Eco Lodges and Partnering Conservation Projects

Sustainable Travel in Seychelles

Sustainable travel is something that is becoming increasingly spoken about, and rightly so. If you’re looking for inspiration on places to travel, those of paradise locations, unique escapes, experiences and accommodations that pride themselves on sustainability, then head to the Seychelles.

From locally sourced to homegrown goods, harvested in the gardens of these resorts, to conservation projects, solar energy and reductions in water waste and plastic consumption – the places that I’ll be highlighting within this article are all that and more. All locations have strong sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives and are dedicated to the conservation of their atolls, species and the development of their communities.

The main islands that feature in the Seychelles archipelago include Mahe, Praslin and La Digue, these bigger islands are home to a plethora of beautiful and individual retreats. With the more remote and smaller islands offering five-star private hideaways. Though, no matter the size of the island, they all have a keen eye for conservation. 

Denis Private Island

Denis Island is a private island which can be reached from Mahe via a 20-minute flight. The resort is set up to be as environmentally low-impact as possible. A working farm means the place is self-sufficient, the farm produces and provides enough harvest for both its guests and staff. Denis promotes healthy cuisine and farm-to-table concept with a rich culinary experience.

With no mobile phone signal anywhere, those visiting Denis are encouraged to digitally detox; wifi is available but only in the library – situated in the main building of the resort. The island offers experiences both on land and by sea, and boasts a Nature’s Own Spa Sanctuary, using only local ingredients which are just as unique as Denis itself.

Guests can rise early with the Green Islands Foundation rangers to tally tracks of egg-laying sea turtles on the beach or scout the forests for magpie robins and paradise flycatchers, learning more about breeding and tagging projects for these critically endangered birds.

A more relaxed and leisurely experience is also on offer, guests can get to know the island and its inhabitants by taking a simple stroll or bicycle ride: century-old tortoises, the island’s poultry coops and animal pens, and the chapel are just some of the charms to witness.

Snorkelling equipment, kayaks and paddles are provided on the island, allowing guests to explore the island’s surrounding lagoon to their heart’s content. The reefs in the protected lagoon are teeming with tropical fish, turtles and other colourful forms of marine life.

Should you wish to venture further and enjoy the greater depths of the underwater, the PADI dive centre offers a range of different dive sites to choose from, as well as certification courses for beginners. Or dabble in catch-and-release sport fishing way out in “The Drop-Off,” where ocean depths plunge to 2,000km at the edge of the Seychelles plateau.

So, why should you go? The completely private coral islet of 375 acres is exclusively reserved for guests to share with nature, the island provides a responsible accommodation choice, it strives for self-sustainability, it is a conservationist’s paradise and hosts several globally recognised programmes.

The resort is also an excellent family holiday destination, ideal for children and is also perfect for honeymooners and groups. Plus, it is possible to book out the entire island for total privacy.

Six Senses Zil Pasyon

Occupying less than a third of the total island, Six Senses Zil Pasyon is the sole resort on Félicité. Offering a plethora of activities for all ages, from hiking and discovering nature to water sports and beach activities island-hopping, sun-set cruises and cinema under the stars.

The Six Sense Zil Pasyon is an island paradise resort and is a perfect destination for couples, families and friends; with luxury, all-villa accommodations that feature infinity pools and unparalleled views, providing guests with a personal Guest Experiences Maker (GEM). 

“Our social and environmental projects are not obligations, they are our motivations and why we bounce out of bed every day.” – Six Senses Zil Pasyon

Sustainability for Six Senses Zil Pasyon starts with growing their own food, either in their organic garden or sourced from their local farmers. In 2019, they produced nearly 39,000 kilos of organic herbs, fruits and veggies to feed both guests and staff.

Since then, a new area has been developed next to their garden, where guests have the opportunity to learn more about the approach to permaculture and compost – so you can get the know-how to be more self-sufficient when they return home. Their fish and seafood are sourced from local fishermen who are committed to sustainable fishing.

The resort is passionate about the restoration of the island’s ecology. From environmental to social responsibilities, encouraging forest restoration and youth engagement, Six Senses Zil Pasyon has reintroduced authentic species of trees and plants back into the landscape meaning a happy return of endemic birds.

The resort has collaborated with schools in order to raise awareness of conservation and environmental protection, as well as promoting activism among young students, to inspire a future where they may continue to work actively among their community. The resort also features a reverse osmosis plant and crystal water refinery, where mineralised water is produced without any carbon footprint.

Bird Island

Holiday on a self-catering private island; a sanctuary fringed by untouched beaches and turquoise clear waters. At Bird Island Lodge there is no air conditioning, no fridges, telephones or televisions provided in the rooms, consequently meaning that the power usage per chalet can be kept to a minimum.

This authentic Seychelles experience allows guests to reconnect with their surroundings. With opportunities to learn of the amazing history of the Giant Land Tortoises that roam the island, snorkel with the remarkable marine life in the surrounding waters and discover the many species of birds that call Bird Island home. Here is where nature reigns and we are but visitors. 

The island is an important nesting ground for Sooty Terns and a variety of other species of birds. As well as this the island offers a unique experience and the chance to see and learn about the history of the Giant Land Tortoises. 

