There are a handful of really interesting museums dotted around the Seychelles. Most of them are not your typical museum — there is a lot of hands-on learning to be done here. These are the must-visit museums of the Seychelles.
National Museum of Natural History
The National Museum of Natural History is in the centre of Victoria on Mahé. Downstairs is where you’ll find most of the exhibits. There is lots of information on the plant and animal life and how they have evolved over time.
There is also a focus on the major environmental concerns that are faced by Seychelles in the hope of educating locals and tourists alike about the threats and to encourage positive change. This is something that is done without being preachy.
Occasionally, there will be additional exhibits upstairs but usually they are connected with school projects.
The highlight of the museum are its staff. They are so friendly, and so passionate about Seychelles, it’s impossible not to be drawn in to what they have to say.
As it is only a tiny little museum in Victoria, don’t expect to stay for more than an hour, but it really is worth the visit nonetheless.
Natural History Museum, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles +248 4321333
Boasting the only fully functioning traditional kitchen, the Praslin Museum is a must-visit. There is a wide range of activities to do here, some a little more out there than others, including feeding their pet fruit bats.
The best bit about the Praslin Museum is that they really encourage you to get involved. You’ll learn how to properly dehusk a coconut (it looks a lot easier than it is). You can get involved with preparing traditional Creole food, including grilling breadfruit. They also tap palm wine there which you can sample — adults only, of course!
Praslin Museum, Côte d’or, Pralin +248 524618
L’Union Estate & Copra Factory
The L’Union Estate is an open air museum. Huge restoration work is currently underway on the plantation house in the estate to enable it to be a fully functioning museum. You pay to get into L’Union Estate — it costs approximately SCR100 (approximately US$7) and that will allow you to see the plantation house, the graveyard of the original settlers on La Digue, the vanilla plantation, oh, and of course, Anse Source D’Argent.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Union Estate is the working copra mill and kiln, where coconuts can be pressed to make coconut oil. Even now, more than 1,500 coconuts are collected here every day.
The Seychellois working here are so knowledgeable about the old processes and it’s clear they are really passionate about sharing this with you. You don’t pay any extra for this mini tour and it is really worth stopping and hearing all about it.
Domaine de Val des Prés
Not just for buying your souvenirs, Domaine de Val des Prés is a wonderful way to experience Seychelles history too. The old plantation house Gran Kaz is a museum with lots of information about colonial life in the Seychelles. There is also a replica of servants quarters, a traditional kitchen and several other areas dedicated to depicting different activities that would have been typical at this time.
Domaine de Val des Prés, Au Cap, Mahe, Seychelles +248 4 376 100