Chauve Souris is only an island at high tide. At low tide, it is part of a peninsula extending from Praslin Island, and guests can freely walk from one to the other. Chauve Souris is its own little world, partially separate but enjoying the facilities and activities of the larger island.
Like all the Seychelles, Chauve Souris and Praslin Island have a history filled with color and adventure. These islands have not always been the lush tourist attractions they are today. They began appearing on European maps in the early 16th century , but they were too isolated to arouse much interest. Only when the spice trade opened up with India did the nations of Europe start noticing the Seychelles because of their strategic position in the Indian Ocean.
Suddenly, the Seychelles were prime real estate. By controlling them, a nation could secure a corridor from Mauritius Island to the Asian coast. This would grant that nation domination over trade with the ports of Eastern India. To gain this valuable route for France, Mahe de Labourdonais, governor of Mauritius, sent expeditions to explore and claim all the islands leading to India. An exploratory expedition under Lazare Picault and Grossin in 1742 was followed by the annexing voyage of the ship Le Cerf under Nicolas Morphey. The Islands were named Seychelles after the finance minister of King Louis XV.
As part of this program of annexation, some of the early names for the islands were changed. The island formerly called Isles de Palmes was renamed Praslin Island after the French politician, Cesar Gabriel de Choiseul, duc de Praslin. Its tiny companion, originally called Jeannette Island, was renamed Chauve Souris, the name of a flying fox.
Travel + Accomodation
Today, Chauve Souris is a lush, green gem offering the ultimate escape from the woes of civilization. This is the location of the Chauve Souris Island Lodge with just five rooms for lucky travelers. Three of these are located in a central area, and the others are separate. Some accommodations are actually cut into the rock of the island, and natural rock masses form part of the interior décor.
Guests must first fly to the Mahe airport to board a 20-minute flight to Praslin Island. Upon arrival, they will be greeted by the island’s representative who will escort them on a taxi and boat ride to Chauve Souris.
The suites are comfortable and attractive with a rustic air. Each includes a TV, DVD player, CD player, mini fridge, hair dryer, Jacuzzi, safe, air conditioning and ceiling fan. Internet service is available in the reception area for an extra charge. Suites have either a porch or a balcony presenting spectacular ocean views. Children are accepted only over the age of 12.
The price includes the use of athletic facilities at the Cote d’Or Lodge on Praslin Island just 300 meters away. The choice includes beach volleyball, table tennis, windsurfing and canoeing. Guests can also participate in a range of water activities. The waters of the Seychelles possess one of the most diverse, unspoiled ecosystems in the world, so divers and snorkelers are in for a treat. Unlike some of the other Seychelles, Chauve Souris is not in protected waters, so fishing is permitted and very popular. Boat tours can take the whole family on a day-long outing and picnic.
The Island Lodge restaurant serves a variety of local and international dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kitchen is in the largest bungalow, and the meals are served on its veranda. There is an open bar before dinner. Guests on Chauve Souris can enjoy complimentary beverages all day long.
Chauve Souris has a feel of complete isolation, but it has all the comforts of civilization. Jaded travelers who have grown tired of loud, crowded locales can come here to get the rest and tranquility of a real vacation. Chauve Souris has the kind of idyllic beauty that is getting increasingly hard to find except in the Seychelles.