Travel Leisure

7 Cultural Experiences To Have Before Leaving Seychelles

Located in the western Indian Ocean, nearly 115 islands make up the archipelago that is Seychelles. The islands are diverse in culture and language with the three main islands being Mahé, Praslin and La Digue. Over time, tourists and locals have found beauty and experience across Seychelles, making it a popular destination for travel and relocation. If you want to learn more about the rich, multicultural history of Seychelles, be sure to check out these cultural experiences before leaving the islands. 

Visit A Colonial Style Mansion

mansion in Seychelles
Photo credit: Caio

Seychelles has a history built on colonialism and remnants from the past can be seen all over the archipelago. One way to explore the island’s colonial heritage is by visiting the gigantic mansions all over Seychelles. Many of these mansions were plantation homes where enslaved Africans lived and worked on the island.

Today, many of them have been converted into museums, restaurants, and bed-n-breakfast spots where tourists can get a look at colonial life. Travelers suggest checking out Marie Antoinette, a colonial mansion that’s been converted into a Creole restaurant on the island. 

Surround Yourself With Nature At The Dauban Mausoleum

Among the coconut trees, the Dauban Mausoleum is a hidden gem that sits near Seychelles. Located on Silhouette Island, the mausoleum is the burial place for the Daubans, a French family known for the plantation developments they pioneered in Seychelles. Now, it’s an architectural landmark where nature grows around the mysterious structure. The mausoleum consists of 6 giant columns surrounded by foliage and vines. The island is also home to Aldabra tortoises that roam the land eating grass. 

Witness A Moutia Dance Ritual

person performing a Moutia Dance Ritual
Photo credit: Quang Nguyen Vinh

As the drum rhythms rise to the sky along the shore, the Moutia dances come alive on Seychelles beaches. Moutia is the traditional dance of Seychelles. Typically done around a fire, dancers move to the beat of the drums. The dance was brought to Seychelles by enslaved Africans. Late at night, enslaved people would escape from the plantation to perform these dances on the beach out of sight from their masters. Today, Moutia dances still take place on beaches around the islands. 

Explore The Vallee De Mai

The Vallee De Mai is a lush, natural paradise in Seychelles. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and many say it’s the original location of the Garden Of Eden. There are many endangered plant species that grow here and the protected area is a sacred place in the islands.

Visitors can explore the Vallee De Mai for about $30 per person. Children can tour the site for free. In addition to endangered plant species, travelers are likely to see more than a few animals at Vallee De Mai. Creatures like the black parrot, the Seychelles chameleon, and the bronze gecko all call this tropical place home. 

Learn About Creole Folk-Art

Creole Folk-Art in Seychelles
Photo credit: Keith Lobo

Given that the majority of Seychelles’ population is Creole, it’s no surprise the heavy influence the culture has on the creativity of the islands. The descendants of French colonizers and enslaved Africans, Creole culture defines language, style, and art in the Seychelles. Travelers can experience the beauty of Creole creativity at two art galleries on the island – Kaz Zanana and the Eden Art Space. 

Visit Tempio Hindu

Built over 240 years ago, Tempio Hindu is a grand religious structure in Victoria. The temple is one of the most famous attractions in Seychelles’ capital. Indians built the temple when they first arrived in the archipelago and its dynamic height and vibrant colors add even more layers to Seychelles’ rich and diverse history. Once your visit to the temple is complete, Victoria is full of markets, excursions, and museums to explore. 

Attend The Festival Kreol

people dancing in Seychelles traditional event
Photo credit: Denniz Futalan

If you’re lucky enough to visit Seychelles in October, be sure to attend the Festival Kreol. This event celebrates the diverse heritage of the islands. According to the Creative Seychelles Agency, the 2023 festival will kick off on October 27 with an opening ceremony happening on Praslin Island. The multi-day event features food, music, dance performances, and speeches from local leaders honoring the diversity of Seychelles. 

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