Seychelles is a paradise for birdwatchers, you can easily see the unique land birds, the important sea bird colonies, and the host of migrants and vagrants. Some sea bird colonies are enormous such as sooty tern colony in Bird Island. You can visit Cousin and Aride and some privately owned islands to see both land and sea birds.
|Seychelles black paradise flycatcher Veuve Reserve, La Digue © Will Meinderts|
The best places for bird watching include:
- Coastal mudflats, where you can see waders especially in the Northwest Monsoon (for example: Promenade, Victoria, Seybrew, Le Rocher);
- Freshwater wetlands: where you can see small heron and egrets (e.g. Sanctuary at Roche Caiman, North East Point and Plantation Club, Mahe; Vev Reserve and L’ Union Estate, La Digue)
- Native forest at any altitude, where you can see some of the rarer endemic landbirds
- Smaller, predator free islands, where you can see some of the rarer endemic landbirds and seabirds (Aride, Cousin and Cousine).
Where to see sea birds
Many of the seabird islands in the inner Seychelles are small and inaccessible; however five of the most impressive seabird colony islands are accessible.
The species present depends on the time of year. Generally the south east monsoon (May – September) is the best time, although many species remain around the colonies outside the breeding season.
Cousin and Aride both host impressive colonies and are open to day visitors. Bird Island supports a colony of up to a million pairs of Sooty terns and accommodation is available at the Bird Island Lodge, Frégate Island Private and Cousine also hosts seabird colonies and exclusive accommodation is available on Frégate Island Private and Cousine Island Lodge.