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Curious by name and curious by nature, this red-earthed island, lying just a kilometre off the coast of Praslin, has a fascinating local history and a vibrant wildlife community. Until 1965, Curieuse was the site of a leper colony; the doctor’s residence is now a museum and education centre. Though rather unpleasant, this unusual island function was implicit in the preservation of local wildlife as it protected the natural environment from human impact.

In 1979, the area including and surrounding the island was declared a Marine National Park, further protecting the island’s ecosystem. As a result, Curieuse remains the only island aside from Praslin where the infamous Coco de Mer occurs. In the 1980s a population of Aldabra giant tortoises were introduced and, now, around 500 of these ancient beasts roam the island, making Curieuse one of the best destinations in the Seychelles to observe them. There are currently no resorts on the island, but it is a popular destination for excursions, particularly for those staying on Praslin.
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