Ste. Anne Marine National Park – Mahé, Inner Islands, Seychelles

Underwater Drama

The first marine park in the Indian Ocean and perhaps its most beautiful, Ste. Anne consists of six little islands within easy reach of the archi­pelago’s principal island of Mahé, and the teeming waters that surround them. Organized tours will bring you to the park and show you why the local government had the foresight to protect this remarkable aquatic environment.

A fasci­nating underwater theater can be viewed from a semisubmersible “sub-sea viewer,” to the delight of nonsnorklers. But even the latter throw on a mask and flip over the side when introduced to the science-fiction seascape of multicolored coral gardens below. A deli­cious Creole lunch is arranged on uninhabited Round Island, under the shade of giant tamarind trees and never far from the park’s magnificent beaches. You can disembark on lovely Cerf Island and check into one of five small timber chalets built into a lush green hillside.

A handful of families live on the traffic-free island, and there’s a fine Creole restaurant. A frequent shuttle boat departs for Victoria on nearby Mahé, but castaways here are hard-pressed to find any reason to leave.

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