Thursday, 31 January 2013

Frégate Island... Treasure Island?

Situated approximately 55km from Mahé, Frégate and is the most distant of the granitic Inner Island group. It was a popular pirate haunt during the latter part of the 17th century and stories persist of treasure hidden somewhere on its 280 hectares, although I am yet to confirm those stories!
A three-kilometre square fragment splintered from the prehistoric ark-continent of Gondwana, which once united South America, Africa, India and the Antarctic: like much of the Seychelles, Frégate Island remained beyond the reach of the major evolutionary developments, and man, for hundreds of millions of years. This allowed secluded pockets of untouched nature to flourish.

The Seychellois magnate Harry Savy purchased the island after World War II, transforming it into a highly profitable venture by growing vegetables, fruit, coffee, vanilla, cinammon and poultry for markets on Mahé. The island sustained a population of some 100 persons, busily engaged in Savy’s several lucrative enterprises.

The island is home to no less than fifty species of birds, among which is the rare Seychelles magpie robin, and also hosts the world’s only population of the giant tenebrionid beetle as well as numerous giant tortoises.

Frégate features a luxurious five-star eco-lodge offering the optimum in comfort and amenities that has become a favourite hideaway for Hollywood stars, with deluxe villas right on the foreshore to ensure each has a million-dollar sea view. Meanwhile guests are encouraged to engage themselves in the island’s many conservation projects, run by ecologists charged with keeping the island naturally pristine.


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