South African radio personality Danny Painter has always had a passion for travel. The host of Jacaranda FM’s popular ‘Love Songs with Danny Painter’ show, which airs between 19h00 and 22h00 every Monday to Thursday on the station, loves exploring and immersing herself in other cultures and recently did just that while on vacation in the Seychelles.
Danny recently returned from a 12-day trip to the tiny island of LaDigue, the third most populated and fourth largest Island in the Seychelles at 10km square and with a population of around 2800 people. After an incredible experience at the popular holiday destination, Danny shares five reasons why a trip to the Seychelles should be high on anyone’s travel bucket list.
Explore like a local
LaDigue is home to some incredible beaches and its a must for diving of any kind. Her brother, Dylan, a flair barman, has been based on the island for three years now and runs LoLans beach bar at Le Repaire hotel. He helped her explore the beautiful island like a local – something Danny recommends every tourist to the Seychelles does. “We definitely didn’t go the tourist route because my brother lives and works there,” Danny says. “We were privileged to be treated like family by absolutely everyone on the island because we immersed ourselves into the local way of living. I cried coming home and I am definitely going back. Probably for longer and longer each time until I just live there!”
The island is known for its waters – so enjoy them
If you’re going on an island vacation, spending time in the water is bound to take up most of your day. “We went free-diving every single day,” Danny shares. “Even if you’re not a fan of swimming in the ocean, charter a boat. Seeing the islands from the water lands differently than being on the beach. The marine life between the islands is incredible and we swam with black tips, turtles, all kinds of fish, there were octopus, crab, it’s just everything you imagine but more. Go with someone who knows the islands and dive with them, they will show you things you may miss!
There is so much to see on land as well!
Since the islands in the Seychelles are rather small, walking them is a great way to explore everything they have to offer. “I loved exploring the island on foot. It’s safe so you can walk alone both at night or in the day, you can take your phone out whenever you want to,” Danny says. “I had done 11 thousand steps by halfway on our first day because there are so many little places to see and beaches to visit. One of my highlights is when we went walking and met the owner of one of the oldest houses on the island, a 100 year old wooden house that was just incredible. Everyone on the island has a story, you just have to be brave enough to ask!”
The food on the island is an experience in itself
If you’re looking for a culinary experience like no other, the Seychelles won’t disappoint. “The food is all incredible, creole, fresh and local, everything you eat or drink will be an experience, especially if you add the rum!” Danny jokes. “Some of the highlights for me were the local take away where the people who live and work get their lunches. Mama Mia makes the best coffee and their vanilla cake is a really good breakfast treat, the fish samosas from B&M store were incredible and I loved the breadfruit salad I found on the island. The smoked fish salads, octopus salads, fresh fish and plethora of curry options were also delicious! A stand-out restaurant is Chez Jules. The ginger garlic fish was the best fish we had ever eaten but also, if you’re brave, they make coco bat curry. Yup. Bat! Made from the local giant fruit bats, my whole family ate it, I definitely chickened out!
The nightlife will blow your mind
While the Seychelles is definitely a more relaxing holiday destination, don’t underestimate the island’s night life. “All I’m saying is that if you haven’t stumbled home from Reggae Bar at 1am on an island with your shoes in your hand, you have not lived!” Danny jokes.” Reggae Bar is the party, Wednesday nights are the big nights where you will meet all the locals but most nights are fun. Go say hi to my brother at LoLans beach bar at LeRepaire at sunset. They have truly got some of the best cocktails on the island and the best sunset view – and you don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to go there!”
Catch Love Songs with Danny Painter every Monday – Thursday between 19:00 and 22:00 on Jacaranda FM.