Expect a marine safari extravaganza with a splash of fishing on this sensational island escape, says Aisha Gross

In the heart of the Indian Ocean lies Alphonse Island, a paradisiacal haven for those seeking an escape into the heart of nature. While many tropical destinations boast pristine beaches and lush landscapes, Alphonse Island sets itself apart with a marine safari experience that unveils mesmerising beauty beneath the ocean’s surface. 

Alphonse Island, part of the Seychelles archipelago, is a secluded gem surrounded by turquoise waters and coral reefs. Accessible only by private plane, the journey itself sets the tone for an exclusive and extraordinary escape. As you touch down on the island’s airstrip, the anticipation of the marine safari adventure begins to build. 

Renowned for its world-class diving opportunities, the warm, crystal-clear waters teem with vibrant coral formations and a kaleidoscope of marine life. The island’s dive centre caters to all levels of expertise, whether you’re a seasoned diver or a novice, and you can also gain various PADI qualifications during your stay, with some of the most experienced instructors around. 

The marine safari experience extends beyond the surface, offering a glimpse into the diverse and thriving ecosystem that flourishes beneath the waves. Venture into the Blue Hole, a mesmerising underwater sinkhole, or explore the labyrinthine coral gardens that are home to a dazzling array of fish, turtles and rays. 

For those seeking a more exhilarating encounter, Alphonse Island provides the chance to swim with the majestic creatures of the deep. Join expert guides on a snorkelling expedition, encountering unique experiences with some of the ocean’s gentle creatures, including whale sharks, sailfish and manta rays. You will have the once-in-a-lifetime experience to join them as they glide through the water with otherworldly grace, a truly awe-inspiring sight. 

Alphonse Island is renowned as a premier destination for both fly fishing enthusiasts and big game fishing. The surrounding waters abound with bonefish and triggerfish, making it a haven for anglers seeking a challenging and rewarding experience, while the flats surrounding the island offer an ideal environment for wading and casting. Alternatively, venture into the deep blue on a chartered boat and set your sights on trophy species such as marlin, sailfish and tuna. The experienced guides on the island ensure that both seasoned anglers and novices alike can reel in the catch of a lifetime. 

Alphonse Island’s commitment to conservation extends to its fishing activities. The island practices catch-and-release policies, promoting the preservation of fish populations and the delicate balance of the marine ecosystem. They allow only 17 rods out on any one day to ensure that the area does not become overfished.  

Whether you’re exploring the underwater wonders or casting your line into the blue horizon, Alphonse Island ensures that every moment is an adventure, and every encounter with the ocean is an opportunity to connect with the wild beauty that defines this secluded tropical paradise. 

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Karen Chapman
Terry Moohan
Charlotte Winter

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