In September, a great opportunity suddenly comes along on Skyscanner: tickets to the Seychelles for only 415 EURO pp. I quickly text Kev “Can you take some time off in the May holidays?”. “Sure, 12 days.” And just like that, the tickets are booked! A dream trip: 10 days Seychelles with kids!
The cheap flights have a 14 hour stop going to Nairobi and a 12 hours stop on the way back. We decide to make the best of it and start the holiday with a mini-safari in Nairobi, Kenya. First wildlife spotting and then on to paradise islands, we can’t wait!
10 Days Seychelles with children and on safari in Kenya: DAY 1
After six months of anticipation we leave for Schiphol for part 1 of our flight: Amsterdam – Nairobi.
We leave on Good Friday, the first day of the May holiday and, oh my, how busy it is on Schiphol! Arriving there 3 hours in advancem, we are eventually led to the front at customs because otherwise we might miss our flight.
I hear KLM gets a lot of critic, but to be honest, I don’t understand why. The flight was perfect again, with super child friendly and sweet stewardesses and also the children’s service on board is good (pouch with all kinds of toys, a children’s menu with a hamburger, fries and a pizza as a snack).
After a 7,5 hour flight we land on Nairobi. The queue at customs is very long and hardly moves at all. As it is already around 23:00 Lotte decides to take a nap on the ground. When the customs officer sees it, he leads us in front of the long queue. Welcome to Kenya, such kindness! We have already bought visas for Kenya for our trip. You can also apply for your visa upon arrival in Kenya. The advantage of applying at home is that you can go through customs faster in Kenya and that you are guaranteed to enter the country (you already have a visa). Unfortunately the costs are substantially higher when you apply for a visa in advance though (about double the money) and when we arrived we heard that it was not necessary to apply a visa for the children.
Once through customs we are greeted by a super friendly gentleman from Gamewatchers Safaris. In 15 minutes he drives us to the gate of Nairobi National Park. Where a ranger (with a big gun to fight poachers) is waiting for us and our friendly guide. The ranger drive us through the park to the Tented Camp.
As we get into the jeep we hear an intense roar… the lion seems to be awake! After a 5 minute drive the oldest and largest male lion is lying in front of us on the road. The ranger is seems very happy and keeps shooting pictures with his phone. Apparently this is very special for him too. Seeing as mister lion doesn’t budge we drive on carefully, inching past him while holding our breath. Well, one down! Such a special experience. The kids both are speechless and have to swallow when we drive this close to the lion. After 50 meters his brother is also lying in the middle of the road. The ranger becomes even more enthusiastic and we repeat the whole ritual from the beginning.
Nairobi National Park, Tented Camp
Just when we think we’ve had all the highlights, we arrive at the tented camp. It is 00:30 and we are all tired, but this is so special that we have to pinch ourselves. In the middle of the bush of Nairobi National Park this is the only accommodation. It is a luxury tent camp.
We are treated to a warm welcome by the owner in the beautifully lit “lounge tent” and we are talked through the next day. At 05:15 we will get a wake-up call and a jug of hot water is brought for a refreshing bush shower. At 05:45 we are expected to have breakfast in the “restaurant tent” and at 06:30 we will leave in the jeep on safari which drops us off at 09:00 at the gate of the park. There, a guide from Gamewatchers Safari will pick us up again, who will drive us to the airport for the flight to the Seychelles.
A challenging schedule, especially with 2 young kids, but this way we make a very special experience of our otherwise “boring” stopover in Kenya. After this “briefing” we are brought to our tent which again, is beautiful. There are 3 beds in it (of which 1 double bed) all equipped with a nice hot water bottle, a desk, sink, toilet and bush shower. The tent is tastefully decorated in safari style with giraffe lamps and beautiful materials.
Once we’re in bed and the light goes out, it takes less than a minute before both kids are in bed with us. There is dark and there is “in the Kenyan bush dark.” The latter is quite exciting for both Flo and Lotte.
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 2
The wakeup call arrives after just 4 hours. With small eyes we arrive at the delicious, extensive breakfast.
The surroundings are so special, we have to pinch ourselves several times to realize that it’s all real. After some fresh fruit, (milk free) pancakes, eggs, toast and delicious coffee it’s time for our safari!
