Captain Benjamin G Marshall of Red Dragon has spent many seasons cruising the idyllic waters of the Indian Ocean. Here, he offers his top tips when visiting the paradise islands of the Seychelles.
African Banks is made up of two small islands lying approximately two kilometres apart and a stunning reef teeming with marine life surrounds both.
Once again, these two islands offer the most idyllic setting for incredible swimming. Imagine being in a natural, crystal clear swimming pool 1000 miles off the coast of Africa.
What makes this place very special is that Seabirds often choose the beach here to lay their eggs – so guests need to be careful where they tread. It’s very remote you wont see another boat out there.
Where to eat and drink
Bonbon Plume restaurant, Anse Lazio bay, Praslin
This Creole-influenced restaurant is basically fine dining in a beach setting. The chef has worked at Michelin star restaurants in Paris and I believe the UK’s Sunday Times voted the beach it is set on as the best beach in the world a few years back.
Best thing to do while ashore
Take some time to explore Mahe, You could spend a week there – gorgeous beaches and very few boats.
Best time to visit and why
This is a year-round destination. November – April you tend to get the North- West Monsoon which means lighter winds. October/May – the transition months – this time of year is very hot with very little wind. Great for diving. June/September – SE monsoon – the wind picks up again but still very pleasant.
A typical one-week itinerary would probably go something like this:
Mahe – Silhouette – Bird island – Curieuse – Praslin – La Digue – Petite Soeur – Mahe. This area is simply excellent for diving and fishing.
Essential items to pack
Sun cream and a camera
Advice for a first time charterer
Make sure your broker matches you to a boat that meets your requirements, for example if you want fine dining check that the chef is up to the challenge. Also, make sure that the boat can do what you expect it to do. Take some time to find out about the crew. Will the crew match your personalities? A good crew and a bad boat works – the other way a round simply doesn’t.