10 attractions found in Mahé from another world that will blow you away

Seychelles was once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden and it is easy to see why.

It was once believed to be the original site of the Garden of Eden and it is easy to see why.

Nowhere else on earth will you find unique endemic specimens such as the fabulous Coco-de-mer, the largest seed in the world, the jellyfish tree, with only eight surviving examples, the Seychelles’ paradise flycatcher and Seychelles warbler.

Seychelles is also home to two U.N.E.S.C.O World Heritage Sites: Aldabra, the world’s largest raised coral atoll and Praslin’sVallée de Mai.

“Nowhere else on earth is that beautiful, that serene that you will wonder if you are still on earth or another world than Seychelles Islands, it is a must visit destination in one’s lifetime”  Amia Jovanovic – Desir, Seychelles tourism board, senior marketing executive told Business Insider SSA during the Magical Kenya Travel Expo, 2017 held in Nairobi.

There are two groups of islands in Seychelles, the Inner Islands and the outer islands.

Regardless of one’s final destination, all visitors to the Seychelles will begin their journey on Mahé, the largest and most diverse island in the archipelago.

The name of the island is derived from the former French Governor Mahé de La Bourdonnais, although the original name for the island was the "Ile d'Abondance", or the "Island of Abundance".

Measuring 28km long by 8km wide,  Mahé, is the cultural and economic hub of the Inner Islands, and the international gateway to Seychelles.

The island is home to almost 90% of the total population (or approximately 72,200 people) reflecting Seychelles' diverse ethnicity and descent from African, Indian, Chinese and European populations, and is the seat of government and the chief centre of commerce.

Here are ten attractions found in Mahé that will blow you away.

Anse Intendance beach

If you are  beach fan then you will fall in love with this island, Seychelles  is like a candy store to a kid.

There are over 65 beaches to enjoy in Mahe with Anse Intendance beach found in the south of Mahé being the most well-known.

Incredible white sand is framed on both sides by granite boulders, making this beach one of the most beautiful beaches in the Seychelles.

Bel Air Cemetery

It is said ‘the richest place on earth is the cemetery’ and Bel Air Cemetery is one such example.

The Bel Air Cemetery, undoubtedly the oldest historic site in Seychelles, was the first official burial ground to be opened on Mahé soon after the establishment of the French settlement in the late 18th century.

The cemetery’s tombs, vaults and shrines contain the remains of some of the islands’ most famous personalities such as corsair Jean-Francois Hodoul and the 9ft giant Charles Dorothée Savy, poisoned at the age of 14 by neighbours fearful of his height, seriously where on Earth can you find such tales?

Another character whose remains lie within the cemetery is the mysterious Pierre-Louis Poiret, claimed by some to be the son of Louis XVI who fled the French Revolution and took refuge in Seychelles.

Mission Lodge

The Mission Lodge is perhaps the most famous vantage point in all of Seychelles, offering spectacular sea and mountain views looking southward across Mahé, from the shaded and peaceful confines of a gazebo where Queen Elizabeth II once sat for tea.

Kot Man-Ya Exotic Flower Garden

First opened to the public on 31st August 2008 after eight years in the making, Kot Man-Ya is one of the most breath taking places you can visit in Seychelles.

The Garden is part of the Anse Royale Ecotourism pilot initiative, administered under The Ecotourism Society of Seychelles (TESS), as called for by the SETS 21 – The Seychelles Ecotourism Blueprint for the 21st Century.

It is among the first steps in really bringing tourism activities to the community and offers a unique and different experience of Seychelles for discerning nature lovers and local flower enthusiasts alike.

Some of the world’s most exotic flowers are found here, with their ravishing elegance, sparkling colours, bold geometric lines and symmetrical perfection, the flower heads of exotic tropicals cater for the ultimate in floral brilliance.

It includes Heliconia, Gingers, Anthuriums and other miscellaneous species such as Mussa Bananas, Costus, Calatheas and fanciful jungle foliage; e.g. Caladiums and Ti leaves.

In addition to over 200 varieties of tropicals and orchids, Kot Man-Ya is also the sweet home of giant tortoises, guinea pigs, rabbits, green geckos, skinks and frogs.

Other attractions include Fruit trees and medicinal plants (papaya, bread fruit, passion fruit, star fruit, Bilimbi etc.) and Birds such as the Seychelles Sun Bird, Barred Ground Doves, Madagascar Fody and other migratory species.

Bicentennial Monument

Referred to in Creole as the Moniman trwa lezel (three–winged monument), Bicentennial Monument is a conspicuous three pairs of extended white wings in masonry, standing on the roundabout at the 5th of June and Liberation Avenues.

The three wings represent the origins of the Seychellois people, who can best be described as a happy blend of the ethnic groups of three continents: Africa, Europe, and Asia.

The monument was created by the late Italian artist Lorenzo Appiani, who lived in Seychelles.

It was erected in 1978 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the town of Victoria, which was founded as L’Établissement du Roi in 1778 by the Frenchman Charles Routier de Romainville.

Kreole Institute

This large colonial house built in the French style was established to promote Creole culture and tradition, it was designed by a German architect, Leit, and constructed in 1920 by France Jumeau, a plantation owner at that time.

Activities that take place at the Kreole Institue includes; formal, traditional balls, traditional French song recitals, cultural exhibitions, language and literature workshops.

It also houses a documentation centre.

Morne Seychellois National Park

The Morne Seychellois Park is the largest park in Seychelles and was created in 1979.

It covers a total surface area of 3,045ha, more than 20% of the area of Mahé. It is 10km in length and between 2km and 4km wide and equipped with an extensively trail network covering more than 15km.

A total of 12 different trails can be explored either by half or full day excursions.

Port Launay / Baie Ternay Marine National Park

If you are a big fan of snorkeling then Port Launay Marine National Park is the perfect destination for you.

The Marine National Park is famous for its whale shark sightings, in their season, these huge gentle giants of the sea can be seen swimming lazily around feeding on the rich plankton that accumulates in the park.

Its beautiful sandy beach is quiet and inviting to both sun worshipers wanting to work on their tan or those who simply want to relax and read a book under the large shady Takamaka trees.

This park can be reached by land or sea providing great comfort after a morning of trawling in blue waters or hiking off the nearby Greater Morne Seychellois National Park.

Carrefour des Arts

Residing in the heart of the Seychelles capital Victoria is Carrefour des Arts.

It features the best of local art and craftwork, with themes drawing extensively on Seychellois traditions, folklore and environment.

From illustrations to fabric art, Carrefour des Arts plays host to an array of exciting artistic styles, serving as an outlet for Seychellois creativity while providing visitors with an ideal venue to secure a vivid memento of their island experience.

National Museum of History

If you want to learn the history of Seychelles and Seychellois people then there is no better place to do it than at the National Museum of History.

Established in 1964, the museum is charged with the acquisition, preservation and exhibition of historical artifacts for the public benefit.

Some of the exhibits found in the National Museum of History includes; the oldest map drawn in 1517, the Stone of Possession, the world’s smallest statuette of Queen Victoria, and objects of ethnographical interest that exemplify the traditions and modes of life in times gone past.

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