Ste Anne, Seychelles

Sainte Anne Resort and Spa, Seychelles

Sainte Anne Resort and Spa, a Beachcomber Resort. (Due to be a Club Med resort in 2020).  Sainte Anne Island, Seychelles. 

Coordinates in degrees decimal:  N -4.613506, E 55.496492

Visited in  February 2017.   Photographer: Nigel Thomas.    Cameras:  Pentax WG-II,

Olympus TG-870

Website:  http://www.beachcomber-hotels.com/hotel/sainte-anne-resort-spa

Sainte Anne Resort and Spa is located at the south-eastern point of Sainte Anne Island in the Marine National Park.  Three beaches are easily accessible from the resort with further beaches available if you are prepared to make the effort.  A small boat is also provided to take snorkellers over to the other side of the channel off the southeast coast.  Fringing reef is found off the three main beaches, including: Grande Anse, facing west-north-west and backed by shallow water seagrass beds; Anse Royale which wraps round the southern end of the island and has coastal defence features off the beach; finally Anse Tortues (also known as Anse Cimetiere), which faces southeast and has a reef edge backed by a shallow water lagoon.  As a result of the variety of habitats the number of species recorded was in excess of 160.

Sainte Anne Island has three easily accessible beaches; Grande Anse, Anse Royale and Anse Tortues.  Further beaches are accessible off the north and east coasts but require some effort to reach them.  The Island forms part of the Sainte Anne Marine National Park.  

Facing east from Anse Tortues.  The reef edge ranges from 75-200m from the beach.  The nearshore lagoon is very shallow and care should be taken swimming over the reef edge at low water in south easterly wind conditions.  

A feature of the reef edge is the presence of WW2 anti-submarine blocks.  These show above water at low tide and support a wide range of species, both attached, as in this image of a Porites lutea, as well as numerous fish species.

Anse Royale off the southern tip of the Island, illustrating the coastal defence features.  Coral outcrops were evident outside of the coastal defences although care should be taken when trying to access them in westerly wind conditions.

The northern end of Grande Anse.  The reef edge ranges between 200 and 400m from shore and the shallow waters are almost exclusively seagrass interspersed with sand gullies.

The best variety of life and easiest access is off Anse Tortues.  The marine life ranges from numerous shoals of small fish to sharks and turtles.

Careless anchoring in the area is an issue, with both visiting vessels and the resort's own vessels.  This example illustrates the resort's snorkel boat damaging a good quality area of  Echinopora lamellose.  

Reef and seabed associated fish

click on image to open and view text

Giant Moray.  Muraenidae.  Gymnothorax javanicus.  Large to very large in size.  Noted emerging from a hole within one of the concrete submarine defence blocks just off the reef edge at Anse Tortues.

Grey Eel.  Muraenidae.  Siderea grisea.  Small to medium sized eel, noted within the lagoonal area off Anse Tortues beach.

Sand Lizardfish.  Synodontidae.  Synodus ?dermatogenys.  Small to medium in size, found in the shallow waters of the lagoon area off Anse Tortues beach.

Blue Spotted Cornetfish.  Fistulariidae.  Fistularia commersonii.  Characteristically thin species with a sharply pointed tail.  Can grow to over 2m in length.  Noted off the reef edge at Anse Tortues.

Cornetfish. Fistularidae.  Fistularia sp.  Smaller and darker variety of Cornetfish.  Noted in shallow lagoon area at Anse Tortues.

Circular Batfish.  Ephippidae.  Platax orbicularis.  Medium sized fish found in the vicinity of the submarine blocks off Anse Tortues.

? Messmate Pipefish.  Sygnathidae.  Corythoichthys ?haematopterus.  An all white form of this Sygnathid species.  Noted as individuals or in small groups off the edge of the reef.

Bigscale Soldierfish.  Holocentridae.  Myripristis ?berndti.   One of several similar species of soldierfish.  Noted in sheltered areas on the reef at Anse Tortues.

Seychelles Squirrelfish.  Holocentridae.  Sargocentron seychellense.   Found under  small overhangs  and in caverns off Anse Tortues.

Razorfish.  Centriscidae.  Aeoliscus strigatus.    Characteristic vertical manner of swimming identifies this small species, always seen in small groups.  Noted off the reef edge at Anse Tortues. 

Yellowstripe Cardinalfish.  Apogonidae.  Ostorhinchus cyanosoma.  Small species found in small groups and shoals hiding under ledges and in holes.

Peacock Grouper.  Serranidae.  Cephalopholus argus.  Medium sized fish found hiding in holes off reef edge at Anse Tortues.

White-spotted Grouper.  Serranidae.  Epinephelus caeruleopunctatus.   Medium sized fish found hiding in gullies and under ledges off Anse Tortues reef.

Dwarf-spotted Grouper.  Serranidae.  Epinephelus merra.  Relatively small grouper found resting on the seabed amongst corals off Anse Tortues.

Chinese Grouper.  Serranidae.  Plectropomus laevis.   Distinct vertical black and white bars with a yellow tail help to identify this medium to large species,  found amongst living  and dead coral heads off Anse Tortues.

Dash-dot Goatfish.  Mullidae. Parupeneus barbarinus.  Common species found in the shallow waters of the lagoon off Anse Tortues, feeding in the sandy sediments.

Foreground, Whitesaddle Goatfish. Mullidae.  Parupeneus ciliates.  Resting on a coral head in the company of two Dash-dot Goatfish.  Off Anse Tortues.

Pair of Whitesaddle Goatfish. Mullidae.  Parupeneus ciliates.  Found in open water off the edge of the reef at Anse Tortues.

Foreground is a Long-barbel Goatfish.  Mullidae. Parupeneus macronema.  Small and solitary goatfish, noted over sand and broken coral seabed off Anse Tortues.

Oriental Sweetlips.  Haemulidae.   Plectorhinchus orientalis.  Medium sized species noted around the submarine blocks, frequently in pairs.   

Thumbprint Emperor.  Lethrinidae.  Lethrinus harak.   Medium to large size species.  Noted in the lagoon area off the beach at Anse Tortues.

Snubnose Emporer.  Lethrinidae.  Lethrinus ?borbonicus.  Found over the broken coral off the deeper areas of the reef at Anse Tortues.

Bridled Threadfin Bream.  Nemipteridae.  Scolopsis frenatus.  Noted over the sandier areas off the reef edge at Anse Tortues.

Blackspot  Snapper.  Lutjanidae.  Lutjanus fulviflamma.  Medium sized species noted off the reef edge at Anse Tortues.

Black and White Snapper.  Lutjanidae.  Macolor niger.  Example is a juvenile with distinct black and white colouration.  Found in the deeper waters off the reef edge of Anse Tortues.

Common Silver-biddy.  Gerreidae.  Gerres ?oyena.  Small fast swimming species in small shoals.  Noted in very shallow waters over seagrass beds at Anse Royale.

Cigar Wrasse.  Labridae.  Cheilio inermis.  Juvenile form of this species, frequently noted in the very shallow waters of the lagoon behind the reef at Anse Tortues.  

Goldbar Wrasse.  Labridae.  Thalassoma hebraicum.  Small to medium sized individuals.  Noted off Anse Tortues.

Cleaner Wrasse.  Labridae.  Labroides dimidiatus.  Small species seen darting amongst bigger fish, providing a cleaning service.  Anse Tortues.

Barred Thicklip.  Labridae.  Hemigymnus fasciatus.  Medium sized species found in deeper waters off reef edge at Anse Tortues.

Redbreast Wrasse.  Labridae.  Cheilinus fasciatus.  Found in relatively deep water of the Anse Tortues reef.