Mahé is the biggest of the 115 islands that make up Seychelles situated in the Indian Ocean. This island, which has a population of around 24,000 people, is home to 33 percent of the Seychelles’ total population. Even though the British were the first to explore Seychelles, Europeans did not arrive until the mid-eighteenth century. The French colonized it until being conquered over by the British. Seychelles did not achieve independence until 1976 when it was renamed the Republic of Seychelles.
Mahé is a small island with a longitudinal length of 17 miles and a latitudinal length of around three miles. Victoria, the capital of Seychelles, is named after the British Queen. The highest point in Seychelles is Morne Seychellois, which is located on Mahé.
Local artists paint in both the silk and the conventional way, and these works are exhibited throughout the country in art galleries. Aside from that, artistic souvenirs made from coconut shells and sharks’ teeth are relatively typical, as is the coco de mer, a souvenir item shaped like a female pelvis made from coconut shells. Nevertheless, tourists find them to be a very common collector’s item. Smiley faces are also cut into coconut shells.
Aside from the regional Cajun and Creole cuisines, which are based on coconut and spicy concoctions, the natives’ palates are dominated by seafood. The ginger and garlic octopus red curry is famous all over the nation. Other common dishes are here than this barbeque red snapper or curry. The BBQ is a quick meal in which fish are filled with garlic and ginger and roasted on the barbecue grill in low heat, wrapped with banana leaves.
Tropical fruits are a popular choice among tourists. Apples, papaya, jamalac, and bananas are abundant and eaten in large quantities. Jamalac has a texture and flavor similar to apple.
Coconut is a popular ingredient in Cajun and Creole cooking. Coconut oil and milk are used in dishes in this part of the world. Rice is the most popular carbohydrate source in Seychelles meals.
Given the country’s colonial history, it’s not shocking that African, French, British, and Indian influences can be found in the country’s culture, art, and architecture.
The houses have sloped thatched roofs to allow rainwater to drain and dry quickly, and most residences have verandas to enjoy the sea breezes.
Drums are used in Creole music, as well as stringed instruments such as the guitar and violin. The slaves’ native dance, known as ‘moutya,’ the lively words of sega, the French kontredance, and the country reel’s kanmtole are all representations of Seychelles’ various culturally diverse facets.
The country’s economy was initially heavily reliant on agriculture. During the French colonial era, cinnamon barks, copra, coconut, sugarcane, and vanilla plantations were the most common. This was also encouraged by the British, who forced poor laborers and slaves to work in the area.
The tourism industry experienced a significant boom only after the country gained independence. This sector now employs 30% of the workforce and generates roughly 70% of the economy’s gross income. However, during the Gulf War, this industry suffered significant losses, prompting the government to recognize the value of small-scale manufacturing industry and other industries.
For a large portion of the population, fishing became a significant source of income. Tuna has become the go-to fish for packaging, processing, and export.
The Clock Tower in Victoria and Big Ben in London have an uncanny similarity. Due to his obsession with the building, one of Seychelles’ governors, Sir Ernest Sweet-Escott, instructed it to be designed as a replica of Big Ben.
Bel Air cemetery
This is the oldest landmark on the island and was constructed as the main burial site shortly after the French colonized this country. Some of the people buried here include Charles Dorothée Savy, a giant with nine feet, and Jean-Francois Hodoul, a pirate. Savy’s family poisoned him because they were afraid he was too tall!
Le Jardin Du Roi Spice Garden
Because of the twisting roads leading to the Spice Garden, you should walk rather than drive there. It’s easy to find if you keep an eye out for the arrows pointing in the correct direction.
The restaurant’s chef, an older woman, serves delicious homemade Creole cuisine and ice cream from a tub flavored with native spices, making it an extraordinary experience. Furthermore, a map is available at the garden’s entrance to guide visitors to the region’s appropriate locations.
French Cultural Centre
French books are open to all community members, even if you are not a Cultural Center student. Events at night take place here, and appetizing evening meals are also available.
Morne Seychelles National Park
This national park, which covers a fifth of Mahé Island’s area, was established in 1979, is the biggest in Seychelles. There are 12 different trails to choose from, and the 10-kilometer park is suitable for vacation and exploration.
During the colonial era, the Mission Lodge was built to provide shelter and schooling to slave children. It is no longer what it was when Christian missionaries founded it in the nineteenth century. The students’ living room and working farm have also been demolished. The western coast of Mahé Island, however, offers spectacular views. Bird watching is also popular among tourists.
Seychelles Natural History Museum
In Victoria’s capital city, the museum is situated on Independence Avenue. The museum not only houses important objects from Seychelles’ natural history, but it also uses dioramas, displays, films, and resource archives to inform tourists about environmental issues. Also, only those aged 12 and up are required to pay an entry fee.
National Botanical Gardens
The National Botanical Gardens are the place to go if you want to learn about Seychelles’ fauna and flora. Nevertheless, it is common knowledge that this nation is host to some of the world’s rarest indigenous plant species, some of which are endangered.
The gardens, which are spread over 15 acres of land, are an excellent tourist attraction. You could have a picnic or sample authentic Creole cuisine at a nearby restaurant on your visit here.
One of Mahé Island’s most well-known and visited tourist attractions is the Tea Factory. You will have a clear understanding of a working tea plantation and the manufacturing process during a tour of this site. The various teas are available to taste and purchase.
Things to do in Mahe
Tourists have many things to choose from on the land and in the sea. The temperature falls between 24C and 30C. Simultaneously, the beaches all over the islands are great for tanning and other beach activities.
- Game fishing
- Horseback riding
- Mountain hikes
- Scuba diving
- Kite surfing