The Nature reserve Cousin Island – a trip from Praslin from
A trip to Cousin Island is something Special – not only because of the many birds and animals, but also because these finds of this unspoilt Paradise on the Seychelles, all are looking for. And because the island has managed to do what they call a success story.
Jnow wait. It's 9.35 in the morning. I'm sitting in a small boat. Before us is a small deserted island, which protrudes just out of the sea. The sea shines with the sun and can be seen in the bright turquoise tones. Almost cheesy. “We're early,” says the Skipper. “The island is open until 10 PM”. And indeed, we are not allowed to approach the island. No strangers to boats to dangerous what you could tow may be. Mice, rats, or other pests, which were once banished from the island.
So we wait for the personal pick-up service. I stare consistently, than have someone hypnotized on the beach, in front of us. He is so bright white that it dazzles in my eyes. And then the silence. On the shore I see a white boat, far and wide not a soul, only the one or the other catamaran that will join alongside us and with us waiting. The motors are switched off and we move with the waves.
Then it is ready. It is 10 o'clock, as I see movement on the shore. Employees push the white wooden boat into the sea and pick us one by one. “Bonzour madam” radiates to me a young man in a bright blue T-Shirt, as he reached our boat. I get in and we go full steam on the beach. The emphasis is on full steam, because wet feet you do not want to get Off as a visitor. And so I set my feet first, directly into the powder-soft Sand.
It takes two seconds, until the group from our boat of a conservation staff picked and in a kind of open entrance hall is brought. Only I'm allowed to stay. I'm not from the press, but today, in a special order here. Each is mentioned on a list by name. The island on your own, you may not discover that. But not only so, but also because of the 500 Ruppees conservation fee that must be paid by each visitor to the island.
Cousin is a nature reserve
Cousin Island is a nature island and, apart from a handful of biologists live there are no people. Once a coconut plantation was bought of Cousin in 1968 by the International Council for Bird Protection (now Bird Life), in order to protect the Seychelles endemic Seychelles Warber. The species was threatened with extinction and the last 26 copies were discovered in a mangrove area on Cousin. All coconut trees have been destroyed on the island, in order to give the native trees a room. The Population of Warblers increased very quickly, until some specimens there is the beginning of the 80s, even after Aride and Cousine Island (the Islands of Cousin and CousinE), as well as on other Islands exposed to could be. The goal is 5,000 copies were on the five Islands. Today, the endemic Seychelles Warbler is not a threatened species, and more. And if one asks for success stories of nature conservation of the Seychelles, Cousin Island is certainly one of them. If not even one of the largest.
But not only this species benefited from the conservation project in Cousin Island. Many other species were able to recover, for example, the Seychelles Magpie Robin. Only a few copies were fighting on Fregate in order to Survive. The former coconut plantation, is today an indigenous forest, a haven for native animal and plant species. In addition to birds, it also houses a number of reptiles such as giant tortoises living free in their natural environment, and five endemic lizards. You will also see on Cousin, the rare giant lizard.
The island is also considered one of the most important breeding sites in the Western Indian ocean for Hawksbill turtles. Since 1972, there is a monitoring programme in order to protect you. Their nests were also increased in this period, nearly 10-fold.
English there, the French here
I'm still in the small Abdach the hut with all the other visitors. We are now divided into groups. There are English and French, each with a Guide, a conservation staff on the island. In my group of about 20 to 25 other persons. Sounds like a lot, and it is, but I have finally booked a private Tour. We do not have here at all.
On the path through the forest is to me is aware of how different the Vegetation on Cousin. Coconut palm trees, this are really for us, the characteristic of a para, have been destroyed. You don't belong here, and native species to Rob the place.
Next to me, brooding birds on the ground and we hardly interfere. A little further on, two giant walk us turtles on the way. And down on a wooden stump, I see the Wright's skink (Teng teng) sit on an XXL-Version of the Lizard kind, which can be seen everywhere on the Seychelles. He is around 30 cm tall.
Our Guide Alex rustling suddenly on the ground. With his feet he removed the leaves and exposes the forest floor. It doesn't take long until an endemic bird, the Seychelles Magpie Robin, comes to lining digs. Right next to us. Two metres away.
The guided Tour lasts approximately 80 minutes. Until we are we brought back to our boats, we have at the end of 30 minutes time. We may stop us on the beach and who may want to take a bath. At 12.30 PM, at the latest, all disappeared people. Then, the visiting time is completed, as well as on holidays and weekends.
Cousin Island is a non-governmental organization of Seychelles and is funded by yourself. A visitor here is doing so Good and supported with the fee of 500 Rupees active in the conservation of the island. If you book a Tour with a provider that has included this fee in the total price.
The island of Cousin offers no tours. On the main Islands however, there are many local boat suppliers. Recommended fishing Tours on the island (more info here or here) or Martin from the property, Beach Villas (more info here), for example. Also from La Digue from the Tour is possible. Due to the proximity of Cousin to Praslin and the longer travel but the price is much higher. It is important to note that the boat provider is only for the Transfer of jurisdiction. Off the coast of the guests of the nature reserve will be picked up employees, and then there in their Hand. Who wants to save money, you can try to organise a reputable taxi boat. Should pay you but only after the pick-up, otherwise you look at it, maybe never again.
Who would like to support more, can donate. The island is managed by Nature Seychelles, with the support of many other projects. More info on the topic of donations, click here.
By the way, the island is not to be confused with its neighbouring island of cousin Island, a luxury accommodation is located. Cousin is a nature reserve island with no place to stay.
More about Cousin you can find in my Seychelles travel guide
More about excursions in the Seychelles read
- Mahé, Seychelles – 10 wonderful tips & trips for the main island of the Seychelles
- Boat trip to La Digue – for snorkeling, according to Coco, Félicité & Sister Islands
- Everything about the Cousin Island Nature Reserve