PRASLIN: Island of the   

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    The only other island to be natural home to the Coco de Mer, Curieuse was originally known as Ile Rouge (Red Island) due to large areas of bare red earth over parts of the island. Notwithstanding this Curieuse has an interesting history. A leper colony was established at Anse St Joseph. Today the remnant of the lepers cottages are crumbling and overgrown, but the original doctors house, a double story building which was claimed by many to be haunted, has been rebuilt as a museum.
    In years gone by, a previous owner of the island built a stone wall across Baie Larai, effectively to close off the mangrove and create a pond in whiche turtles could bred.
    A few buildings house the game wardens and their families and even the young tortoises have a roof over their heads.
    In an attempt to reintroduce the land tortoises from Aldabra the national parks personnel are rearing the young tortoises to an age of about five years before setting them free on the island. .
  • ARIDE:
    Situated at 15 kilometres from Praslin, Aride is home to the greatest concentration of sea birds in the entire region and boasts the world's largest colonies of both the lesser noddy and the roseate terns. Purchased in 1973 by chocolate industrial, Christopher Cadbury, for the Royal Society for Nature Conservation, Aride is also famous for the Wright's gardenia or "bois citron", which is an endemic plant only seen on the island.
    Apart from being an island of independant beauty, Aride is a spectacle of wildlife, and very worthwhile visiting even more so for those who do not have any particular interest in birds?
    Beneath the waters surrounding Aride are reefs and rocky outcrops where fishlife is as astounding as the birdlife above.
    Due to the fact that Aride's onlybeach faces south-east, landing on the island, especially during the south-esat monoson, may be difficult, and occassionally impossible.  
    This small island, situated a few kilometres from Praslin, is a bird sanctuary, which a maximum of 20 visitors, at any one time, can visit on specific days of the week. The island is owned by the Royal Society for Nature Conservation (RSNC),managed by the International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP) and declared in 1975 Special Reserve, by the Government of Seychelles.
    It's a real Paradise for ornithoogists, and the only place in the world where you can find the brush warbler (Brebornis Seychellensis, which the french call the "tiny island blackbird. It is also one of the three islands, together with Cousine and Fregate, where you can see the Seychelles Fody or Toctoc. 250 thousand birds nest there each year, and bird lovers can admire close to the Seychelles sunbird, the red turtle-dove, moor-hens, and amongst the sea birds the inmistakable fairy tern, symbol of the Seychelles, the black tern, the frigate, the wedge-tailled sherwater and Audubon's Shearwater.
    The extremely large bird population is followed by that of reptiles:there are eleven species, amongst which two kinds of skinks Mabuya Seychellensis and Wright's Skinko. Gianttortoises have benn living on this island for hundred years. The Reserve on Cousin is only open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays. Trips can be arranged through travel agents or your hotel.