Silhouette is situated at 20 kilometers to the northwest of Mahé and is the third biggest granitic island in the Seychelles. Silhouette Island holds an area of 20.1 kilometer square. There are roughly 200 people living in this island. The majority of the population comprises of workers from hotels. They are established in three villages: Grand Barbe, La Passe and Anse Mondon. La Passe is the main settlement of the island.
The geography of the island is mountainous including five peaks elevating over 500 meters which are namely Mont Dauban, Mont Pot a Eau, Mont Corgat, Mont Cocos Marrons and Gratte Fesse. Silhouette Island is made up of synenite which dates back to over 60 million years ago!
The island was named after Etienne de Silhouette who was a French minister of Finances under the rule of Louis XV.
The first humans to visit the island were the crew of the Ascension, an English East India Company vessel in 1609.
Charles Oger claimed Silhouette in 1771 in the name of the King of France.
It was found that visitors of Arabic origin had previously visited the island. Evidence of it was found at Anse Lascar where there were graves.
Legends say that the corsair Jean Francois Hodoul hid his bounties on Silhouette Island. It has still not been proven. If you are looking forward for some bounty hunting, this island is the place to start!
Ownership of Silhouette Island
The Dauban family owned Silhouette Island from the mid 19th century up until 1960. They were French people who migrated to Mauritius in 1830. The latter developed extensive plantations on the island. Many of them are now buried in a mausoleum, Eglise de la Madelein on the island. Silhouette was latter sold to a French group by Henri Dauban. In 1983, the Seychelles government claimed the possession of the island through purchase.
Flora and fauna
One of the sumptuous biodiversity hot spots in the Indian Ocean is the Silhouette Island of the Seychelles. It encloses many endemic plant and animal species which are on the verge of extinction. Among the endemic species that roam on the island is the Seychelles sheath-tailed bat, which is endangered specie.
Silhouette is an Important Bird Area and its conservation is implemented by the Island Conservation Society. There are 75 endemic plants present in the granitic islands of Seychelles and the majority of them are found on Silhouette. The Impatiens gordonii is one of the rare endemic plants present on the island.
Imported plant species such as vanillas, coffee trees, bitter oranges, papaya trees, mango trees and limes are also found on the island.
Diving in Silhouette
Silhouette under water worlds comprises a rich marine life and a barrier reef including multi colored corals. The marine life of the island includes white-tip sharks, hawksbill turtles, grey snappers, blue spotted rays and batfish abound. There are several dive spots around Silhouette Island such as the Lascars and Grand Barbe.
Lascars is a good intermediate dive spot where you have little current and clear sights while Grand Barbe is a dive site where you will be amazed by colorful corals and overgrown granite outcroppings.