Hilton Labriz hosts first Sea Turtle Festival on Silhouette |10 September 2022
Hilton Seychelles Labriz recently hosted the annual Seychelles Sea Turtle Festival on Silhouette island, a first since its creation in 2013..
Hilton Labriz, the Island Conservation Society (ICS), the Island Academy and Sea Turtle Friends of Seychelles (STFS), joined hands to mark the occasion for both adults and children, to come together and celebrate an important part of Seychelles natural heritage – the sea turtles.
The day began with a turtle patrol, guided by the ICS team, led by Nasreen Khan and ‘Madame Tortue’, Dr Jeanne Mortimer, a turtle conservation expert for more than 40 years in Seychelles. The crowd learned what it entails to be a turtle conservationist, including all the ‘do's and ‘don't’s when encountering sea turtle adults and hatchlings on the beach.
The kids then partook in fun and educational activities including face painting and an ‘Amazing Race’ which entailed learning about the natural environment within Hilton Labriz hotel grounds.
The highlight of the day was an energetic parade that took place within the hotel compound, together with our guests, day visitors and the kids participating in the Hilton Labriz Campcation programme, to raise awareness about the protection and conservation of endangered sea turtles. Kids paraded the island on the Hilton train with banners, posters, songs, laughters and smiles.
Sea turtles are nationally protected in Seychelles under the ‘Wild Animals and Birds Protection Act’. However, the population of sea turtles within the inner granitic islands continues to face pressure from human activities such as poaching. The aim of the Sea Turtle Festival has always been geared toward education and participation of children, with the main theme being: the conservation and understanding of sea turtles, an important part of Seychelles natural heritage.
Since the inception of the Sea Turtle Festival in 2013, the annual event was mostly held on Seychelles’ main island, Mahé. Due to the world pandemic, the festival had since been postponed, but this year, Hilton Labriz together with ICS, decided to revive the tradition on the marine national park of Silhouette island.
“Silhouette is a haven of sustainability and animal protection,” said Vanessa Albest, operations manager of Hilton Seychelles Labriz.
“Our pledge is to be a leader of Sustainable Tourism and maintain our cultural heritage in an eco-friendly environment. Our practices such as reducing usage of plastic bottles and single-use plastic straws, growing our own herbs, fruits, and vegetables in our pesticide-free garden or locally-sourcing many of the resort’s seafood, including hosting national events such as the Sea Turtle Festival, are part of our Travel with Purpose commitment to creating a positive environmental impact through destination stewardship,” Ms Albest said.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the event on Silhouette.