There are loads of beautiful and traditional places to stay on the island but these would be my recommendations for a traveller looking for a little bit more luxury and a hotel vibe.
Where to stay:
Le Domaine de l’Orangeraie
La Digue island lodge
How to get there:
Flights from South Africa depart 3 times a week with Air Seychelles. Once you fly into Mahe, depending on the time, you will have to fly in to Praslin and catch a ferry to La Digue.
The other option is to catch a ferry straight to La Digue from Mahe – this will take around 1 and a half hours.
Getting the shots – Inside island tips
A few tips to ensure you get the shots you want at the most photogenic beaches of the island and possibly in the world: Anse source d’Argent, Grande Anse, Petit Anse and Anse Cocos.
• Get up at least an hour before sun rise. You have to remember that getting to the beach takes a while too, especially seeing as though you are riding a bicycle to get there. You will also need time to set up on the beach before that beautiful light hits.
• Most of the beaches are public areas and you don’t have to pay an ‘entry fee’. Although one of the most famous beaches on the island – Anse source d’argent is part of a reserve and does require an entry fee. I learned that if you get to the beach while it is still dark, you can ride straight through the entry gate as no one is at work yet.
• Be sure to take two towels (one for dampness and one for cover in case), water and insect repellent with you on each shoot. Trekking and riding through damp forests to get to the spot you want is a little irritating with mosquitos buzzing around in your ear.
• Sometimes when the light has already come up and I’d like to add a little more darkness in order to produce a longer shutter speed shot for creating slow seas, I attach my polarising filter and turn it to it’s darkest. This neat little tip gives me at least 4 extra minutes for achieving my desired effect.
• Although sunsets can produce stunning light and dramatic colours, I found that there were two many people around to get the shots I wanted to create and you can’t exactly tell an in love honeymooning couple to please move a bit to the right because they are ruining your shot. Stick to sunrises for clear, clean beaches.
• The dense forests in the middle of the island are some of the prettiest I’ve seen, so don’t neglect the huge trees and natural pools of water while riding to get to your desired beach. It’s about the journey too.
• Work on your fitness before venturing the island, you are going to be riding a lot and sometimes quickly in order to get to your desired spot before the light.
La Digue is full of beautiful spots so be sure to check out these other attractions while on the island:
Veuve Nature Reserve
– Look out for the rare black paradise flycatcher bird (photo), found only on La Digue and numbering around 200. Watch as the male bird, with its blue bill, iridescent blue sheen and long black tail streamers, flitters through Indian almond trees in search of insects with the white, black and brown females.
– Hike through the heart of La Digue to Eagle’s Nest Mountain then climb up to the summit of Nid’Aigle (333m) for panoramic views over the neighbouring islands and crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean beyond.
Aldabra Giant Tortoise
– See one of Seychelles’ unique species, the Aldabra Giant Tortoise, munching on vegetation at L’Union Estate Plantation south of La Passe. The male tortoises average 120cm in length and weigh around 250kg; some at L’Union are more than 100 years old. Wander around the Old Plantation House and watch demonstrations of extracting oil from copra (dried coconut flesh).
Here are a few of my shots from the beautiful beaches…