Seychelles is a pristine archipelago marooned 1,800km off the coast of Madagascar. With 10 times the number of giant tortoises than the Galapagos, biblically lush jungles, kilometres of reefs teaming with Technicolor fish and almost painfully picturesque beaches, this should be one of the most touristed places in the world. But the government has avoided the temptation to over-capitalise on it, preventing buildings taller than a palm tree, prohibiting camping on beaches and creating an abundance of national parks and protected species.
Wildlife can be seen all over the island - in the skies, on the beach, in the trees, in the water. Victorian explorer Gordon of Khartoum once dubbed this Indian Ocean island the Garden of Eden – and it is easy to see why. Towering palms arc into a hushed emerald cathedral, the air hangs heavy, light barely filtering through dense foliage where black parrots flit and waterfalls trickle over granite boulders. Paradise may be an over-used word, but standing on a seemingly never-ending stretch of beach in the Seychelles, I think I have found it.