A large number of reefs within the inner granitic islands of the archipelago of Seychelles could be entirely lost, unless concerted action is taken soon to control crown of thorns, warns Dr. Udo Englhardt, the expert on on the management of crown of thorns in a...
Silhouette Island lies 20 km northwest of Mahé in the Seychelles. It is the third largest granite island in the Seychelles. It has an area of 20.1 sq.km. The main settlement is La Passe, where the Hilton Hotel is located. The name Silhouette was given in 1771 after the French minister of finances under Louis XV, Étienne de Silhouette. The French were, from this point on, closely intertwined with the history of the island, especially the Dauban family, who gradually acquired the whole island, clearing the forest to cultivate cinnamon, vanilla, coffee, and especially coconuts. During this time they employed up to 1000 workers on the plantation. The mausoleum of the Dauban family is found amidst the plantation. They were wealthy and powerful.
Many of the villagers have left the island and so most of the population is made up of conservationists and hotel staff numbering about 200.
The planter’s old house in La Passe was renovated, and the stylish colonial mansion now serves as one of the seven restaurants of the island’s villa hotels, offering Creole cuisine to island guests.
In 1983, the island was purchased by the state from a French Group which owned it at that time, and now it belongs to the Seychelles Island Development Company. Following this a small hotel was constructed. and this was later replaced by the larger Labriz Resort which was then bought by the Hilton hotel group.
The interior region of Silhouette is a national park, with hundreds of endemic birds, reptiles, and plants. In one of the island’s own breeding stations, two species of turtle which were once considered extinct were re-discovered in 1995, researched, and released.
Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort and Spa was built in La Passe in 2006, and offers a total of 100 rooms to guests. The island has no roads or cars, but with just a few footpaths and electric carts belonging to the Hilton Seychelles.
Silhouette offers many attractive walking trails with the starting point always in La Passe. Grand Barbe, is a four-hour trek and the path is mostly in the shade of the dense forest, so the temperature is never too hot during the day. The gorgeous Anse Mondon is another attractive destination that is a two hour hike from La Passe.