Two Hiking Fails on Praslin, Seychelles
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Last Updated on May 15, 2021 by Amy
While our friends Kyle and Lauren visited us in Seychelles, we did A LOT of hiking. This is no big surprise, as with Kyle’s last two visits we hiked the highest point in Fiji and Pic N’Ga in New Caledonia. While hiking in Seychelles, we did have several very successful hikes (Curiuse, Valle de Mai, Copolia, Nid d’Aigle), but we also had two….that weren’t.
Hiking to Zimbabwe
Not Zimbabwe the country! Zimbabwe Point is the local name for what is formally known as Grand Fond. It’s not the highest peak on Praslin Island, but it’s a very high peak that overlooks the northern side of the island. Since it’s such a high point, a telecommunications tower was built up there. Many of the migrants working to install the tower were from Zimbabwe (the country) and were living up at the construction site, so the mount got it’s nickname when the workers visited the local watering holes and then retired back up to “Zimbabwe” for the evening.
We left from Anse Lazio on foot. The hike to Zimbabwe is about three kilometers to the top, and we were starting from sea level, so we knew it would be steep. Armed with our camelbacks and cameras, we set off on the hike.
Actually, Zimbabwe can barely even be called a hike, since we were on a road the entire time. The BUS even runs all the way up to Zimbabwe, although the schedule is reputed to be sporadic. There were a few lovely viewpoints looking over Curieuse Island, and even a small part of the bay we were anchored in.
However, when we got near the top, we were surprised to find it closed off. After grumbling for a few moments, we turned around and started our descent back down the road.
Maybe the better option is to ride the bus up and walk down.
Hiking Lazio to Georgette
While our hike to Zimbabwe was a disappointment (oh we hiked all this way not to get to the actual view at the top???), our Lazio to Georgette hike was a real fuck up.
When we made it through the swell rolling into the beach and secured the dinghy to a tree root, David and I realized neither of us had a wallet. However, the hike was only supposed to be about 3 hours round trip, and we had two full camelbacks and snack foods. Should be no problem, right?
We take off for the trail. At first, we’re just walking a small trail along the shore that’s pretty obvious. Then, we came upon a really cute little house (guesthouse?) with a yard full of flowering plants. A dirt road led away from the house into the island. And there was even a helpful sign that said “Anse Georgette” and pointed into the bushes.
At first, we were concerned. There was definitely a trail here, but it was very overgrown. However, it eventually cleared out and we were trekking down a dried riverbed slope with a beautiful view. Ah, ok, that’s more like it.
Next we descended back into more jungle. Huge palm trees covered the trail, so at least it was shady. There was a fork in the trail, but no signage. We guessed and went right, towards the shore instead of inland.
Then we arrived at what looked like an abandoned small plantation. There were orderly plants (coconuts and pineapples), though certainly, no one was living in the home. With the crops, it was hard to tell where the trail continued, but we thought we picked something up….until we lost it.
Here’s the good news; we made a great team. Especially considering we didn’t know Lauren very well, it could have easily been bad. But we were all good about a) not panicking and b) agreeing unanimously whether to continue on or not. We all decided to proceed forward regardless, and occasionally we got down to the shore and bouldered along on the granite stones that Seychelles is so famous for.
We did run out of water and I ripped my brand new pants (gasp!) sliding down a boulder but we made it to Anse Georgette after three hours. David, our fearless bushwhacking leader, took a well-deserved lie down on the beach.
Once we’d all relaxed enough, Kyle and Lauren got to enjoy the gorgeous beach. I sucked up my pride and asked our beach neighbors, a very nice Polish couple, if I could Venmo them some money in exchange for cash. They very kindly gave me 150 SCR, which was enough to get two coconuts and a small fruit platter from the guy hawking fruits on the beach. (I did get their mailing address and had a friend in the EU mail a thank you letter and some cash to them. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers.)
Anse Georgette is right next to the golf course for the Constance Lemuria Resort. David really wanted to call a cab to head back (who could blame him?) but I had to explain that there isn’t a road from Lazio to Georgette. You have to drive nearly the entire perimeter of the second largest island in Seychelles to get back to Lazio. We were able to find changing rooms we could use at the resort to clean up and fill our water bottles. Feeling much better we set back out to exit the resort and try to walk back.
Now, we know how to do Lazio to Georgette the correct way. Instead of following the sign for Georgette into the bush, we should have followed the road. This is the path we took back to Anse Lazio; we followed the road, which dead-ended at the house with the flowers, and then followed the original trail back to Lazio. The road was fairly steep but clearly much, much easier to follow than the trail we got lost on. The lookouts were pretty good too. And the trip back to Lazio took 45 minutes!
Would we have made it if we’d taken the left fork? I don’t know, but I don’t really have an interest in finding out either. Suffice it to say, I’d advise taking the road.
At least we spared that French woman traveling solo of our fate on our return trip. Great stories and major props to Captain Dave for Ponce de Leon-ing it through the jungle. While Georgette was beautiful, I wouldn’t call that hike the fountain of youth either.
Haha! I know, she would have been lost forever!! Georgette was worth the road walk, not the bushwhacking.