Both Cousin and Cousine Island are granitic islands situated just off Praslin and two of only three islands (the other is Fregate) that is home to the 'Fody' or 'Tok tok', as this bird has disappeared from the other islands.
COUSIN ISLAND is one of the smallest granitic islands and covers just over 70 acres and is situated 27 miles north of Mahé and just under 2 miles south-west of Praslin. Cousin was the first internationally owned reserve in 1968 after some of the bird species (such as the Warbler) nearly became extinct. At the time it was bought by the 'International Council for Bird Preservation' (ICBP) with help from the 'World Wildlife Fund' (WWF) to protect both land and sea bird endangered species (especially the last of the Seychelles' warblers). From 1974 it became a special reserve is protected under Seychelles law.
Cousin is also one of the most important breeding sites of the Hawksbill turtle and the reserve today has finally been restored to its original vegetation after being a cocount plantation in the early 1900's. Along with being a highly important nesting site for the Hawkbill turtle, Cousin island also proudly boasts the Aldabra giant tortoises, the native green gecko and four endemic skinks (giving the island one of the highest lizard densities per hectare in the world).
Although there is no accommodation on the island it is possible to visit during the day (Monday - Friday) between 10h00 and 12h00 to experience the beauty of the island and catch sight of the rare birds and giant tortoises. The best time of year is between April and September when there are large numbers of birds to be seen. The entry fee is SR 500 per person and the only way to reserve is to book through a travel agent who will arrange to have you picked up by the Cousin boat just off the island (a measure to avoid pests accessing the island). (You can email: [email protected] for further information.)