Jean-Claude(‘Zan Klod’),P.MAHOUNE(Anthropologist/Political Scientist)
THE GRANITIC INNER ISLANDS OF THE ‘MAHĒ GROUP’
Mahé is by far the biggest of the granitic islands of Seychelles--—27 kilometres long and 5 to 8 kilometres wide, surrounded by sister islands and islets!
The Mahé and Praslin Group of islands form, with the outlying islands of Silhouette, North IsLand and Mamelles, the ‘granitic islands’ of Seychelles. All the granitic islands lie within a radius of 56 km of Mahé.
The Mahé and Praslin Group is said to rise from “the northern extremity of a ‘great and deep plateau known as the Mascarene Ridge which sweeps eastward to the 63rd meridian, and eventually terminates in the vicinity of Mauritius and Réunion far to the South.” ”(D.Alexander,1972).
The Mahé and Praslin groups stand near the northern tip of the 1 100-km long Seychelles Archipelago, with only the sand-cays of Bird and Denis Islands lying between them and the equator.
The island with an elevation of 39 metres and 7.3 hectares lies just off the runway of the Seychelles International Airport
ILE BRULEE OR RAT ISLET
It is a 12 metre high islet with a scanty covering of scrub.
ILE DE SUD EST
It may not be considered an island anymore as it was joined to Mahé during the construction of the International airport. It had an elevation of 62 metres.
Situated sea-ward of South-East Island, it is usually submerged by the waves.
ILE AUX SOURIS
With a 14-metre elevation ‘it stands just inside the long line of coral reef fringing the coasts of Anse-Royale and Anse-Bougainville. It is rocky, about 500 metres south west of Pointe au Sel
A navigational landmark-and a hazard, the rock lies around 800 metres off Police Point on the ‘rugged and remote southern tip of Mahé……often awash and unseen”
A rocky islet, it lies close to the “picturesque coastline” of Anse La Mouche, rising to some 8.3 metres
A seabird sanctuary it lies a kilometer from Grand Anse on Mahé, 54 metres high and rocky. The rocks “Les Trois Dames” are not far from it but are usually hidden by ‘heavily braking seas”
The tiny islet of 0.5 hectare lies off the Port Glaud beach.
It is almost solid granite but has enough topsoil to support some vegetation lying ‘on the opposite arm of Port Glaud Bay from Petite Islet”.
The beautiful island rises steeply to its conical summit of 164 metres, With Arabic markings identified on the rocks, it is believed that the Arab dhow sailors used it as a base. One family in Seychelles is reputed to have discovered a wine-jar full of valuable coins which made their fortune.
It is situated around 4 km west of the Port Launay coast of Mahé, 3 km from the north western end of Thérèse Island. One of the biggest of the Mahé group. Steep and hilly, 1km long. 600 metres wide and 131 metres high, the ‘emerald green’ island is surrounded by the deep blue sea is surely the only ‘big’ island of the Mahé group which is without a ‘recognized’ beach .A recent ‘discovery’ there was a colony of a rare endemic bird—‘zwazo linet’
ILE DU NORD
The ‘island-speck’ which is some 300 metres high lies in the vicinity of North Point separated from Mahé by a channel.
Known to the inhabitants of Anse-Etoile as ‘Gro Ros’, it is a whitewash rock about four(4) metres high. Incorporated in the newly reclaimed area off Mahé, it was some four hundred metres(400m) from its original north-east coast .
©ZAN KLOD(Jean-Claude, P.MAHOUNE)©Ivans K.ANDRĒ ©Denys A.BOUDANE(PHOTOS)