The island is notable for its bare red earth mountains and was originally named “Ile Rouge” due to its red coloured soil. In 1768 the French claimed possession of the island, renaming it after the schooner “La Curieuse”, a ship that was under the command of explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne. Over the years the island faced severe soil erosion following several incidents of fire. The first significant fire was in 1771. Its scars can be seen today, 247 years later.
Curieuse is the only other island apart from Praslin where the unique coco de mer trees grow in their natural state. The nut, one of the cultural icons of Seychelles, grows naturally on Praslin, where its main forest, the Vallee de Mai, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 1967 a fire destroyed much of the vegetation on the island, including more than 150 cocos de mer palms. Following this, the government took ownership of the island and introduced various restoration and conservation projects.
The island was the first island to receive a group of giant land tortoise from the Aldabra Atoll – a UNESCO world heritage site. The relocation was initiated by former President France Albert Rene; it started in 1978 and ended in 1982. Today, Curieuse is home to more than 300 Aldabra giant tortoises, some staying around the Ranger’s Station and the rest roaming around on the island. The Seychelles National Parks Authority also has a nursery breeding these species.
Landing Fees Curieuse & St Pierre Island
- Adult: 20 euro