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Updated: Mar 21, 2022

Our experiences from the 3 largest botanical gardens on the main island

1. Seychelles National Botanic Gardens

On the first day of our holiday, we spent about 3 hours at the Victoria Botanical Gardens, enjoying a relaxing walk along the paths. We were really looking forward to this excursion as it was the first time we got to see the famous local palm trees, coco de mer and giant tortoises. The coco de mer trees were amazing and feeding the giant tortoises was a really special experience in this botanical garden. There is also a Chinese garden within the botanical garden, the Guangzhou Garden, which opened in 2016 and symbolises the cultural link between Seychelles and China. All parts of the garden are well organised and well maintained, definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately, the café was closed and we could not have cold drinks in the hot and humid weather. If you are here, be sure to try the semi-open outdoor toilet that blends in with nature, very special.

The entrance fee is 100 SCR per adult.

2. Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden

Le Jardin du Roi Spice Garden is located on a steep hillside in Anse Royale. It was interesting to see how the different spices and exotic fruits grow (e.g. cinnamon, mango, lipstick tree, palm trees, ficus, croton, fruitcake, exotic flowers...). It was raining before our visit, the garden steps were slippery and muddy, and we didn't have hiking shoes, so we couldn't finish our tour of the garden, we just took a short walk around the restaurant. We managed to catch a glimpse of a flying fox (fruit bat) at the top of a bread tree and took some nice pictures. Giant tortoises (about 15 of them) also live in the garden, they were mud bathing when we visited, they looked happy and were having a good time.

Staff provide maps and descriptions of the plants growing in the garden, but identification is not easy, there are no clear markings on the plants. The footpaths are confusing, we didn't know where we were. Unfortunately there are no guided tours available. Food and drinks in the restaurant and cafe were overpriced.

The entrance fee is 125 SCR per adult person.

3. Marc Marengo Flower Jungle

On the last day of our holiday on the island of Mahé, we visited the Kot Man-Ya exotic flower garden (former name of the garden) at Anse Royale and had an unexpected and unique meeting with the ex-ambassador of Seychelles to UN and USA, Marc Marengo, who owns the garden. This kind and wise man told us about every single flower and plant in his garden, you could see how passionate he is about his land and his garden. Words can't express how wonderful this place is and how lucky we were to have been here. The owner also keeps giant tortoises in this wonderful garden, which eat the leaves and other parts of the exotic plants and make a rich compost that is returned to the soil.

Admission is 150 SCR per adult.

Our encounter with him and his wonderful garden was so fascinating for us that we wrote a short essay for the National Geographic Traveller UK travel writing competition. You can read our entry here.


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