Desroches Island

Desroches is a small island in the Indian Ocean, part of the Seychelles, an archipelago of more than 100 islands just south of the equator. You reach Desroches via a 40 minutes flight from the main island, Mahé, which has an international airport. I have known Desroches since the early 1990s, and have been there quite a few times since, from a few weeks to several months. While its face has changed – I remember the cattle grazing under the palm trees –, it has kept is basic character of a tropical place of beautiful vegetation, wild life, and underwater experience. No roads, only a few pathways around and across the island. You walk or ride your bicycle.

Contrary to the three centre islands Mahé, Praslin, and La Digue, Desroches – which belongs to the outer islands – is not flooded by tourists. It has exactly one hotel (plus, alas, now also some bungalows owned by private persons), and the night life consists of watching the stars and listening to the waves on the beach.

Under water – I learned to scuba dive there –, you find a gorgeous realm of hard and soft corals, and fish and turtles inhabiting these. Sadly, the warming of the sea can be observed over the years, with a lot of coral bleaching. There’s a drop-off wall that takes you down to 45+ meters, and at the right dive sites the underwater experience is overwhelming.