Wildlife spotting in Nairobi National Park
We’ve got the jeep all to ourselves and when we drive away the sun is just coming up. The light over the savannah is enchanting! Soon we spot the first animals: impalas and heartbeats. Many giraffes, zebras, ostriches, monkeys and even the white rhino pass by. It’s really impressive to see these animals in the wild and it’s very special to do this together with the kids. Floris turns out to be a good spotter, he spots one animal after another and falls off his chair laughing when I explain that a fleeing monkey is actually looking for lice…
On safari, an unforgettable experience
After 2.5 fantastic hours we drive back to the gate of the park for our transport back to the airport. This was FANTASTIC! The four of us are wasted, but this was so worth it! Our flight to the Seychelles is very short. We all sleep 2.5 hours of the 3 hour flight.
Landing on Mahe is an experience in itself. We fly low over the beach and then land at the airport surrounded by high mountains with intensely green trees and plants. Both customs and picking up the suitcases goes smoothly, so we get outside and get in our taxi to our apartment.
When the taxi driver hears where we are going, he says “that is the most beautiful place on the island”. I am surprised, because when booking the hotels I was surprised (in the negative sense of the word) about the cost of the accommodations. Because I booked far in advance I was able to book this apartment with a very good rating and for a good price.
The taxi driver was right. Eden Island is like the word says “an island” that you reach by a bridge. It is a huge tropical park with very nice apartments, penthouses and villas.
Our "club cart"
At the check-in they ask for our driving licenses for the “Club Cart”. The what now? It’s a golf cart that everyone who stays gets to cross the island in. When the concierge drives us to the apartment, we are amazed: we pass 3 swimming pools (2 of which have a view on a harbor with azure blue water and pearly white boats), a gym and he tells us there are also 3 beaches. Our apartment is beautiful, with a phenomenal view of the harbor. From our terrace we look out over the azure blue water.
We have chosen a 2-room apartment, with one bedroom and the kids sleep on sofa beds in the living room. The kitchen is super complete (oven, dishwasher, fridge, freezer and even a washing machine) and also the bathroom (in the bedroom) is luxurious.
Since we arrive late, cooking is not an option. We take our club cart and drive to Eden Plaza, a shopping mall with boardwalk. The boardwalk is also at the harbor and has a lot of restaurants. Hungry as we are, we choose the first one we meet, eat at a fast pace and then race home to pop into our beds.
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 3
When we get up we see Eden Island in daylight for the first time and that’s impressive! The park is tropical with all kinds of plants and trees in all kinds of intense colors of green. It is surrounded by an azure blue sea. After breakfast we take our club cart and drive to 1 of the 3 beaches.
The sand is fine and white and the sea is 3 colors blue. Around the beach there are large green ferns and waving palm trees. We see zebra fish swimming in the crystal clear water…This is a true paradise!
But paradise or not, after an hour the kids want to go to the pool. So we get back in the cart and on our way to pool number 1. This doesn’t disappoint either! It is an infinity pool overlooking the sea and the harbor. There is even a paddling pool and a playground, where the kids can have fun to their hearts desire.
In the mall there is also a SPAR supermarket. After a day of swimming we drive by there because we want to barbecue in the garden on the gas BBQ. After a lovely day of chilling we end the day with a BBQ, a beer and a phenomenal view in the back of the garden. What a fantastic holiday destination the Seychelles are!
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 4
Today we rent a car to explore the island! The roads are generally good, although it can be very steep here and there and the ravines are not blocked off (which makes me really nervous now and then). Our first stop is at a beautiful beach, Port Launay, from where you can also walk to the waterfalls. It is low tide and the beach is so wide that you can walk to a small island with wet legs up to your knees.
The climb to the waterfall is fine, you can walk there in 15 minutes. But… it’s disappointing. The waterfall is very small. It’s extremely busy and there is even a gentleman with an amplifier talking loudly like an MC. A little too touristy for us. From there we cross the mountains to Victoria, the capital of Mahe.
Victoria, capital of Mahe
The route to Victoria is very nice. We pass a tea factory that we’d like to visit but it’s closed (Easter Monday). But the breathtaking views make up for a lot.
Victoria turns out to be very quiet today. A lot is closed because of the holiday. Luckily, the Hindu Temple I wanted to see doesn’t have to be open. Even from the outside it is a true, colorful spectacle.
After a day of driving, the kids are very much ready for a refreshing dip at the end of the afternoon. So, after returning the car, we splash into a lovely refreshing pool (number 2) where Floris and Lotte frolic and play until we end the evening with a tasty BBQ.
Tomorrow we have to leave this little paradise unfortunately. Then it is time for the next paradise: Praslin!
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 5
After a delicious breakfast in our garden overlooking the harbor, we pack up and check out. Because our ferry to Praslin only leaves at 16:30 we are assigned another apartment (including a club cart) which we are allowed to use until we go. We take it easy and enjoy the whole day by the pool. For the kids we bought an inflatable jet ski, a great purchase! It provides at least 5 hours of uninterrupted entertainment.
