This small granitic island lies serenely off the north-west coast of Praslin and since 1979 has been declared a Marine National Park. Originally called Isle Rouge in 1744 by French explorer Lazare Picault because of its large areas of bare red soil, the island was renamed Curieuse in 1768 after the expeditionary ship sent by Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne to explore Praslin and its surrounding islands. For all Curieuse’s beauty, there is sadness in its past. View more
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There are no organised tours available on Curieuse, Seychells. Time ashore here is at your leisure.
This small granitic island lies serenely off the north-west coast of Praslin and since 1979 has been declared a Marine National Park.
Originally called Isle Rouge in 1744 by French explorer Lazare Picault because of its large areas of bare red soil, the island was renamed Curieuse in 1768 after the expeditionary ship sent by Marc-Joseph Marion Dufresne to explore Praslin and its surrounding islands.
For all Curieuse's beauty, there is sadness in its past. During the 19th and early 20th centuries the island was home to leper colonies, and ruins of the old settlement still stand along the southern coast. The former physician's residence, now the Doctor's House Visitor Centre, is a museum of the island's unfortunate past as well as an educational resource on the island's natural history and conservation.
Curieuse hosts a diversity of flora and fauna, making it a nature lover's delight. It is home to a large population of the unusual coco-de-mer palms, which grow naturally only here and in Praslin, and spectacular granite rock formations dot the landscape. Several beaches are scattered around the island, which are often nesting sites for giant tortoises that come ashore to lay their eggs between September and February. The variety of natural habitats, from tall lush woodland and dry bushy scrubland to freshwater mangrove marshes, attract plentiful wildlife such as endemic birds, turtles, lizards, crabs and insects.
Due to lack of infrastructure, there are no organised excursions offered.
The ship is anchored off Curieuse. Guests are taken ashore via ship's tender, which lands directly on the beach.
There are marked trails available for self exploration of different lengths and degrees of exertion. A limited number of Marine Park staff is available on the day of the ship's arrival to provide information and offer assistance on the trails.
The trails have different areas of focus. One of the easiest to access crosses a series of wooden boardwalks through the mangrove forest and leads to the ruins of the old leper settlement and Doctor's House Visitor Centre. Those wishing to explore the Baie Laraie beach trail must be accompanied by marine park staff, as it there may be turtle nesting sites. A third, more strenuous trail leads through the coco-de-mer forest to a summit with beautiful panoramic views. Please keep in mind that the spotting of wildlife can not be guaranteed.
Whatever you choose to explore on this tranquil hideaway, remember that sun protection is essential.