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  • Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles

Offshore Eco- Education

A bright Wednesday morning at Bel Ombre and Class 5M excitedly boarded Hilton La Briz Hotels Silhouette Express for the 30 minute boat ride of 12 miles to the mystical island of Silhouette. Silhouette is Seychelles third largest island and home to many endemic flora and fauna. Francois and Said of the Island Conservation Society were waiting to welcome us at their office next to the beautifully restored ‘Gran Kaz’ . Following a power point display on Eco Systems and endemics we began our hike through the replanted endemic forest hosting rarities such as Bwa Siro, Kapisen, Bwa Sandal, Bwa Dir, Bwa Blanc and 5 Latannyen (Palm) species which the children learnt to name as millpat,oban, fey, lat, and palmist . On the way we saw many geckoes and birds in their natural habitats The mangrove also offered a wealth of new discoveries and the children made a number of sightings and identifications there spotting many types of crab and mudskippers.

The class continued on to Anse Lascar and its circular stone burial sites originally thought to be the eponymous Arabian graves but following dating of remains they are more likely to be pirates. We marvelled at the unspoilt environment and pristine shoreline and learnt a lot about beach habitats.

The visit continued with a historical tour of the old village on La Passe. Here we were led by Catherina of the Hilton group who enthusiastically regaled us with stories of life in Silhouette of yesteryear and allowed us access to the hotel complex to view some giant milk fish in the lagoon.

We ended our day out with games in the grounds of the ‘Grand Kaz’ and a browse round museum displays. In the ICS office we viewed the preserved pilot whale skeleton, pickled house snake and turtle hatchlings then it was time to cast off from our island paradise and endure a rather bumpy return journey.

Many thanks to Hilton La Brize Silhouette and Island Conservation Society for their stalwart efforts making this truly a day to remember.