“The current owners of Bird Island bought the Island in 1967 and began one of the world’s earliest ecotourism projects. Vital nesting sites for Sooty Terns were progressively cleared of overgrown coconut palms, enabling the 15,000 pairs of Sooty Terns that had been nesting on the island to grow to 700,000 pairs. Today, 1.5 million Sooty Terns are said to arrive on the island to nest.” – Bird Island

Why Bird Island? The island offers a unique opportunity to experience Seychelles not just as a guest but also as an islander. Set in a nature reserve and bird sanctuary, the villas offer guests a rare opportunity to experience a low key private island holiday in the Seychelles, with friends and family.

“The choice is ours, as is the responsibility to look after our planet, taking time to do the research on whether a resort is responsible, sustainable and eco-friendly is simply part of our role in being a sustainable tourist; to keep these desirable destinations around the world beautiful, enriched and thriving.”

Jodi M. Johnson - Author

Alphonse Lodge

The Alphonse group of atolls is considered one of the most pristine in Seychelles, untouched Edens of the world, making it a nature lover’s paradise.

At Alphonse Lodge guests can choose to stay in luxury accommodations such as Beach Bungalows, Suites and Villas, all of which are nestled in nature, just moments away from the beach; these havens provide spectacular Indian Ocean views. 

Due to its remote geographical location, Alphonse Island lends itself to an atmosphere of undisturbed solitude; whilst still offering all the amenities and facilities that will make your stay remarkably comfortable and enjoyable. Experience guided snorkelling safaris with expert guides, meet and swim with Spinner Dolphins, discover vibrant coral gardens around the island, board sunset cruises, witness turtle hatchlings and meet ancient giant tortoises plus a wealth more. 

“Our philosophy is to promote the conservation of this biome in harmony with low impact human development and ecotourism.” – Blue Safari Conservation

Alphonse Island is part of the Blue Safari Seychelles; sustainability is the foundation of Blue Safari Seychelles philosophy and all of the atolls and islands within the Blue Safari Seychelles portfolio are wholly committed to the protection of the environment.

The island is also a member of The Island Conservation Society (ICS). The ICS team offers activities on the island such as Turtle Patrol, Beach Cleanups, Giant Tortoise viewing and feeding and bird-watching which guests are encouraged to join. Without the ICS’s sound knowledge, the ecosystem on the atoll would not be what it is today.

“Back in 2018, Alphonse Island installed 2,200 solar panels to generate the island’s electricity and by doing so, became a pioneer for renewable energy. The effect of these solar panels will eliminate the use of 268 000 litres of diesel usage per annum and will be reducing the island’s emissions by 718.24 tonnes annually.” – ehotelier

At Alphonse Lodge the choice is simply yours, whether it’s to relax or to have an adventure, either way, this is an island that needs to be explored to be believed. 

Four Seasons Resort Seychelles

Four Seasons Resort, Seychelles, is situated amongst vast tropical greenery, beaches and coral reefs, collectively creating an extraordinary environment that is home to some special species. Therefore the resort has partnered up with local environmental organisations such as marine education and conservation partner WiseOceans, in order to showcase their commitment to sustainability, whilst promoting education and engagement opportunities for their guests.

Four Seasons Seychelles offers one-of-a-kind, magnificent accommodations, their Guest Rooms are stand-alone Villas that feature large sunken bathtubs and private pools, located either by the beach or nestled among the lush tropical hillside; these stunning retreats are ideal for romantic getaways. The Resort’s Suites either sit proudly elevated, overlooking Petite Anse Bay or are just footsteps from the pristine shores of the Indian Ocean, they feature outdoor showers, private pools and a deck, plus outdoor dining area. The Suites are perfect for families or friends.

The resort offers a variety of eco-friendly, non-motorised water sports and landscape tours, allowing guests to pick fresh fruits such as mango, jackfruit and more. Explore the sparkling blue ocean and all of its natural treasures with the friendly and knowledgeable WiseOceans Marine Educator. The Resort, ideally situated in the Seychelles has minimised their plastic usage by swapping out straws and bottles for sustainable alternatives, they are energy-efficient, chemical-free, passionate about recycling and sourcing locally. 

“Our Resort is built in and around a slope of granite boulders and lush forest, fringing the beach and the coral reefs beyond, which together create a fascinating environment to explore and experience the flora and fauna of Seychelles. Through our partnerships with local environmental organisations and our marine education and conservation partner WiseOceans, we seek to showcase our commitment to sustainability, while promoting education and engagement opportunities for our guests.” – Four Seasons

Seychelles - Mahe Island - 1554 - Four Seasons Seychelles spa
Four Seasons Seychelles Spa view

For most of us, holidays are something we look forward to year-round, now more than ever we have readily available, accessible information about sustainability and the environment at our fingertips. We have become increasingly mindful of the ways in which we can actively make a difference in our everyday lives, so this shouldn’t stop at the airport terminals or for those hard-earned breaks away. 

The choice is ours, as is the responsibility to look after our planet, taking time to do the research on whether a resort is responsible, sustainable and eco-friendly is simply part of our role in being a sustainable tourist; to keep these desirable destinations around the world beautiful, enriched and thriving.

Visit somewhere and give back to a community that shares its culture, history, nature and more. As holidaymakers, we need to support the initiatives in place that help maintain a responsible relationship between travel and ecotourism. 

“It is clear to see that the Seychelles go above and beyond when it comes to protecting their atolls and all species who inhabit them. Giving tourists the opportunities to encounter and engage with the magnificent flora and fauna and providing them with luxury, unique, eco accommodations.”

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