Ile du Cerf
© Ch. Baum / 123RF
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Ile du Cerf

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor Profile

Our Editorial team's advice

Cerf Island is a one-mile long by half-a-mile wide, lush island a 10-minute boat ride away from Mahé. Its northern coast stretches along the Sainte Anne Marine National Park, which also includes the islands of Longue, Moyenne, Ronde and Sainte Anne. The island is surrounded by a beautiful coral reef, making it the ideal place for scuba diving. There are no deer, contrary to what its French name suggests, but inland, the island is home to giant tortoises and flying foxes (bats). A bit of history: Cerf Island was discovered by a French sailor travelling on board the frigate named 'Le Cerf', which gave its name to the island. It has two hotels: Cerf Island Marine Park Resort and L'Habitation Cerf Island.

To see

The beaches are relatively small but absolutely heavenly; it is the Seychelles after all! The waters are crystal clear and delightfully warm, and the fine white sand is dotted with coconut trees. The island also has many pathways and trails, giving tourists the opportunity to visit the small chapel built in 1906.

To do

For snorkelling at the heart of the well preserved natural reserve, all you need is a mask, some flippers and a snorkel. You can also explore the island in a pedalo or a kayak. This is the best way to discover Cerf Island, which you can easily travel around in these vessels. You can moor wherever you like, including on the neighbouring islands of Longue, Moyenne and Ronde.


  • +  Sainte Anne Marine Park.
  • +  An island resort experience just a stone's throw away from the main island of Mahé and the airport.


  • -  As the international airport is located nearby, you can sometimes hear the planes.

To think about

Be aware that from May to September, south-easterly trade winds can bring seaweed on to the shore. The Cerf Island Marine Park Resort has a helipad located at the top of a 108-metre high hill, the highest point on the island, from where you can enjoy stunning 360° panoramic views over Cerf Island, Mahé and the surrounding islands of the Sainte Anne Marine Park: Longue, Moyenne, Ronde, and Sainte Anne. Cerf Island is also the only island in the Sainte Anne Marine Park to have a local population, based on the other side of the island.

To avoid

Watch out for sea urchins, rocks and coral in the water: you are advised to wear sandals.

To try

Meals are accompanied to the sound of birds. We highly recommend the Coétivy shrimps, which are delicious!

To bring back

Seaweed and sea urchins.
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