book and read it effortlessly. Arguably the most beauti­ful beach of the Seychelles’ 115 islands, it is also one of the world’s most photographed and recognizable; but, ironically, it’s often bliss­fully empty.

The rare black paradise fly­-catcher, an endangered bird whose population hovers around seventy-five, can be found only on this island, and might be seen flitting about the aviary reserve, unmistakable with its iri­descent blue-black feathers and trailing tail plume. Succumb to the island’s sleepy, old-fashioned charm and stay on indefinitely at the island’s principal hotel, the beachside La Digue Lodge.

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