Seychelles Silhouette Island
From Beau Vallon Beach on Mahé the outline of Silhouette can be seen as the sun falls behind Mount Dauban. Despite being the third-largest island of the granite Seychelles by size, Silhouette has a population of just 130. Although close to Mahé, until recently it had few visitors as coral reefs made it difficult to land. Today, a proper jetty has been built and most visitors arrive by helicopter. Helicopter or boat transfers can be organised for the clients of Silhouette Island Lodge, the only hotel on the island.
Unlike its neighbours, the island is of volcanic origin and is named after an 18th Century French dignitary. The famous privateer, Hodoul, once lived on Silhouette and it is generally believed that he buried treasure here.
There are no roads, so it is a place for walkers. For serious walkers, there are two paths through equatorial forests linking La Passe and Grande Barbe, and La Passe to Anse Mondon. It takes between half-a-day and a day to hike there and back. The island is very mountainous; Dauban is 780 metres high, much of it covered with albizia trees, but higher up there are many plants unique to Seychelles. There are many traditional Creole houses and an old plantation house, one of the finest in Seychelles. The Dauban family tomb is in the grand classical manner, looking at odds with its surroundings.
There were mysterious graves at Anse Lascare that were later destroyed by the sea. Once believed to be evidence that these islands were already known to Arab traders, these graves have now been dated from the arrival of the first Europeans and their slaves. Day trips can be organised with private boats chartered from Beau Vallon (Mahé) or through Helicopter Seychelles.