With the launch of the much-anticipated Netflix original series, Our Planet, this April, narrated by the iconic David Attenborough, Hilton Seychelles encourages guests to get up close and personal with the natural wonders of both sea and land when visiting the resorts. An abundance of activities across the brand’s three Seychellois hotels is on offer: from swimming with turtles in their natural habitat; to snorkelling along the first artificial reef in the Seychelles created by the Hilton Northolme team; to visiting the hotels’ on-site coral nurseries and learning to scuba, this year Hilton encourages guests to reconnect with nature in this Indian Ocean paradise. Take a step back, enjoy a digi-detox and indulge in all the beauty this setting has to offer.
Kick off your trip by visiting Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort and Spa’s coral nursery, which was introduced to combat several major eco-disasters including climate change, the 2004 tsunami and the huge global bleaching event of 2016. The degradation of the coral has a far-reaching effect on the biodiversity of the Seychelles, which itself has shown knock-on consequences on local communities who rely on the area for fishing and food. The long-term goal of the programme is to enhance reef resilience and ensure that coral can cope with future conditions. Guests who take part in the coral adoption programme will be awarded a certificate, photographs and the GPS coordinates of the coral they have helped restore.
After visiting the land-based nurseries, it’s time to get your flippers on and snorkel along the trail to enjoy the wonders and phenomenal work that the coral nursery does. The transplanted coral fragments have revitalised the colony, returning it to its former glory and re-establishing the homes of many under water marine animals. Hilton Seychelles’ nearby Eco Centre can take small groups on a guided snorkel tour to spot giant sea turtles and even coral sharks! Swimming with these unworldly creatures will reinforce David Attenborough’s consistent message, protect the planet to protect all its wonders.
Why not take a visit to the deeper blue with a private scuba diving instructor? If you are a novice, fear not, Hilton Seychelles has all the training and equipment so that you can get your PADI to feel confident exploring the ocean’s depths. Prefer to be above water than below it? Jump on board a sunset cruise at Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa, this boat tour showcases the western part of the island, including the 1km long sandy beach, plantation buildings and a spectacular sunset. When the sea is quiet, flying fish accompany the tour!
After familiarising yourself with the Indian Ocean, re-connect with the land and spoil yourself in a rare opportunity of stillness by joining in a session of Hatha Yoga at Hilton Labriz Resort and Spa. Located on Silhouette Island, here the practice of yoga is pure and traditional, stemming from roots within Hatha yoga. The island’s surroundings help to balance the mind, body and spirit.
The hiking tracks on Silhouette Island are spectacular, with plenty of options to choose from. Enjoy a beautiful hike through the island’s National Park that will take you around Silhouette’s north western part to Anse Mondon, a small, secluded cove in the north of the island. You will pass a view point, aptly named ‘Belle Vue’, with stunning panoramic vistas of Silhouette’s sea-scape. Upon arrival you will have the chance to cool off on the beach or swim and snorkel in the crystal-blue sea.
Alternatively, adventurers can embark on a challenging hike across the island to the stunning Grand Barbe plateau, where you can see wild giant tortoises, explore one of the largest mangrove forests in the country and relax on a 1 km long stretch of white sand. Some 60 residents once resided in Grand Barbe village, but today only two residents remain, and explorers can discover some of the broken-down buildings.
History lovers can try hiking to Jardin Marron, initially trodden by slaves fleeing La Passe village in the nineteenth century. The trail involves a fairly strenuous uphill hike up to around 450 m altitude and will take you to the centre of the island and to the only location where Silhouette’s own collection of indigenous Coco de Mer trees can be seen. Along the way, numerous endemic plants, birds, insects and reptiles can be spotted, including the giant millipede, Seychelles Bulbul and skink (lizard).