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ALPHONSE


The Alphonse group consists of three beautiful islands: Alphonse, Bijoutier and St. Francois.

Alphonse lies 400 km southwest of Mahe. It was given its name in the honour of Alphonse de Pontevez, captain of the ship ’Le lys‘. Common waxbills breed on Alphonse. Due to the isolation of the island, apart from Aldabra, more bird species have been found here than anywhere south of the granitics, including the only record of the Lapwing Bird for the entire southern Hemisphere. Large numbers of hawksbill and green turtles come to nest on Alphonse annually and the waters surrounding the island provide a safe haven for immature turtles of both species to forage. Coconut palms are numerous on the island but there are scattered native trees and areas of more natural forest near the airstrip.

The Alphonse Island Resort was opened in 1999, making it the second hotel of the outer islands, then in 2007 Island Conservation society established a conservation centre on Alphonse.

St. Francois Atoll lies 410 km south west of Mahe. Previously the island was occupied for the purposes of collecting coconuts, turtles and seabird eggs. The island is uninhabited, but visitors come from Alphonse to enjoy amazing fly-fishing opportunities from September to March. Migratory bird numbers are huge on the island and Seychelles largest numbers of whimbrel, ruddy turnstone and grey plover have also been recorded here. Large numbers of hawksbill and green turtles also nest on the island as the waters of the atoll provide an ample habitat for the young turtles of both species to forage. Bijoutier is a small, round island not far from St. Francois and measures less than 1 hectare. Bijoutier has a world-renowned population of bonefish.

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