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Where To See Giant Tortoises In The Seychelles – Complete Guide

If you’re looking for somewhere to see giant tortoises in the Seychelles then you’re in the right place.

Nothing can beat that amazing feeling of seeing a giant tortoise up close and personal in their natural habitat! Why not try it for yourself.

This post will tell you all of the best places to see giant tortoises in the Seychelles and includes everything you’ll need. 

Best Places To See Giant Tortoises In The Seychelles

The giant tortoises found in the Seychelles are Aldabra Giant Tortoises which are actually one of the largest types of tortoises on the planet. 

These tortoises were previously found on many islands in the Indian Ocean but today only a few remain.

The best place to see giant tortoises is in the Seychelles. Keep reading to find out the exact spots and locations where you can see these beautiful creatures for yourself.

If you’re located on the main island of Mahé, the easiest way to see the giant tortoises is by joining a boat tour to Curieuse Island (also includes a stop in La Digue). 

Your experienced guide will show you the best spots on Curieuse Island and La Digue including white sandy beaches, impressive rock formations and, of course, the giant tortoises.

For a more affordable option check out this day tour which takes you to L’Union Estate Park.

It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these giant tortoises as they can only be found in 2 places in the world – the Seychelles and the Galapagos Islands.

So, where can you see them for yourself?

1. Sainte Anne Marine National Park

The best place to see giant tortoises in the Seychelles is at Sainte Anne Marine National Park.

This national park is made up of 6 small islands just off the northeast coast of Mahé island. It has stunning sandy beaches, tropical vegetation and lots of great walking routes.

To see the giant tortoises, head over to Moyenne Island where the tortoises roam freely. 

It’s truly an incredible sight and one you’ll never forget. 

It can be difficult to access the islands alone so I’d recommend joining a boat tour which will take you over to the islands. 

This also gives you the best possible chance of seeing the giant tortoises as your experienced guide will know where they like to hang out.

Moyenne Island is the best place to see giant tortoises in the Seychelles as it doesn’t get super crowded with tourists. 

This is mainly due to its more secluded location and the fact you need to take a boat to get there.

Check out Moyenne Island in the video below to see what it has to offer:

2. Curieuse Island

Another great place where you can see giant tortoises in the Seychelles is on Curieuse Island which is also a national park.

This small island is largely untouched so has a really natural feel. It has quiet beaches, giant tortoises, a lush mangrove forest and also a local history museum.

The island is a little bit out of the way (this is what gives it a secluded feel) so you will need to join a tour to get there.

I’d recommend this full-day private boat tour from Mahé as it also includes a visit to the famous La Digue island as well as Curieuse Island to see the tortoises.

Once you arrive, you’ll be able to see hundreds of free roaming giant tortoises all over the island. Over 200 giant tortoises call Curieuse Island home.

There is also a tortoise nursery where baby tortoises are raised until they are 5 years old. Once they reach this age, they are released into the wild.

As well as giant tortoises, the island is also home to the Coco De Mer Palm. This huge, prehistoric palm tree has the world’s biggest seed.

Its seed can reach up to half a meter in diameter and can weigh up to 25kg.

Check out how close you can get to the giant tortoises in the video below:

3. L’Union Estate Park

Another place where you can see giant tortoises in the Seychelles is at L’Union Estate Park which is located at the southern end of La Digue.

L’Union Estate Park is a former coconut and vanilla plantation that gives an interesting insight into the colonial past of the islands. It’s also home to a number of glorious giant tortoises.

You can join a Seychelles day tour, which takes you around La Digue and includes a stop at L’Union Estate Park, to make things super easy.

This is actually the most affordable way to see giant tortoises so if you have a tighter budget then this may be your best option.

La Digue is one of the Seychelles most famous islands. It’s known for tropical beaches, turquoise waters and giant granite boulders. 

It truly looks like something out of a travel brochure so you definitely won’t be disappointed.

4. Desroches

Another island in the Seychelles where you can see giant tortoises is on Desroches.

If you’re looking for a luxury vacation then this is the perfect option as you can stay at the Four Seasons Resort Seychelles.

This secluded paradise feels like you are on your own private island as the Four Seasons is the only hotel on the island and comes complete with its own population of giant tortoises.

Desroches island is home to around 150 giant tortoises, many of which roam freely across the island.

The island is also the location of a tortoise sanctuary where guests can learn all about the giant tortoises and the conservation challenges they face.

Check out what the Four Seasons Resort has to offer in the video below:

Are There Giant Tortoises on Mahé?

If you’re staying on the main island of Mahé or in the Seychelles capital, Victoria, then you may be wondering if there’s somewhere on the mainland where you can see the giant tortoises.

There are few tortoises present on Mahé island, but there are some at the Seychelles National Botanical Gardens in Victoria.

Here you can admire trees and flowers as well as a range of wildlife including birds, fruit bats and giant tortoises.

You can even feed the giant tortoises here. Staff will give you leaves which you can feed to the tortoises, giving you the chance to get up close and personal with them.

How Big are the Tortoises in the Seychelles?

The Aldabra Giant Tortoises, which can be found in the Seychelles, usually weigh over 400kg and are around 1.3m in length. 

Some tortoises have lived to be over 250 years old but most live between 80 and 120 years.

Fun Giant Tortoise Facts

To get you prepared for your trip to the Seychelles where you’ll hopefully see some beautiful giant tortoises, here’s some fun tortoise facts.

  • The Aldabra Giant Tortoises are one of the largest tortoise species in the world.
  • Giant tortoises can reach over 200 years of age.
  • The oldest ever giant tortoise lived to be 255 years old.
  • The tortoises mainly eat grass, leaves, plant stems and fruit.
  • This type of tortoise has roamed the earth for more than 250 million years.
  • They spend most of their time looking for food.

History of Giant Tortoises in the Seychelles

Historically, giant tortoises were found on most islands in the Indian Ocean however they gradually became extinct. 

They were driven to extinction due to exploitation from European sailors who took them aboard their ships to eat them. 

By 1840, all species of giant tortoises were extinct apart from the Aldabra variety. 

These giant tortoises mainly live on the Aldabra Atoll which is an island of the Seychelles located 700 miles from the main island of Mahé.

This island has been protected from human influence and is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It’s super difficult to visit this island and only around 900 visitors are allowed to visit per year.

Today over 100,000 giant tortoises roam freely on the island.

Smaller populations of these tortoises can be found on other islands within the Seychelles (locations listed above).

They have become a popular tourist attraction with visitors coming from all over the world to see them in real life.

Thanks for reading this post on where to see giant tortoises in the Seychelles. 

It truly is a remarkable experience to see these creatures in real life. 

If you’re visiting the Seychelles then seeing the giant tortoises is something you just have to do as they are so rare and can only be seen in a few places in the whole world.

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