St Anne National Marine Park is a specific zone within the Seychelles archipelago which was designated for wildlife protection back in 1973. The area is 4.5 km2 and lies approximately 5km to the northeast of the main island Mahé. It is made up of six key islands, coral reefs, sand flats and one of the largest seagrass beds in the Seychelles.
- Sainte Anne Island was discovered in 1747 by the French explorer Lazare Picault. The island was settled by French colonies even before Mahé Island which at the time was infested with crocodiles! There are four beaches on Sainte Anne where sea turtles lay their eggs from November to February, and the island is also home to cinnamon plants and coconut palms - including the Coco-de-Mer.
- Cerf Island is home to a population of around 100 people, is the second largest island in the St Anne Marine National Park, and is an excellent area for diving and snorkelling. It was once a quarantine station and looked after sailors with contagious diseases!
- Ile Cachée - which as the name suggests - is connected with stories of hidden treasure (and is closest to South Point Villas on Cerf Island!)
- Round Island was once a leper colony and is the smallest island in the Ste Anne Marine National Park.
- Long Island is the third largest of these marine park islands and was also once a quarantine station. Up until 2007 it was also home to a prison, however when its idyllic setting was finally fully recognised, it was developed into a luxury resort.
- Moyenne Island was purchased in 1962 by a British national and newspaper editor Brendon Grimshaw for around £10,000. Grimshaw lived alone on the island until 2012 when he died aged 87. During his time there he turned down an offer of £24 million to buy the island and instead developed Moyenne into a nature sanctuary. He also ensured its status as a nature reserve in its own right and further development has been prohibited. The documentary A Grain of Sand tells this fascinating story.
St Anne National Marine Park, apart from being outstandingly beautiful, has an extremely diverse eco system. It’s perfect for scuba diving, snorkelling, or for a visit by glass bottomed boat – allowed only in some designated areas. Both fishing and watersports such as water skiing are forbidden so as not to disturb the corals and the huge array of fish and other rare species that live there.
Among the marine life that you might find in the St Anne National Marine Park are green and hawksbill turtles, reef sharks, and a huge variety of tropical fish including clown fish, octopus, sea urchins, starfish and nudibranch.
South Point Villas are perfectly situated to take full advantage of the Sainte Anne Marine National Park. The ocean is at your doorstep and you can even snorkel directly off our jetty. If snorkelling isn’t your thing, you can always take a glass bottomed boat trip, which can often include hikes around neighbouring islands such as Moyenne. If you are considering Scuba diving then please contact us and we’ll be happy to make appropriate arrangements for you.