Millions of people all around the world use the internet to investigate and plan trips to places they want to visit. This is the fastest growing component of the international tourism trade as well as the one holding the most promise of innovation and new services. There are several good web sites that advise people about where to go and what to see. Two such popular websites are Trip Advisor and Ciao. These two sites, which are visited by many thousands of people worldwide, have brilliant reviews of Cousin island.
Cousin Island © Martin Harvey
On Trip Advisor, a Member from the United States has this to say: “ Cousin island Special Reserve must be one of the greatest small island wildlife reserves in the world. As soon as you land, there are "things" in your face. From hundreds of seabirds of many species, to crabs and lizards, the wildlife is completely unafraid of humans. This is because the island has been an international reserve since 1968. It belongs to BirdLife International and is managed by the dynamic local NGO Nature Seychelles. Nature Seychelles staff take visitors around on informed tours. The island is serviced by local boat and tour operators and thus provides a great income to local communities. A must visit if you are in the Indian Ocean.
On Ciao, V.L.Collyer gives Cousin the top rating of 5 Stars and recommends it to readers in an article entitled, No bird in the hand but Thousands in the Bush. “As an ardent twitcher this was one of the highlights of my time in Seychelles, but it is not necessary to be a 'big lister' to enjoy visiting Cousin. The birds are beautiful to any eye, the peace and quiet, broken only by birdsong and the lapping of the waves, makes it a relaxing haven, and it is a rare chance to experience a highly unique uninhabited Indian Ocean island in its natural state. The tours are exceptionally good, with the highly knowledgeable wardens tailoring the information and pace of the walk to suit the group, and the abundance of close up wildlife to spot would make it fascinating for children also.”
Cousin has won numerous awards and acclamations and is one of the jewels in the crown of Seychelles tourism. The primary goal of the island is of course conservation of unique wildlife but eco-tourism was initiated in 1972 with the help of Lars Eric Lindblad, the eco-tourism pioneer who paid the salary of Cousin’s first Warden. It is therefore no coincidence that conservation and tourism have a happy marriage on Cousin.
Nirmal Jivan Shah