Black Meetings and Tourism

January / February 2020

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B M & T ••• January/February 2020 ••• 30 T he name Seychelles is famous the world over for its legendary beauty, rolling from verdant peaks, through primeval forests, down to powder-soft beaches framed by timeless granite boulders, where the only footprints you find will be your own. This unique archipelago's 115 islands, set like precious stones upon 1.4 million square kilometers of azure ocean, are located between four and 10 degrees south of the equator. Here, 42 granitic islands cluster around the principal islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, while to coral islands, more numerous still, extend in a gleaming arc towards the shores of East Africa These islands enjoy a glori- ous tropical climate all year around, and with all but its remotest uninhibited islands lying well outside the cyclone belt, there are no extremes of weather. In this balmy tropical heaven, the temperature sel- dom drops below 24° or rise above 32°C. Against the backdrop of sub- lime natural beauty, safety and tranquilit, the Seychelles islands also offer an amazing degree of diversity and the possibility of enjoying a wide range of island experiences and tropical adven- tures. Between 15 minutes and one hour's flying time from the principal island of Mahe. several select island getaways offer accommodation and stylish five- star resorts or cocooned within the homely comforts of rustic beachfront lodges. Seychelles is just the place to experience the thrill of a deep- sea fishing expedition, have a chance to pit your skills against such spectacular denizens of the big blue as sailfish, tuna, streak- er, wahoo, barracuda and the mighty marlin. There is also the opportunity to enjoy what is widely regarded as some of the best fly-fishing on earth, upon the shimmering flats of the Outer Islands where record bonefish and trevally bekon. Since time immemorial, Seychelles has charmed succes- sive generations of sailors with its rugged beauty, enticing them with easy sailing distances between the islands; luring them to safe moorings and to the privacy of its myriad hidden coves and secret beaches. Wonderfully little has changed for today's sailors who may still enjoy the ultimate freedom of discovering the isles at their own whim and pace aboard any one of the state-of-the-art vessels that comprise a local charter fleet. When it comes to diving, the Seychelles waters represent nothing less than a tropical aquarium where a dizzying array of fish and colorful corals await the driver who dreams of taking the plunge where few have yet ventured and where it is still pos- sible to swim alongside whale sharks, mantas and dolphins and friendly, crystal clear waters. Snorkeling the underwater world is equally rewarding, and for the armchair explorer there's always a semi-submersible glass bot- tom boat ride or a fish-feeding excursion into ne of the marine parks. For those wishing to explore the islands' walks and trails, the many mini guided walks avail- able are sure to leave you won- dering at Nature's bounty as you discover some of the rarest species of flora and fauna on earth. Seychelles is also an ideal place to hire a car - or a bicycle - and embark on personal voy- ages of discovery that will take you from quaint galleries craft shops, old Creole-style planta- tion houses to scenic view- points, natural wonders and charming out of the way restau- rant where you can savor the diverse delicacies of Creole cui- sine. You may even decide to make a date with destiny and marry, honeymoon or celebrate an anniversary in the unique romantic ambience of these "islands of love." Whatever you choose, the Seychelles Islands are sure to lend substance to your fantasies and breathe life into your dreams of the ultimate in tropi- cal lifestyles. SEYCHELLE ISLANDS… A N O T H E R W O R L D THE

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