Praslin here we come!
The taxi takes us to the ferry terminal at the end of the day in 10 minutes. We have chosen for “upperdeck” seats, so we can enjoy an impressive view and the lovely sea breeze the whole hour long.
Once we arrive in Praslin we take a taxi for just 5 minutes. But walking with 2 kids, 2 suitcases, 3 backpacks and 2 trolleys is just a bit too much.
Our apartment/hotel, Chalets Cote Mer, is situated next to the jetty terminal and has an amazing view over the bay. We are warmly welcomed with a welcome drink and refreshing wipes.
After check in we are brought to our apartment. We sleep in a cottage with 2 bedrooms. One for us (with even a third bed) and one for the kids (behind a curtain) with a bunk bed. The chalet also has a nice bathroom, sitting room, complete kitchen and to top it all off, a balcony with a view over the azure blue sea.
Oh no, phone gone….
Suddenly I hear Kev cursing. What’s going on? His phone’s gone. Probably left it in the Eden Island’s club cart. After a lot of calls and emails to the apartment complex, we’ve accomplished nothing. Everything seems to be closed and no one’s reachable. The phone itself can be replaced, but the pictures on it can’t… fingers crossed that we come across an honest finder.
We freshen up and go to the restaurant (with a view over the bay) and enjoy a delicious 3 course dinner for only 25 euros (a bargain for Seychelles standards).
When we go to bed Flo climbs to the top of the bunk bed. Just as he wants to go to sleep we see there is a big gap between the bed and the wall. So big even, Floris could just disappear in it. But not to worry, the room is big enough. So we put Floris’ mattress on the floor. Good night!
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 6
Day 6 already, it’s going fast! We enjoy the restaurant with the breathtaking view again. Breakfast is good. The choice is not very big, but everything is deliciously fresh, from the fruit to the croissants and for me they even make delicious milk free pancakes.
After breakfast Kev looks to contact Eden Island again. And what do you think? His phone has been found, hooray! But how do we get it to Praslin? The hotel’s only option is to pick up the phone. But since we’re on an island and a boat trip away, it’s not that easy. We decide to app the taxi driver who took us from the hotel to the ferry. He immediately offers to pick the phone up and hand it to the ferry as cargo, and he doesn’t even ask anything in return. So nice to experience that trust in mankind is often rewarded!
After a day of relaxing at the swimming pool, Kevin has his phone back into his hands after 24 hours.
In the evening, we enjoy another delicious dinner in the restaurant and then go to bed on time. Because tomorrow we want to take the ferry to La Digue!
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 7
Today the alarm clock goes a bit earlier, because after breakfast we take the ferry to La Digue, a smaller island 15 minutes sailing from Praslin.
Cycling on La Digue
When we arrive at La Digue we rent 3 bikes (Lotte goes in the bike trailer behind Kev’s mountain bike) for about 10 euros per bike. We cycle in the direction of the Union Estate Park. The park is really beautiful: green everywhere, white beaches and blue sea. We also see the giant turtles that eat crunchy fresh leaves from your hand! The roads are quiet so Floris can cycle undisturbed.
In the park you’ll find the most beautiful beach in the world “Anse Source d’Argent”. This beach is surrounded by waving palm trees, green tropical bushes and huge rocks. The water varies in color from light azure blue to deep dark blue… WOW WOW WOW!
It’s already rather crowded. We look for a spot next to a rock for our towels and go into the water. If you stay very still it only takes a short while until you see the most beautiful fish swimming by. From small zebra fish to big white fish with bright yellow tails. How cool!
After a lovely break we get back onto our bikes. At least that’s the plan. But unfortunately my tire is flat. So flat even, the inner tube is hanging out and the bike can’t move anymore. We call the rental, but the number doesn’t seem to be in use. Now what?! Plan B!
Lotte goes in the basket with Floris on the back of the bike and I go into the bike trailer that hangs behind Kev’s bike. We park the broken bike neatly against a tree and look for a restaurant to see if the rental can be called from a Seychelles number.
On the way there we get some crazy looks but hey, better than having to lift the bike all the way to the restaurant. And yes, at the beach bar they reach the rental. They’re coming our way right now. As we enjoy a delicious lunch the broken bike is picked up and a new one is brought, good service!
Beach, beach and the occasional giant turtle!
