Seychelles South and West Mahé Landscapes
Seychelles South and West Mahé landscapes featuring Intendance, Anse Bazarca, Petite Police in the south. And Anse Takamaka, Baie Lazare, Anse a la Mouche, Anse Boileau, and Grand Anse on the west coast.
My three favourites beaches are south of the Coast Road between Anse Forbans and Takamaka Beach. Namely, Anse Intendance, Anse Bazarca and Petite Police, all accessible by following the Chemin Grande Police Road/Intendance Road, which runs south from Quatre Bornes. All three beaches are great for landscape, nature, and wildlife photography. Also, they have good shade and do not get crowded.
Anse Intendance Coastal Landscapes
The Banyan Tree Seychelles resort on Intendance Road has a public car park that allows access to the beach. Arguably the best beach on Mahé with its long white sandy bay. However, it does not have a fringing reef, so it is not safe for swimming. It is trendy, so it tends to get a little crowded, and resort villas occupy most of the beachfront. Furthermore, it is a turtle nesting beach, and I have seen a couple of Hawksbill Turtle coming ashore at the north end. Number three on my list of top Mahe beaches.
Anse Bazarca Coastal Landscapes
Anse Bazarca Beach
The beach backs onto the Chemin Grande Police Road and is situated just west of Petit Police. It is number one on my top Mahé beaches list and my favourite because of the wildlife.
Each week of our holiday, we spent several days visiting this beach to watch and photograph hawksbill turtles that come ashore during the day hours. Green turtles also nest here at night, but I have only seen their tracks. While waiting for the turtles to come ashore, I photograph beachscapes and other wildlife, including migrant and native shorebirds (waders) that forage along the shoreline.
Monsoon Influence on Anse Bazarca Beach
The beach profile at Anse Bazarca changes in October when the southwest monsoon changes to the northwest monsoon.
From May to September, the southwest monsoon coincides with the prevailing South Equatorial Current flows in a westerly direction across the Indian Ocean towards Mahé. These ocean currents suck sand off the beach, exposing the old coral formations and slabs. The first image in the gallery shows the sand loss in October.
From October to April, the East African Coastal current changes course, becoming the Equatorial Counter Current flowing eastwards to Seychelles during the northwest monsoon. This ocean current throws sand back onto the beach, covering up the rocks, as shown in the photos.
By the end of our visit in October 2012, the beach sand was around the same level as our first visit in November 2011.
Petite Police Coastal Landscapes
At the end of Chemin Grande Police Road on the southern tip of Mahé is a dirt road that leads to the secluded Petite Police Beach. There is little sand with many rocks, and the sea has dangerous currents, making swimming unsafe. Still, the cove offers opportunities for seascape photography and bird watching. Some fine casuarina pine trees fringe the dirt track and beach, giving shade from the sun.
West Mahé is north of Takamaka Beach to the Sans Soucis Road and Port Launay Road junction. The North Coast Road passes several beaches, including Anse Takamaka, Baie Lazare, Anse a la Mouche, Anse Boileau, and Grand Anse beaches.
West Mahé Panorama
West Mahé Coastal Landscapes
It is a small cove with Chez Batista Villas at the south end of the beach.
A splendid beach but does have some resort villas that occupy some beachfront. Also, the sand is finer away from the public accessible end, where it is much coarser. To reach the beach, follow Anse Soleil Road then the very narrow Anse Gouvernment Road towards Pebbles Cove Reef. It is worth the drive as photography at this north end of the beach can be rewarding, and trees give plenty of shade.
Anse a la Mouche
The West Coast Road skirts this horseshoe bay for around four kilometres. A few exciting rock formations and views across the bay from the north end make it interesting for seascape photography. The reef is quite extensive.
It has one of the least impressive beaches on the west coast, with coarse sand and mud; locals moor their boats near the beach.
There is no coral reef on this long sandy beach.