Travel Guide Seychelles: Cousin Island
Cousin Island is a 27 hectare island in the Seychelles Archipelago and a major retreat for endemic species of animals and plants. Find more information in the following blog
Cousin Island is a 27 hectare island in the Seychelles Archipelago, west of Praslin and a major retreat for endemic species of animals and plants. Like many places in the Seychelles, Cousin Island was severely damaged by coconut cultivation, which continued until the 1970s. However, since the island and the surrounding waters were declared a nature reserve a few decades ago, intensive efforts have been made to restore the original ecosystem.
Today, Cousin Island is home to a variety of species and habitats. The forests and wetlands are home to numerous species of insects, birds, reptiles and amphibians, which you will certainly encounter yourself during your time in the project.
approx. 4 km southwest of Praslin, in the Seychelles, in the middle of the Indian Ocean
approx. 27 hectares or 0,27 km²
Seychelles warbler, Magpie Robin, White Tern, White-tailed Tropicbird, Bridled Tern, Crab-Plover, Aldabra Giant Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Green Sea Turtle, Ghost Crabs and Hermit Crabs and more
Best travel time
April to October
Untouched wild nature with several highlights of flora and fauna, the island is hardly visited and therefore offers an exclusive adventure
Visiting Cousin Island
Location, geography and climate
Cousin Island is located in the Seychelles archipelago, in the Indian Ocean near the East African coast. Cousin Island is located about 40 km from the main island of the Seychelles, Mahé, and about 2.5 km from the island of Praslin.
With an area of 0.27 km², Cousin is one of the smallest islands in the Seychelles. The former coconut plantation is now one of the most important protected areas in the Seychelles. Cousin Island has a tropical warm and humid climate which is strongly influenced by the sea. From November to March is the rainy season and from June to September the dry season with slightly cooler temperatures.
Flora and fauna
Despite its modest size, the island is a true animal and plant paradise. The plant world is mainly characterized by tropical tree populations. But also ferns and small bushes form a natural ecosystem on the island. Besides coconut and mangrove trees, bayhops with their beautiful pink flowers, the unusual Pisonia grandis and casuarina grow, to name but a few species.
The various habitats not only provide a breeding ground for eleven sea bird species every year but also offer a habitat to five endemic birds. Among the annually breeding seabirds are various species of terns such as the white tern and bridled terns. The spectacular white-tailed tropicbird is also one of the highlights of Cousin Island with over 3000 breeding pairs. Furthermore, shearwaters, noddies as well as great frigatebirds can be found. In total, over 300,000 seabirds breed in the Cousin Island sanctuary. Among the endemic land birds are the Seychelles warbler as well as the magpie robin, the Seychelles blue pigeon and zebra dove and the Seychelles sunbird. Birds related to the waders such as crab-plovers and whimbrels are also common residents.
Besides birds, Cousin Island is also inhabited by a variety of reptiles. These include various lizards such as the endemic Seychelles skink (Trachylepis seychellensis) and the Wright's skink (Trachylepiswrightii). Turtles also inhabit the island. The hatchlings of Hawksbill Turtles often hatch in spring. Green Sea Turtles also lay their eggs on Cousin Island. In addition, hundreds of different species of fish and corals as well as rays and smaller sharks live in the waters around the island.
The protected island is a true paradise for nature lovers. Cousin Island is carbon neutral and uses its income from tourism to protect and preserve biodiversity. The bird life on Cousin Island is very special and even unique. The island invites to be explored on hikes and walks and to marvel at the animal and plant world at close range. Also the coral reefs offer a great opportunity to enjoy your time in this natural paradise and unique experiences under the water surface. Another highlight is the view from one of the granite rocks in the centre of the island. From here you can watch the picturesque sunset in an incomparable way.
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