Cousin Island known as a haven for seabirds is the most-protected granitic island of the Seychelles. It lies 2 km west of Praslin. The island was formerly a coconut plantation and it is hard to believe when looking at this vibrant and diverse ecosystem with the largest number of endemic plants and animals. Its plateau is covered with indigenous woodland which extends over most of the island. A 69 m hill occupies the center of the island’s southern half. There is an area of mangroves and three small, freshwater swamps.
It is a nature reserve protected under Seychelles law and is managed by Nature Seychelles, a national nonprofit organization and Partner of Birdlife International. In 1968 Birdlife International bought the island and removed young coconut trees, allowing the native vegetation to regenerate and native fauna to recover.
The island is home to a number of forest-dwelling birds many of which are endemic and very rare but following conservation efforts the population has begun to recover. The Seychelles warbler was saved, and now the island is also home to 5 of our 11 endemic land birds including the Seychelles sunbird and Seychelles blue pigeon as well as the Malagasy turtle dove.
The island hosts over 300,000 nesting seabirds of seven species during the south-east and north-west monsoons annually and is also a nesting ground for Hawksbill turtles.
Cousin is opened during weekdays only but closed during public holidays. To get to the island you must take a small boat from your anchored ship; which will then be followed by a 90 minute guided tour of Cousin. An opportunity for bird and nature lovers to visit this unique island reserve to discover its beauty and diversity.
A visit to Cousin can be combined with a barbecue lunch on Curieuse Island and snorkeling within the Curieuse Marine Park or a visit and lunch on La Digue.