Providence is part of the Outer Islands in the Seychelles. This currently uninhabited atoll is made up of two islands, which are Cerf Island and Providence Island. Providence is one of the least explored Seychelles atolls, which is due to the fact that it is hard to access and inhospitable to human life. Within the past century, it is estimated that less than 1,000 visitors have set foot on Providence's islands. There was once a small settlement on Providence, but the village was destroyed by a cyclone in 2006. Today, fishermen and researchers are the main groups of people that visit this remote and alluring atoll. Providence's complex ecosystems, which have thrived in the absence of human disturbance, contain some of the greatest biodiversity in the world.
As with many of the Seychelles' islands, Providence was once a stopping point for expeditions passing through the Indian Ocean. This atoll was first spotted by Portuguese sailors, who reached its shores around the year 1500. The atoll was later seized by the British government, which controlled the Seychelles until the mid-1970s. Despite the fact that Providence was found by Portuguese explorers, its name is French in origin. This is because of a shipwreck off the coast in 1763, when surviving crew members of the French ship chose to call the island “Providence, “ which is the term for “salvation” in French. While there have been few, if any, long-term human settlements on Providence in the past, a small village did appear on the island in late 1900s. The village was home to about six residents, and it was decimated in 2006 by a powerful tropical storm. Although the village has not been rebuilt, the Seychelles government has plans to construct an eco-friendly resort on the island in the future.
The unique geological and geographical layouts of both Providence Island and Cerf Island make them prime territory for rare and unusual flora and fauna. Both islands are formed from coral reefs, and the submerged coral reefs give shape to their shorelines. Islets dot Cerf Island's surface. The waters around the islands are rich in nutrients, which provides a ripe environment for marine life. Furthermore, the shorelines in the Providence Atoll transition quickly from shallow beds to deeper waters. This brings together fish species that thrive in both shallow and deep waters, including tuna, barracuda, milkfish, parrotfish, striped marlin, and sailfish.