After lunch we decide to drive further north to see some other beaches. We pass Anse Severe, a beautiful beach with several real beach bars (made of wood with roofs of palm leaves) and decide to stop at Anse Patates. This is a small beach which is again surrounded by palm trees and where you’ll find big rocks in the water. While Kev and I chill out, the children make a whole village out of sand. Now this is really a holiday!
At 17:45 our boat goes back to Praslin. We drop off our bikes, dive into a souvenir shop to buy Kev new flip-flops (one of his Havaianas broke on the beach). But then… all of a sudden it starts to rain profusely! A big, hard, very short downpour.
Soon, the weather is dry and nice and stuffy again. When we get on the ferry, we can even see quite a storm in the distance.
Once we are back in the apartment we warm up some noodles, cut a paprika into pieces and fry an egg. A very quick meal after this long day. A nice shower and catching some sleep.
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 8
After a delicious breakfast with ditto view, we first splash in the pool. It is a warm day, so let’s start it as cool as possible.
After some refreshing dives and a snack we rent a car to explore the island. Luckily the driving here is a bit less exciting than on Mahe. There are less cars on the road and also just a bit less mountain roads. They do find roadsides and crash barriers redundant here as well. I still need to get used to that.
Vallee de Mai
The very first stop is Vallee de Mai. Where you can find the rare, famous and somewhat special looking (ladies buttocks) coconut: coco de mer. Vallee de Mai is a National Park where you can make several hikes. The shortest is 1km and the longest 2km. But because of the climbing, the heat and the fact that it is just very beautiful, the 2km route takes 2-3 hours.
We decide to go for the 1km at first, but halfway through we change to the 2km, because it is a really amazing hike. You walk in the shade, because above you there are huge palm trees in all shapes and sizes and all equally green.The route is not very buggy friendly because of all the steps, so if you travel with a small one, a baby carrier is very handy.
After the hike we treat ourselves in the restaurant to an ice cream (the kids) and a refreshing drink (us).
Our next stop is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world according to the booklets; “Anse Lazio”. The booklets turn out to be right: WOW!
The sand is whiter than white, the sea is multiple colors blue and all that is surrounded by tall palm trees. As the icing on the cake you will find beautiful boulders in the sea. We nestle under a tree on the beach and enjoy the intensely beautiful view. The kids make whole villages out of the perfectly malleable sand.
Here too we see several little fish in the sea and even a big ray hiding in the sand. From this beach you can see the sunset, a must according to people with whom we had a chat at the hotel. But the dangerous roads in combination with the night fall seems a less good idea to us. So before the end of the afternoon we drive in the direction of Anse Volbert to have dinner there.
Even from here it’s still a 10 minute drive through the dark until we get back home. Kev is very relaxed behind the wheel, but I am just a bit less relaxed. And I am happy when we reach our apartment again. I really find those narrow roads without crash barriers or lights a mental challenge.
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 9
Today we wake up with…Rain?! Do they have that here too? It does explain why everything here is so nice and green. We leave with the umbrella to have breakfast and after breakfast the weather is almost dry and a bit cloudy, which is actually very pleasant. The temperature has been between 32 and 36 degrees the last couple of days, so having no sun for a while, is a small present.
After breakfast we drop down at the pool. Kev and I chill out with a book and the kids play together. But after 2 hours they want to go back to the apartment, because they want to…. build huts. That’s correct, we are in a paradise and Floris and Lotte want to build huts inside. Funny how that works in a child’s head.
After an hour of building huts for the kids, sleeping for Kev and some blogging for me, the fun is over. We have lunch with some cruesli and soy milk in our apartment and drive to the beach: Anse Volbert.
Once on the way, both kids are fast asleep within 5 minutes. We take advantage of the peace and quiet and drive around the island: passing the (very small) airport, where you have to stop on the road when an airplane lands or takes off and we pass one beautiful beach after another.
The roads are getting more and more exciting. Where we first saw a line on the road, now it has disappeared and slopes of 20% plus or minus are no exception. And here too… no crash barriers of course.
After three quarters of an hour we park the car at the local playground. The kids love to play for a while. After this play break we drive on to Anse Volbert but we decide to eat a pizza first. It turns out not to be just any pizza but a very big one. Even though this is a late lunch, we can skip dinner because of it. We walk around a bit, chill on the beach, buy a souvenir and some food and drive back to our apartment.
Once we’re home we shower first, put on our pajamas, put some snacks on the table and play a fanatic game of memory. Lovely to do that with the kids. Why is that? Because they’re soooooo much better than we are. It’s bizarre how well they can remember everything (and how bad we can).
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 10
Yes! We wake up again to bright sunshine. After breakfast we first make a stop at the pool where we chill out and the kids have a great time.
