Desroches Island & the Outer Islands

Discover the legendary underwater kaleidoscope of the western Indian Ocean coral gardens.

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The islands that make up the Seychelles are widely flung across the Indian Ocean, some being far closer to Madagascar than to Mahe, the capital of the Seychelles. The mostly coralline ‘Outer Islands’ , include Desroches Island, Amirantes, Alphonse, Farquhar and Aldabra islands.

From the air all you see are the blue shadows of the pristine coral reefs. It is diving amongst these reefs which draws divers here, with columns and caves to explore and a phenomenal marine life including turtles, mantas and hammerhead sharks.

The best known of these is Desroches Island, covered with coconut palms and tall hardwood trees – the perfect desert island! Desroches is the closest to Mahe, a mere 230km to the south-west, and reached only by air. This tiny island, with its luxurious beach lodge, Desroches Island Lodge, has 14km of virgin white sandy beaches, crystal clear azure blue water and a large shallow lagoon protected by a rich coral reef. As expected, it is a mecca for scuba divers.

Alphonse Island also has a huge lagoon, dotted with coral reefs. This island attracts keen sports-fishers, especially for bone-fishing.