Around 12:00 we have lunch in our apartment and I start packing (blegh…). In the afternoon we drive to the most beautiful beach of Praslin.
Enjoying our last time on Anse Lazio
Anse Lazio is only a short drive (11 km in 20 minutes) and totally worth it! It is a Sunday and because of that it’s a bit busier, but there is still plenty of room and we lie down in the shade under a tree. There is a bit more wind, so the surf is a bit heavier and the fish don’t really show themselves.
At the end of the afternoon we go to our apartment to enjoy the sunset by the swimming pool with a beer in our hands and toast to our last evening on this beautiful island.
Tonight we have dinner at the hotel because there is a BBQ buffet, sounds good! And it turns out to be. The choice is huge, from fish to sausages, chicken, spareribs, lots of vegetables, and Floris’ favorites; rice and pumpkin soup.
10 Days Seychelles with kids and on safari in Kenya: DAY 11
Today is our last day in paradise. When we wake up, we (or rather I ;)) pack all our stuff so we can check out before breakfast.
We leave the hotel today at 14:00. Luckily, we can put our stuff in the storage, so we can lie at the pool. Our flight from Praslin to Mahe is at 15:30 and at 18:00 we leave Mahe. We arrive in Nairobi at 20:00 where we spend the night in an airport hotel. This way we are well slept when we fly to Amsterdam at 08:00 the next day.
But it doesn’t go according to plan…
The beginning of some trouble...
When we have breakfast and enjoy the phenomenal view I receive a text message from Kenya Airways. Our 18:00 flight from Mahe to Nairobi has been rescheduled to 01:30. That’s right, two o’clock in the morning!
Aside from the fact that we now have to wait 7,5 hours for Mahe instead of the planned 2 hours, we now also booked an Airport Hotel in Nairobi for nothing; 250USD down the drain.
Anyway, nothing we can do about it. We won’t let our morning be ruined by it and enjoy the sunshine and the fantastic view even more.
On our way home... flight 1 of 3
At 2:00 p.m. sharp, the taxi arrives to take us to Praslin Airport. The airport is really very small and we are checked in and are through security within 5 minutes.
Because we still have some time we browse around in the shops before we are allowed to board. A propeller airplane with about 10 other passengers flies us to Mahe in 15 minutes. Before we take off it is reported that there are too many suitcases and that the suitcases for people who stay on Mahe will be sent on a later flight.
Time for take off… after a lot of rattling and bumping, the wheels come off the ground. We ascend slowly so the view becomes more and more beautiful. As there is no door between the passengers and the pilots you can look straight into the cockpit.
After 15 minutes of flying we land on Mahe with just as much trembling, rumbling and bumping!
Wait, wait and wait some more on Mahe
Once we get to Mahe, we have to report to the Kenya Airways desk. Long story short: the costs we made for an Airport Hotel in Nairobi is our problem. They do however offer a room in a resort on Mahe. Since waiting there is better than waiting at the airport, we accept that offer.
We wait more than an hour for the taxi to take us to the resort. Once we arrive at the resort it appears Kenya Airways hasn’t registered us, so we wait another hour until we are finally allowed to go to our room.
After relaxing a short while we join the buffet. For me 3 delicious milk free dishes are made. After dinner we put the kids to bed and Kev decides to take a nap as well. At 22:15 I wake everybody up, because the taxi is here again to take us back to the airport.
Even more waiting
At Mahe Airport things go fast, all flights are already gone, so we can walk straight through. At 23:00 we drop in a chair behind customs. There we see the departure time increasing. Eventually we don’t leave until 02:45.
The kids behave like little angels: they play for a while, watch some on the iPad, walking around, not a single bad sound from them!
Flight 2 of 3
Once we’re on board, we’re knocked out immediately. We sleep the whole three hours of the flight and wake up wasted and scruffy when we arrive in Nairobi at around 05:00 in the morning.
Floris doesn’t wake up so we carry him on the shoulder through the airport and put him on the couch at the place where we have breakfast. We have 3 hours to fill until we can get on our last and third flight to Amsterdam.
Flight 3 out of 3!!
Yes!!! After 3 hours of waiting and when we are already 18 hours on our way, we board for our last flight to Amsterdam. We sleep at least 6 of the 8 hours. Lotte even the full 8. Still we feel quite fit after 26 hours of travelling when we land again in rainy Amsterdam.
The kids didn’t make a sound the whole 26 hours, so relaxed! What a phenomenal trip this was. Of all the 45+ countries we visited, the Seychelles are really one of the favorites!
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